Central Ohio

Milder Tracks

By: Buckey2745, 6:24 PM GMT on January 31, 2014

This weekend storm just keeps tracking further and further north, as is common with model progressions. Right now the low looks to pass as far north as Toledo, where earlier in the week it looked like it might pass right through the Columbus area.

With this further north track, it's making tomorrow look less and less like a wash out. In fact much of the day could be cloudy and "warm." Ok... this is relatively speaking considering we were -14° the other morning. But I think we may actually get as warm as 45°.

Most of the day should stay dry south of a line from Indy to Sandusky before the front finally dives south after the low passes east.

Chances are very low for snow on the backside, just as we usually see with these scenarios where CAA just doesn't rush in fast enough before the moisture cuts off. In the Columbus area I give it a 20% chance to even see a dusting.

You can see by the simulated NAM radar we won't have much west of the 32° line by Sunday morning:


This will not be a big rain maker, maybe getting 0.2" total out of this, so I don't think flooding will be a threat. We would need well over an inch to look at flooding with our current snow pack.

One other feature to watch this weekend would be the tail end of the front that passes through tomorrow night. Models have began to develop a low pressure system on the end of it and have it riding up the front to the northeast. Right now the Euro has it going through Atlanta, spreading the snow shield as far north as Portsmouth. I think that may end up inching just a little bit closer by Monday morning, but stays far enough away not to affect the Columbus area.

Finally, next week's midweek storm is shaping up to be warmer than expected. Even though the last couple models runs have shown this low a little further south, it's only as far south as cutting right through the heart of Central Ohio. I don't want to get in to predictions quite yet, but I do feel like by the time I do a full writeup on the upcoming midweek storm, I'll be talking about a warmer, wetter solution than what we may have been thinking one or even two days ago.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 8
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 4
Wind Chill Warnings- 2
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 15.1" (Predicted: 7")
Season: 26.15"

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End of the Cold; Wet Weekend?

By: Buckey2745, 10:04 PM GMT on January 29, 2014

What a crazy stretch of arctic weather we just went through. This morning my weather station hit a staggering -14.0° at 4:11am. That hard to really put in to words how cold that is. I didn't get the pleasure of experiencing that, I didn't walk out of the house this morning until it was a balmy 5°.

Finally we're getting to the end of this "polar vortex," as tomorrow morning will be the last morning with lows in the single digits at 6°. There's still a chance that schools could be delayed again tomorrow with below zero wind chills possible, but it'll feel like spring compared to the past few mornings.

This weekend will see our next major system coming across the country at us, which is a track we haven't seen for quite a while with all these clipper systems. Saturday could be a wet one, ending in some snow showers on the backside as a low pressure rides right up the Ohio River:


I think there's the potential for some early morning snow Saturday before the warm air rushes out ahead of the low, but it'll be nothing more than flurries and relatively light. I don't give accumulation much of a chance.

Enjoy this weekend and the first couple days of next week because unfortunately... the cold returns, about a week from now. Early signs point to a very potent southern low that could mean very heavy snow early-mid week followed by sub zero temps once again.

I'll post more later about the potential for post frontal snow Saturday night and next week's return to an active pattern.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 8
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 4
Wind Chill Warnings- 2
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 15.1" (Predicted: 7")
Season: 26.15"

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LiveBlog: January 27-29 Cold Snap

By: Buckey2745, 3:29 PM GMT on January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27, 10:19am
Temp: 8.1°, Chill: -5°
I don't believe we accumulated any snow overnight, although I guess it would have been hard to tell with all the drifting and blowing. I've not seen any reports around here, so my 2" I predicted was pretty much wrong.

What I did get was a 40mph wind gust at 2:52am, right after temperatures began to plummet. We were at 40° at midnight, began a slow slide, and then around 2:30am the bottom fell out. We haven't risen since.

So far today our coldest wind chill was -11° a little before 9am, but expect that to get surpassed sometime this afternoon. We are still hours away from the heart of the cold air entering our region, and when it does we could see very cold readings.

