Central Ohio

Hyping the Monster: 4 Days Out

By: Buckey2745, 8:42 PM GMT on February 26, 2014

I mentioned briefly at the end of my last post about a potential "big one" starting next week, and with several model runs under our belts I feel pretty confident in saying that Central Ohio will get hit by this storm... it's just a matter of what we actually get hit by.

Right now this looks like a multi day event. Really we'll have some form of winter weather starting all the way on Saturday with a weak shortwave rolling through the area bringing a very light snow, all the way through Monday night.

Forget the Saturday event, I may barely cover that in the coming days, here's where we start:


Sunday a reinforcing shot of cold air with a trough driving down from Canada will bring enhanced moisture in the morning hours well out ahead of the surface low which will still be back in Texas. This begins what will be 36 hours of winter weather. This moisture appears to be all snow and we should get some light accumulation from it.

Then starting early Monday the surface low moves from Texas to what I am going to guess will be a Tennessee Valley to Ohio Valley area... that's still yet to be determined. This is the time period that is hard to predict precipitation type. For the past couple days it's been assumed some sort of mix, but the last couple GFS and Euro runs are cold and snowy. Below are the predicted snow totals from both.

GFS:


Euro:


I don't think these totals will stick because even this far out I really think we'll get some icing in there. The low is forecasted by the Euro to come way too close to the Ohio River for this to stay all snow, so I think the overriding warm air will make its presence known in a big way. That reinforcing cold front on Sunday is the key player here as it'll do one of two things: set us up for icing, or force the low further south and limit our precip. There will be a very narrow band of very heavy snow and probability and history says we won't be in that.

This storm could finally be the big one. All season we have nickel and dimed our way to a hefty snow total, but we haven't gotten a gigantic storm in years honestly. The potential is there, so it's time to hype it.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 11
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 10.6" (Predicted: 4.35")
Season: 36.75"

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Light Snow Possible Tonight

By: Buckey2745, 1:19 AM GMT on February 25, 2014

I don't really like the chances of any decent accumulation with this light shortwave coming through tonight in to tomorrow morning, but it does warrant looking at because honestly this town sort of panics when there is a dusting of snow right around rush hour.

The latest HRRR does a pretty good job I think of showing the snow passing mainly south of here, with some possibly light development over the Columbus area as the energy passes:


Overall I think we get a dusting of snow in Columbus, with up to an inch south of us.

Coming up this week we're going to see more arctic air. So far the coldest air seems to be coming in Friday morning with lows in the single digits from the Euro:


After that our next chance for decent snow will be Saturday, with up to an inch at this point. And then the big thing to watch is a week from today, where all long range models are pointing to a huge southern low that could bring us snow. How much? Can't say just yet, but it at least has the potential to be a big one. We'll have to wait and see.

UPDATE
We ended up with 0.25" of snow this morning, which as I predicted pretty much made rush hour a nightmare. So little snow with so many problems. Welcome to Columbus.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 11
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 10.25" (Predicted: 4.25")
Season: 36.4"

Updated: 2:16 PM GMT on February 25, 2014

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Summary: February 20th Severe Weather

By: Buckey2745, 6:44 PM GMT on February 21, 2014

Well the evening sort of played out like I thought we did.

We did get a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, only shortly before the second line approached the area, our first Watch of the season.

But what we didn't get was a Severe Thunderstorm Warning as the line moved through. Why? Well, last night in my liveblog I said two things:

At 1:25pm I said: I think now that the two lines will form in to one, right over Central Ohio.

While I went back on that prediction, I really shouldn't have. The next thing I said?

At 9:14pm I said: I actually want to go with my gut on this one and say that the first line will end up weakening the second line, in essence washing it out.

I nailed that one. The 1am radar shows the line beginning to weaken for Columbus and points south:



We didn't get a high wind event with it, or even continued heavy rain. From yesterday morning to early this morning we ended up with 0.39" of rain.

But Central Ohio did not go unscathed as the NWS has done a damage survey up in Delaware and has determined a weak tornado touched down 5 miles east of town. They have yet to release the report but I suspect they rate it EF0.

Today the Wind Advisory remains in effect as we have already had gusts STRONGER than last night's squall line. So far my strongest recording is 32mph.

In the end I think the event was a bit of a bust... unless of course you live in Delaware, mapcat!

Looking Ahead
A couple things to look at:

Sunday could be a light snow event as a cold front moves through and possibly gives us a dusting to an inch. I may write about this tomorrow if I think this will be more than a minor thing.

A couple other chances for snow early next week, too, as then we get yet another arctic blast. Did you think yesterday was the start of Spring? You were wrong.