I'll be interested to see two things: 1. if we get colder than we were a couple weeks ago for a base temp. 2. if our wind chills go lower (I don't think they will) and 3. if we go above zero tomorrow (I think we will, just barely).

Monday, January 27, 4:31pm
Temp: 9.5°, Chill: -4°
Our temp actually came up just slightly today after bottoming out at 7.6° around mid-morning, we've been hovering around 10° the rest of the day.

Now that the sun is going down we should see the downward trend. I think -10° is a pretty safe bet tonight, but winds should be light so I don't think we're going to get worse than the -36° wind chill we saw back on January 7th.

It's amazing to see how far reaching this cold blast is. Look at the latest watches and warnings throughout the US:


Two things stick out to me: the enormous area of Wind Chill Warnings, and the winter weather in the deep south. There are areas that will get snow and ice tomorrow that don't know what that is. Some people in the south don't own shovels, and some cities don't have a budget for snow removal.

This cold blast may not be as bad as the early January shot, but it feels like it's much farther reaching.

Monday, January 27, 8:23pm
Temp: 1.9°, Chill: -14°
Ready for fun with models? The Euro gives us an overnight low of -20°:


Skies are clear and temps are dropping by about 1.5° an hour, but -20° seems awfully far fetched.

But how could there be two models calling for it? The latest high resolution RAP has -19° for us at 7am tomorrow:


So maybe, just maybe, we will see historically low temps tonight...

Tuesday, January 28, 9:22am
Temp: -7.6°, Chill: -15°
It's a cold morning out there for sure. We officially dipped down to -12.5° this morning, colder than we experienced on January 7th for sure. But, the wind chill didn't break that bitter -36° mark. In fact the wind wasn't that bad at all this morning, with gusts usually only in the 3-4mph range so the wind chill only reached -22°.

Temps are on the rise this morning and we should make it near zero by noon.

The latest HRRR is calling for a high of 10° today, but I think that's off. I say we reach 8° today and winds pick up some in the afternoon to guarantee wind chills don't get above zero.

AnalogueKid already reported -9.4° this morning, what were some of the other lows out there?

Tuesday, January 28, 11:40am
Temp: 0.6°, Chill: 0°
Right on time, we just made it above zero for the day. But that's where our wind chill sits, too. Hardly any breeze out there, which is definitely a good thing.

Tuesday, January 28, 5:55pm
Temp: 3.2°, Chill: 0°
We're on our way back down for the night and we did not warm up today at all. Our high of 5.2° is the coldest high I believe I have ever recorded on my weather station.

Wind was never really a factor today, which is why our Wind Chill Warning was cut back to a Wind Chill Advisory from now until tomorrow afternoon. Wind chills today hovered somewhere between -5° and 0°.

The south is in the middle of their first "big" winter storm in quite a while, as Atlanta has seen an inch of snow and places like Charleston, SC could have some pretty big icing problems over night. All of this is because of our latest huge cold blast.

Some computer models are aiming at below -10° for the lows tonight, and I actually agree to an extent. I believe it'll go low, especially since we didn't get to double digits today. Cloud cover that poured in around midday should eventually begin to move out of the area and allow another cold night. This is where we could see more cold pockets develop overnight like TheHermit43130 reported this morning.

I think we'll make it just to -10° in the morning. With little to no wind overnight, wind chill won't be a huge issue.

I'll start a new post tomorrow talking about our chances for weekend precip.

Updated: 11:03 PM GMT on January 28, 2014

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A Weekend of Snow, Coldest Air in Decades

By: Buckey2745, 6:03 PM GMT on January 26, 2014

Amazing what you miss when you're laid up from surgery for a couple days.

First, yesterday's snow, which was one of the most interesting squall-type events I have seen in a while. Overall we ended up with 3.5" of snow (taken from other spotters, I couldn't get off the couch to measure), but the high winds caused incredible drifting, and late afternoon squalls moved through bringing near whiteout conditions for 10-15 minutes at a time.

After the last snow squall moved through our temperatures began to plummet, from 30° yesterday afternoon to almost 5° early this morning.

Now back on the roller coaster as snow dumped on us again this morning, bringing what I believe to be yet another quick 3", but I'll hold off until I see spotter reports to make that official. Our temps are on the rise again and may actually make it above freezing right after sunset tonight. That's the point when the last round of our weekend snow will move in, bringing what I believe will be yet another 2" of snow and... the coldest air we have seen yet.

I'll put a little more detail in this forecast tomorrow, but expect to see temps as low as -15°, with wind chills easily in the -30° range.

UPDATE: Sunday, 5:00pm
The watches and warnings map is very colorful this evening, with the emphasis being on our extremely cold air on the way:


The wind chill warning goes in to affect at noon tomorrow, after the cold has rushed back in. But what you don't see on that map is a Winter Weather Advisory that is still in effect until tomorrow because of one last clipper system that'll bring us even more snow.

This latest round will bring the snow and bring the cold. Expect this warming trend to die off sometime after dark with gradual cooling until we see the onset of precip around 3am, and then the bottom falls out:


I'm sticking with 2" of snow overnight in to the morning rush, which will probably cause schools to delay... again.

Over a 48 hour period, from Saturday morning until Monday morning we could be looking at a total of 8.5" of snow. We had 3.5" Saturday, I'd say an additional 3" today, and 2" tonight.

I plan on starting a LiveBlog tomorrow since I'll have nothing better to do but sit in my house for a week. Prepare for a cold blast worse than earlier this month.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 8
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 3
Wind Chill Warnings- 2
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 15.1" (Predicted: 5")
Season: 26.15"

Updated: 10:15 PM GMT on January 26, 2014

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LiveBlog: Return of the Arctic

By: Buckey2745, 10:44 PM GMT on January 21, 2014

This morning's snow equaled to about 0.75" here in Canal Winchester with plenty of blowing. Believe it or not I have recorded 16 different snow events so far this season, which seems to be a lot for the midway point.

Now on to the cold:
Tuesday, 5:38pm
Temp: 12.9° | Wind Chill: -1°
Here we go again, just like a couple weeks ago we're in the deep chill. This time it seems like it'll be here a lot longer. Fortunately it won't be quite as dangerous as last time.

Tonight's wind chill will probably be around -10° and -15°.

Wind Chill Advisories are out until tomorrow morning and I expect just about all schools will be on a delay.

Keep me posted on the lowest temps you see tonight. I would be surprised if we got below zero here on the southeast side of Franklin County as the wind will shift from the north to the west overnight, giving us just a little shelter with some of the city heat.

Wednesday, 7:57am
Temp: -1.9° | Wind Chill: -1.9°
The overnight got below zero surprisingly, but that's all because the wind stopped and the skies cleared. There was no wind chill to speak of because there was no wind. After midnight the highest "gust" we got was 2mph, dropping our wind chill down to -6°. We never even went below -7° wind chill yesterday as the winds seemed to let up pretty early in the evening.

It looks cold outside right now. Looking across the way you can see the exhaust from all of the homes slowly billowing out of the pipes on each roof. Cars seem to make an extra loud crunching sounds on the road as they drive over the ice and snow. It's a calm morning. A lot different scene than a couple weeks ago where the wind seemed to be pushing against brittle houses and trees.

Temperatures will slowly climb today, but nothing impressive. I imagine we will get to 16° here in Columbus before slowly dropping again after dark. Wind shouldn't be too much of a factor today, so with a little sun it may actually feel decent outside.

I'll post more later about more snow tonight.

Wednesday, 1:11pm
Temp: 8.9° | Wind Chill: -1°

Temps are struggling today. Hitting 16° seems pretty unlikely as it looks like we have leveled off with clouds pouring in. We may not even make it to double digits if we don't see some kind of late surge.

Winds have picked back up to 5-10mph, giving a low wind chill of -11° at 9am.

Wednesday, 3:44pm
Temp: 10.2° | Wind Chill: 0°

We have yet another cold front crossing the region tonight, this one really reinforcing the cold air for us. The snow with this will be a very minor story, but it will still be a story.