Take a look at the GFS temperature anomalies for mid-week, looking at 25-30° below normal, which could easily translate to single digits for us again:


Prepare yourself. Winter isn't over by a long shot. I think we have at least one more of these cold blasts left, and perhaps another 8-10" of snow total left in the season.

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 1
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 0
Tornado Watches: 0
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 1
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 0
Excessive Heat Warnings: 0
Red Flag Warnings: 0

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 11
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 10.25" (Predicted: 4.25")
Season: 36.4"


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February 20th Severe Weather: 35° and Lightning

By: Buckey2745, 4:00 PM GMT on February 20, 2014

10:32am
Around 8:30am this morning I was driving in to work, headed toward Columbus when the rain began to fall. And then suddenly across the entire sky, and incredible lightning bolt. It's 35° and lightning.

What I think might be cooler is what TheHermit43130 posted in the comments about it being 33° with sleet and thunder in Lancaster this morning. That's just about as close as you can get to thundersnow if you ask me.

The severe weather season officially started at 3:56am this morning when the National Weather Service gave us our first Flash Flood Watch of the season. Points north and west of us also have a Wind Advisory, but apparently it isn't supposed to be that bad here.

Or will it be?

We're past forecasting, we're close enough for nowcasting and with that I'll probably rely pretty heavily on the RAP and HRRR. If you're in to those things I would highly recommend heading over to weatherbell.com, as that's where I'll post most of my maps from.

Here's what I think we'll see this afternoon:

TWO lines develop. The initial, broken line that'll have stronger, discrete supercells out ahead of it. This is where you'd think our tornado potential might come from, but I think we don't have any instability to fuel those cells.

Behind that is the actual narrow line of storms that'll bring our high wind potential.

What'll be interesting to watch is if these two lines end up congealing in to one massive line. If so, this is where our flooding potential will come from, along with high winds.

For what it's worth the 14th hour of the HRRR is showing two distinct lines:


I'll post more later.

1:25pm
I think now that the two lines will form in to one, right over Central Ohio.

At this point my biggest concern with this system has started to focus from the high wind to the flooding potential. PWATS are well over 1.5" with the brunt of this storm and rainfall totals are over an inch also.

I think high winds will be brief but the rain will be heavy and prolonged for many hours considering the trajectory of this line.

Check out the latest HRRR projected rainfall through 2am:


Some high wind gusts are probable with the initial line of storms, upwards of 50mph. There's that very very slight risk of a spin up tornado with the lead edge of the line just like we had last time a squall line came through.

Here's the probabilities for tonight:
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: 95%
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: 80%
Tornado Watch: 10%
Tornado Warning: 25%

Yes, I have a better chance of seeing a Tornado Warning than Watch tonight because of the unpredictability of these spin up tornadoes.

I'll post later with storm timing.

3:48pm
And now we have the Wind Advisory in effect until 6am.

6:12pm
I think we can expect to see storms begin here in the Columbus area around 9pm. What could help us avoid the high wind scenario is the heavy storms out ahead of the squall line, but that's yet to be seen.

I feel like the worst will be south of us. I'm still calling for our worst threat to be the flooding. We already have areas here around Columbus that are flooding just from snow melt. When you take that, saturated ground, and the heavy rain of up to an inch we'll see tonight, and I think we're in for a pretty rough morning tomorrow.

While the biggest concern for me is the rain, I also feel like wind and a slight chance of spin up tornadoes could be in the cards.

This is the helicity map from the latest RAP model run. Helicity is a good measurement of the amount of shear in the atmosphere which is a key component for tornadoes. And value above 400 is indicative of a very good tornadic environment:


So the spin will be there. If we were to see any spin ups, it'll be in the squall line that moves through around or before midnight, not with any discrete cells that pop out ahead of the line, which sounds counterintuitive.

I'll post again once storms get closer.

9:14pm
I don't think I like the idea of us getting anything impressive with this storm. Two distinct lines have formed, and do not appear as though they're congeal. With these lines, most warnings are either on the northern part of the line, near Indianapolis, or far south where my hometown of Nashville, TN is under a Tornado Warning.

While the second line could certainly intensify as time goes on, I don't have a whole lot of hope:


I actually want to go with my gut on this one and say that the first line will end up weakening the second line, in essence washing it out. That still means we could be in for a heavy rain event, though.

Winds are gusting close to 30mph right now with light rain, so any stronger storms could easily drop 50mph winds.

9:26pm
Now a small Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued, attached just east of the Tornado Watch. But you can see by the placement that the SPC agrees with the worst of it staying north of us, as the watch only comes within a couple counties of Columbus.