The latest RAP has the entire region blanketed with 1" of snow, which I agree with for my prediction:


With the passing of the front, not only will temps start to drop off more, but winds will pick up. We could see gusts up to 25mph, which would easily support wind chills of -15° or lower.

Updated: 8:58 PM GMT on January 22, 2014

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Ushering in the Cold. Again.

By: Buckey2745, 11:06 PM GMT on January 20, 2014

Our weekend clipper was just about what I expected. Enough snow in a short enough time to cause a little panic in Columbus. The NWS even extended the Winter Weather Advisories all the way in to the Columbus area for what all computer models were calling a very minor snow event.

In the end we had 1.5" of snow, our fifth biggest snow of the season.

And now... another clipper. This one will be remembered more for what it does after the snow than the snow itself. We can expect another 1" of snow overnight and in to the morning commute, but aside from that the real story will be the cold temps behind it.

A little after noon today we hit our high of 37° and we will not see a rise in temperatures again until Wednesday morning. As of now the forecast is for a low Wednesday of -5°. This is awfully close to what we saw earlier in January, but the difference will be the wind. While there will be a breeze, we hopefully shouldn't see the super gusty winds that brought us wind chills in the negative 30 range. Instead expect wind chills close to negative 20 on Wednesday morning. We should go about 3 straight days with the wind chills below zero from tomorrow night to Friday afternoon. So while this deep chill won't be as extreme, it'll be much longer lasting.

It's very borderline right now whether we will see some school delays Wednesday morning, with wind chills close to dangerous levels. It was an easy call a couple weeks ago, but I'm not sure about this time.

I'll write more tomorrow about the cold and occasional snow in the forecast.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 6
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 1
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 7.85" (Predicted: 4")
Season: 18.9"

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The Weekend Clipper

By: Buckey2745, 4:48 PM GMT on January 18, 2014

Our second clipper in just about as many days is coming in tonight, this one a little more potent than the last.

First, a quick brief on Thursday night and Friday's snow. The inch I call for on Thursday equaled up to about an inch. But then an unexpected wave from the south brought very heavy snow for a brief time yesterday, equaling 0.75".

On to this evening, the latest RUC is forecasting the heaviest snow to fall south of here, on a line from Indianapolis to Cincinnati.

Latest RUC snowfall forecast

Some places near Cincinnati could be 2-3", but I'm calling for only 1" of snow in the Columbus area.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 5
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 1
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 6.35" (Predicted: 3")
Season: 17.4"

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Thundersnow?

By: Buckey2745, 3:03 PM GMT on January 17, 2014

10:03am
I'm down to only a couple things left on my weather bucket list, and the most elusive of all is Thunder Snow. Well, there's a heavy batch of snow that crossed the Ohio River a little over an hour ago that has reported hearing thunder.

This area is headed north-northeast, right toward the Columbus area. The chances are pretty low the instability holds together long enough for it to continue to produce, but I'll be outside when it hits. Hoping.


11:24am
Well, no thundersnow, but a pretty impressive heavy snow for a brief time:

Updated: 4:25 PM GMT on January 17, 2014

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Halfway Point; Snowy Period

By: Buckey2745, 5:49 PM GMT on January 16, 2014

We've made it to winter's halfway point... ok the halfway point of meteorological winter, but still. This is the sixth winter I have blogged here in Central Ohio, and so far this is the snowiest at this point. Previous mid-January totals:

2014: 16.55"
2013: 10.35"
2012: 3"
2011: 11"
2010: 12"
2009: 7.5"

Keep in mind, last year was my first year in Franklin County, so the rest of those totals were from a point about 20 miles further south, so I'm sure people up here saw just a little bit more. Obviously 2012 was an anomaly with one of the least snowiest winters I can ever remember here in Central Ohio.

The Week of Clippers
After our extreme cold last week we have actually rebounded quite nicely with a little ridging in the east that has given us 7 straight days with highs above freezing. Today, if given the chance, would make it 8 straight.

The pattern has shifted once again and the entire eastern US will be under a large dominating trough for the rest of the month. You read that right, the rest of January will be cold.