I feel like they'll still extend one down across our area, but it may be a couple more hours before they consider that since the area that would hit us is still in southwest Indiana.

Updated: 2:28 AM GMT on February 21, 2014

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Ice Summary, Thursday's Big Storm

By: Buckey2745, 8:38 PM GMT on February 18, 2014

Last night turned out just about how I thought it would. Sleet... freezing rain... and no snow accumulation. What I didn't see coming was as temps rose, they never dropped again. My biggest fear with this storm was a freeze in the overnight hours where anything that had ponded would turn in to a solid sheet of ice.

That never happened, and this storm became a non-event.

However, during the height of the storm, we had some decent rainfall that made for a pretty icy mess on the roads... mainly side roads. Here's a couple pics I snapped last night:


No snow, maybe .25" of sleet and .1" of ice, which was pretty much all gone by morning as our temp hovered about 35° after the precip stopped.

Thursday Spring Preview
The SPC already has us in a slight risk for the Day 3 Outlook, which should tell you something about Thursday's storm:


We don't get slight risks this far out in advance during our peak season, let alone the middle of February.

This storm is going to have two large risks: wind and flooding.

The wind is obvious, as I think this system will be classified as a "bomb" event as the low will be sub-980mb by Friday morning, taking the classic curved approach from the Midwest to north of the Great Lakes, and developing a very strong line of fast moving storms with it.

The map below is relative vorticity, which is an important ingredient in spring and summer to the potential for a thunderstorm to rotate. The problem we'll have Thursday is little to no Cape, so we won't exactly have the spark for large supercells to rotate. So in this case I like to look at the vorticity map to determine areas of high wind potential. Those winds just above the surface that are strong enough to cause that shear and spin in the atmosphere could translate to the surface in the form of straight line winds from a line of thunderstorms. Long story short, this is potent:


Today the temperature has got in to the 40's and snow is melting. This melting will absolutely saturate the ground. Here's to hoping though that it melts a little bit quicker, because this system also has the potential to drop more than an inch of rain. With that kind of precip, plus ground pack that could easily yield a couple inches of liquid itself, we could be in trouble around here.

This being our first severe weather of the season, I already plan on updating tomorrow and liveblogging on Thursday.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 11
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 10.25" (Predicted: 4.25")
Season: 36.4"

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And Then It Changes...

By: Buckey2745, 8:04 PM GMT on February 17, 2014

Last Friday we received 2.25" of snow, which was a decent little snow, but friends to the south got a lot more. Maybe even their biggest snow of the season? For some reason the NWS issues a Winter Weather Advisory late Friday night, by the time the snow stopped. It didn't make much sense to me, but neither does the fact that Port Columbus has over 50" of snow while I've only measured a little over 36" but... anyway.

We weren't done with the snow as another weak disturbance brought about a quarter inch to us yesterday. And now today:



A much more potent system is moving through the area, but the center will pass to our north. That means warm air and not snow, at least for us here in Columbus and points south. An Advisory is out for counties to our north, and Columbus will just be on the lookout for some slick conditions in the overnight.

I've been watching the HRRR all morning and run to run it's been pretty consistent on a period of freezing rain or sleet for the I-70 corridor for a little while after dark. This sim radar from 7pm shows a decent area of frozen precip:


I think for Columbus we don't see any snow. I know that's not what everyone else is saying, but I think we stay all sleet and rain. Our temps are skyrocketing right now and I think that'll be good enough to keep us out of snow. We had a low of and at 3pm we are all the way up to 31.6°.

I think the rush of warm air out ahead of this storm will be enough, even after dark, to keep us in a safe zone. Now that doesn't mean sleet won't cause some problems, but I don't think this will be a serious event for Columbus.

After tonight's event we look toward Thursday, as temps warm up and we may be in for our first severe weather of the season!

Things change quickly in weather, don't they?

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 10
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 10.25" (Predicted: 4.25")
Season: 36.4"

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A Snowy Evening

By: Buckey2745, 6:44 PM GMT on February 14, 2014

Yesterday we got above freezing for the first time since the early morning hours of February 2nd, and only the fourth day since January 27th! It's amazing how 38° can feel so much like 60° after the stretch of arctic cold we've had.

But now it's back to reality.

You know. Winter.

For the past few days I've been seeing this system coming across our area but all models have had weak returns on snowfall.

Maybe that's because that monster east coast storm was watering down all systems after it.

Either way, it's on our doorstep today and it appears the snowfall is heavier and further north than expected. All forecasts up to this point have had the heaviest snow around and south of the Ohio River. Now, seeing this radar, it appears it very well could be right through south central Ohio. That means our dusting could be a little more:


HRRR totals are wanting the south side of Columbus to get upwards of 3", while the Euro, which just completed its latest run not too long ago, is closer to 1" or so.

I'm going to still stay fairly conservative and say we see 1.5" of snow here in Canal Winchester. Maybe 1" or more in Columbus. The real winners will be along and south of route 50 in southern Ohio where 4-5" could pile up.

Another area of light snow will roll through the area Sunday, although for now it looks like we may not get more than a dusting with that one.

Winter gives up next week as I'll post soon about our nice warm up coming in the next week!

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 9
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 7.75" (Predicted: 2.75")
Season: 33.9"

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Sunday Snow, Ushers in More Cold

By: Buckey2745, 8:23 PM GMT on February 09, 2014

Winter Storm "Orion," or some variation of it, brought a shortwave across the Ohio Valley this morning dropping a healthy 2.25" of snow, our 7th biggest snowfall of the season.

Some places north and west of here saw upwards of 3-4" of snow, with very low visibilities in some of the heavier snow bands.

In the short to mid term it looks fairly calm with no major systems in the forecast, with our next potential for snow being Friday to Saturday. However we are looking at yet another potential sub zero morning on Tuesday morning:


So far this year we have had 8 mornings below zero. If we get below three more mornings this year, that will equal the number of sub zero days of the previous 6 years combined! Given our arctic pattern we can't seem to get out of, this seems like a reachable goal.

Sub Zero Mornings
2008: 1
2009: 6
2010: 0
2011: 4
2012: 0
2013: 0
2014: 8

Keep in mind, these numbers are taken from my personal weather station, so the "official" NWS stats may differ.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 9
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 7.75" (Predicted: 2.75")
Season: 33.9"

Updated: 8:24 PM GMT on February 09, 2014

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Cold Night Ahead

By: Buckey2745, 9:51 PM GMT on February 06, 2014



If the HRRR verifies, we are looking at another extremely cold night tonight with a low of -14°. If we get any wind, wind chills will be unbearable.

I say we hit -5° but that's it.

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Summary: Winter Storm Nika

By: Buckey2745, 6:47 PM GMT on February 05, 2014



This was our biggest winter storm in probably three years here in Central Ohio. Winter Storm Nika lived up to its billing. It was our blockbuster.

Snow started around 7:30pm, coming down heavy from the onset. Snowfall rates at its peak were probably on the order of 2" an hour. The snow was loud. It was a fine, but heavy snow, with a lot of water content at times. On many occasions I walked out in the driveway just to see if it really was snow or had changed to sleet because of how loud it was falling.

Finally, about 11:30pm the snow changed to sleet. This was around the time I called it a night and headed to bed, so I'm not exactly sure how long that lasted. However, the end result told the story.

A deep layer of snow sat under 1" of a sheet of frozen sleet, which was covered with a thin layer of ice from some freezing rain that appeared to end the entire event.

Below are some pictures I took. Top left was the snow coming down heavy last night. The two on the right were pictures of the ice coating everything this morning. But the picture on the bottom left tells you the story of the morning commute. This road appears to have been plowed during the storm last night and again this morning. The problem with that? Without a layer of snow to sit on, sleet created a slab of ice on the roads:


If crews had waiting until morning to plow, like they did on the road leading out of my subdivision, you'd have been able to scoop away sleet, ice and snow in one pass since the snow was able to keep all the icy stuff from the road surface.

Overall, based off of snow totals taken overnight, we ended up with 5.5" of snow here in Canal Winchester. An absurd 10" was recorded at the airport, and it just gets me angry every single time I see another inflated total from a location only 10 miles or so from me. Even though the entire county is pretty much reporting 5-7", the airport makes it look like this was a much larger snowfall than it actually was.

I digress.

Here is the snowmap from this storm:


A decent storm that proved just a few miles in the track made all the difference in the world.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 9
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 5.5" (Predicted: 2.75")
Season: 31.65"

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Winter Storm Nika: What Will It Do?

By: Buckey2745, 3:43 PM GMT on February 04, 2014


It really appears that the storm will take a more western track which will bring us little snow, but a possible ice storm.

I've felt all along that this may be a mixed bag, so I want to wait until the latest Euro run verifies what the NAM and GFS are saying now, then I will post my predictions...

UPDATE
The Euro didn't change its stance, still calling for heavy snow right across Central Ohio, but you can't argue with logic and logic says we're in for an ice storm.