In this pattern we will see multiple disturbances ride in a NW to SE pattern across the area, each bringing a chance of light snow, but nothing significant.

Clipper pattern for the next few days.

In the near term we have two systems that will affect us. The first will move through this afternoon, bringing a light dusting to possibly an inch of snow. Temps have started to level out at 28°, and I actually expect a couple degree cool down once snow starts. This round will bring us 1" of snow here in Canal Winchester this evening and tonight.

A second clipper will move in Saturday and bring us a better chance of accumulation. This is because it takes a more southern track, directly in to Ohio, bringing the heaviest snows with it. For now this looks like it could be a good 3" or so event, but I'll hold off on predictions until tomorrow.

With this pattern we can expect the return of cold air and light snow pretty regularly. These nickel and dime type events could add up by the end of the month, we'll just have to wait and see. For now let's just enjoy the return of winter.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 5
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 1
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 5.5" (Predicted: 2")
Season: 16.55"

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LiveBlog: January 6th-7th Cold

By: Buckey2745, 1:47 PM GMT on January 06, 2014

Monday, 8:38am
Temp: 3.8° Wind Chill: -18°

The temps dropped and we got that brief heavy snow last night. In all I measured 0.5" of snow. Yes, a huge bust considering a few days ago I was thinking 4", and some news outlets were reporting almost a foot.

Now we're on to the extreme cold, and as AnalogueKid pointed out, this may not reach the extreme cold that was originally predicted. Right now the forecast calls for -7° tonight, which isn't exactly the -15° we have been sold for the past few days. And of course it's no where near the -34° I saw at one point last week.

But in this scenario the base temp isn't what we need to keep an eye on. It's the wind chills. And with wind chills already worse off than -15°, it's pretty uncomfortable to be outside.

I'll post updates all day long.

Monday, 10:13am
Temp: 0.8° Wind Chill: -23°

We just hit a -23° wind chill which sounds... just... just awful. I haven't stepped outside yet because I honestly don't have a death wish. Inside you can hear the wind howling and the house creaking. My heater has been on non-stop trying to warm the house.

What's interesting is I see clearing in the sky, which wasn't expected. All along I thought we would see a layer of clouds due to the cold temps and snow pack causing a layer of moisture aloft. So what will this clearing do for us? Raise temps? Or... make them even worse overnight?

Monday, 12:47pm
Temp: -2.7° Wind Chill: -27°

We finally dropped below zero.

Monday, 4:20pm
Temp: -4.2° Wind Chill: -27°

We had a low windchill of the day of -29° around 2pm this afternoon... truly bone chilling. Temps are still slowly dropping at a rate of about a half a degree an hour.

After the sun goes down I think we may see us drop a little more before eventually leveling out. The gusty winds will do two things: give us nasty wind chills, and also help keep our base temps from dropping much lower.

I say tonight we reach -6° here in Canal Winchester. That's not close to the -15° I would have told you a few days ago, but I just don't think the worst of the arctic air makes it this far east.

UPDATE: We just hit -30° wind chill for the first time today.

Tuesday, 10:19am
Temp: -2.3° Wind Chill: -21°

We're finally on the upswing. Temperatures are climbing for the first time since late Sunday night. The temperature graph below explains it all:


That data is taken from the weather station mounted on my roof. Sunday night we peaked at 47.5°, and last night we bottomed out at -8.9°. For you non-math majors at home that is a 56.4° temperature change in almost exactly 24 hours.

That's incredible.

For comparison I went back in my records and found the coldest temperature I ever recorded on my weather station since 2007 (when I started keeping data) was -15.9° back in January 2009. But that cold wasn't bone chilling because it came with little or no wind. In fact before last night, the coldest wind chill I ever recorded was -24° on January 16th, the day before my record low temp. That wind chill was from a -11° temp and 5mph wind.

So last night's cold was much more brutal. Sure, the base temp wasn't record breaking, but I reached a low wind chill last night of -36.7° with an air temp of -8.2° and a gust of 19mph.

Before this is all over we will have gone at least 24 hours below zero and probably doubled our natural gas bill for the month.

As much as I love winter, I'm ready for just a little warm up.

Updated: 3:31 PM GMT on January 07, 2014

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LiveBlog: Winter Storm Ion's BUST

By: Buckey2745, 3:11 PM GMT on January 05, 2014

9:59am, 35.3°
What a difference a day makes. Over a 24 hour period the model forecasts went from 6" to practically nothing.

That's right, Columbus and most of the surrounding area will get all rain on this one.

This is why you go with your gut. In the days leading up to this event I even thought to myself, "I've seen this scenario before, and it always goes warm. It just always does." But I bought in to the early model runs and the promise of an eastern Ohio track.

For today, expect all rain during daylight hours. Temps will get in to the mid 40's before an extremely sharp drop off after the low passes. This is when we could see incredible temperature drop rates, maybe as much as 7-9° an hour or more. This is also when we will see moderate rain switch over to heavy snow rather quickly, maybe even before the surface fully cools to freezing. But that shouldn't be a problem with accumulations, as snowfall rates will be intense for a short time before all moisture pulls out.

I now expect we will see 1" of snow here in and around Columbus.

Safe travels to your wife, AnalogueKid, should just be a wet one for her.

It seems unprecedented, but yes I think there's a decent chance OSU cancels classes on Tuesday, mapcat, but this is uncharted territory for many in this region so it's really hard to tell what they'll do.

I'll post more later this afternoon as we get closer to the changeover.

2:44pm, 42.7°
Oh what could have been...


The NWS is backing way off of all predictions now, saying we may not even get an inch. I stick to an inch, but not much more. But wow, if we were in Indy... we'd end up with a foot. Easily.

6:39pm, 40.5°
Temps are on a slow decline as rain has just started here in the past 15 minutes. However with each hourly model run of the HRRR and RUC I keep seeing less and less backside moisture. The last RUC actually showed nothing on the backside. I'm holding firm and saying we will have an inch but my confidence is diminishing.

On to the cold... temps will start their sharp decline around midnight and will not recover until sometime overnight Tuesday. I think 8° is a safe bet for sunrise, but the real problem will be wind chills during the day. Be on the lookout for possibly -20° Monday with even worse after the sun goes down. Get ready for the huge drop...

9:55pm, 46.9°
We are about 1 hour away from the cold front coming through, you can see it pretty clearly on the wundermap:


Our temp actually rose after the rain started getting heavier which means we have a long way to fall to reach my prediction of 8° by sunrise.

Also, it looks like mapcats wish came true with OSU Marion closing. I imagine all schools and colleges will be closed for the next two days.

Updated: 3:02 AM GMT on January 06, 2014

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Winter Storm Ion: One Day Out

By: Buckey2745, 7:52 PM GMT on January 04, 2014

This storm could be one of the most difficult storms I have ever tried to forecast. You've got a low pressure riding up the Appalachians and extreme arctic air rushing in behind it. But where does the low track? And how quickly does the arctic air rush in? How much rain do we see? I'll try my best to answer all of that.

The Track
If I could answer that question, I'd have the answers to every other question above. A little west and we're looking at a mostly rain event. A little east and we're looking at some of the biggest snow totals we've seen here in Canal Winchester in years.

Below is the latest GFS model from about 7pm tomorrow night with the track highlighted. I selected this model because I think it's the most likely track, as the GFS has been pretty consistent over the past couple days.



Usually a track like this would bring us a ton of rain, but cold air is a huge factor with this storm. First, we nearly reached 0° yesterday morning and we have 5" of snow cover, so cold air is entrenched in our area. Second, the extreme cold that this deepening low will bring in. That means anything just to the west, and eventually south, of this low will be snow.

The majority of snow for us here in Canal Winchester will come after dark as the low passes off to our east and very heavy snow wraps around. But how much will fall before the main event?

The Forecast
I think we're going to see a huge gradient from southeastern Franklin County to northwestern. A 25 mile difference could mean the difference between 4" of snow, at least.

Tomorrow morning early should start with possible freezing rain or snow before we see a pretty good mix over to rain/snow, and unfortunately for us here east of I-71... all rain for a short time. That all rain will drastically reduce our totals.

But... once it switches back to all snow, it'll be heavy. Very heavy. We could see snowfall rates of 1.5" an hour, or more!

Here's my snowfall prediction map:


80 miles is the difference between 1" of snow and 12" of snow. That's not an understatement. So picture that gradient and move in a few miles in any direction. That's the difference in a little movement in the track.

I think this storm comes in a little warmer than some are forecasting. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but every other southern low we've seen in the past couple years has surged a decent warm sector ahead of the low, bringing us hours of just rain. I think we see 35° - 36° by tomorrow afternoon, and a decent deficit in our overall snow totals.

For us here in Canal Winchester I'm going with 4" of snow, with the majority of that coming in after dark on the backside.

I plan on LiveBlogging tomorrow, and also addressing the extreme cold coming in.

UPDATE: 6:07pm
Our Winter Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory here in Columbus, with Warnings to all counties to our north and west. If... and this is a huge if... the next model run comes through just a tad further east, we could see the Warnings expanded in to our county.

It looks like the 18Z GFS is trending just a few miles further west, which is why the NWS is only calling for 2-4" for now.

This is why there will be a liveblog tomorrow because this situation will change by the second. Below are the warnings. Keep in mind, we are actually under a Wind Chill Warning starting tomorrow evening, also.




Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 6
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 2
Wind Chill Advisories- 1
Wind Chill Warnings- 1
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 5" (Predicted: 2")
Season: 16.05"

Updated: 11:13 PM GMT on January 04, 2014

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Winter Storm Hercules: Central Ohio Summary

By: Buckey2745, 2:37 PM GMT on January 03, 2014



First post of 2014. First storm of 2014. And boy was it a storm, one that I clearly didn't give enough attention to on NYE.

The snow started here early Thursday morning, and didn't really let up until after dark Thursday night. A solid day of light to moderate snow really added up... I think.

I predicted 2" here in Canal Winchester. Around 4pm I went outside to measure, right before winds really started to gust, and I averaged 5" of snow. That total was actually a high for the entire county, with most other areas reporting around 4" to 4.5".

So why do I think that's how much snow we got? Simple. Blowing and drifting. Yesterday afternoon winds started to kick up and some surfaces were almost blown clean, while others had upwards of a foot of snow banked up.

The pictures below illustrate my point. The top picture is my driveway 15 minutes after I shoveled it clean yesterday afternoon. The bottom one is from this morning, where you can actually see some grass in my neighbor's yard, while I have a 18" snow bank on my patio:


We had a high wind gust of 29mph, and while that doesn't sound like much, when you consider our snow was a very light a fluffy one yesterday, it gave us a ton of problems on the roads after dark. Some counties were under a level 2 snow emergency by sunrise this morning, as winds stayed up above 20mph for most of the overnight.

Snow estimates are going to be truly that for this storm... estimates. If these measurements weren't taken before winds picked up or in proper locations after the wind, it's hard to tell how much we got. So this snow map is from the best information available:


The Cold
The second part to this storm is the cold. Yesterday afternoon the temps started dropping, and they did not rise again until sunrise this morning. How cold did it get?

This morning's low was 0.7°

And how about a wind chill at 4:33am of -13°

This is the coldest temp I have recorded since February of 2011 when we hit 0.7°. The previous month we actually got to -8.1°! But we won't get that cold anytime soon, will we?

Well I've been talking about it for a while, and we're still on track for historic cold next week. Before that? Another potential snow storm on Sunday. I'll write about that tomorrow.

Dig out!

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 5
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 1
Wind Chill Advisories- 1
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
January: 5" (Predicted: 2")
Season: 16.05"

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About Buckey2745

I'm a 30 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.

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Eric

Personal Weather Stations

Lehman Estates
Canal Winchester, OH
Elevation: 754 ft
Temperature: 54.3 °F
Dew Point: 51.1 °F
Humidity: 89%
Wind: 4.0 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 5.0 mph
Updated: 8:45 AM EDT on September 19, 2014

About Personal Weather Stations