Let me preface this post by saying ice is the absolute hardest thing to predict. You can take an educated guess at it, but until the storm is right over you, it's impossible to tell what the different layers of the atmosphere will look like until it happens.

With that being said, here's what I think:

Early
Expect the onset of precip in the Columbus area by 7pm. I think we'll start with snow, as temps should be down below 30° and we're far enough out ahead of the storm that warm air has yet to override our cold pool.

We could have as much as 3-4 hours of snow, which will be the extend of our snow accumulation here in Franklin County.

11pm-4am
A mixed bag. Freezing rain. Sleet. Maybe some snow flakes mixed in there. This is the portion of the even that will seriously limit snowfall accumulations as it'll also be the period of heaviest precip.

Right now if I had to guess, I think we get an extended period of sleet, not the dreaded freezing rain. Sleet isn't nearly as bad, as it won't actually accumulate on power lines or trees, but could still make for hazardous travel.

Morning
Precip comes to an end, rather abruptly too, and I think we may not even see much of a changeover back to snow as we dry out before cold air has enough time to rush back in.

With this scenario we're looking at all of our snowfall totals coming before midnight. After midnight it's just an icy mess out there.

I'm not saying sleet is the only p-type overnight, but I think it may be the dominant, accumulating up to a couple inches on grass and roads. But that mixed with the layer of snow and some freezing rain will make tomorrow a snow emergency day for the counties, probably with some to our far south under a level 3 as they are currently in an Ice Storm Warning.

Forecast
This could be my most aggressive forecast yet because I think I'm going against a lot of recent trends and other forecasts that are out there. I think this will be a significant ice event for us. Even with sleet mixing in I think we will see up to half an inch of ice here in the Columbus area. More ice is possible in the southern and eastern portions of the county.

I have been saying ever since this storm came on our radar than I like the warmer solution. It seems every time we see one of these storms they always end up under performing for snow, and given the warm air that is forecasted to override, I think you take that and make it an icing event.

This is what I'm calling for:


I say 2" of snow here in Canal Winchester.

That area of "crippling ice" is where we could be if this storm takes any kind of jog north. As of now it looks like the low will pass somewhere in southeastern Ohio.

I'll admit, I don't have a ton of confidence in my own forecast. I have posted many times in the past 6 years about ice and snow fooling me, and this very well could be another time. We'll have to wait and see.

UPDATE: 2:55pm
This is proof of how unpredictable this storm is going to be. The 17z HRRR is showing the heavy snow band back over Columbus.

What this model does do a good job of depicting is the short distance between a heavy snow event and heavy ice. In about a 20 mile difference you can see 9" in Canal Winchester to almost nothing in Circleville:


Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 9
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 0" (Predicted: 0.75")
Season: 26.15"

Updated: 7:59 PM GMT on February 04, 2014

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Model Watch for Tue-Wed Storm

By: Buckey2745, 4:00 PM GMT on February 03, 2014

All three models are still sticking with their theories... and they all mean much different scenarios for Central Ohio and the Columbus area.

NAM
With the latest run of the NAM it's still bringing the low pressure right up near Cincinnati and in to east-central Ohio. Of course this solution brings us a much warmer scenario where we could actually see hours of freezing rain, meaning a very dangerously icy situation. The latest 12Z is showing only a very brief moment on the backside where we hit 32°, and quite a few hours in the overnight Tue to Wed morning where the 850 temps are above freezing.

This, to me, is worst case scenario. For snow lovers of course it's bad because we are looking at maybe a couple inches of snow.

But... this isn't the most far fetched model.

EURO
The award for most far fetched model I believe goes to Euro for it's late night run last night, shifting the low pressure further west in a line from east Tennessee to western West Virginia, but increasing snowfall amounts for us here in the Columbus area. The Euro actually thinks the heaviest swath will be right across the Columbus area, bringing us a huge 10" event and no ice.

I find all of this hard to believe. This storm will have a warm core, bringing with it Gulf moisture, so the thought that the warm air will not override and bring us a mixed bag here in Columbus with that close of a low pressure passage just doesn't seem right. We'll have to wait until the afternoon guidance comes out to see if the Euro has straightened this out, because I'm tossing this out the window for now.

GFS
For now, I'm going with the safe and steady GFS on this storm. It seems to have everything figured out as it's been pretty consistent with each run. The latest 12Z run is forecasting the most easterly track (which I don't really agree with, I'll get to that in a moment), and the most "middle of the road" snowfall totals.

The GFS shows the low passing through southern and eastern WV early Wednesday morning. Now while I said I don't agree with the low placement, I do agree with the general picture it paints for this system.

As of now the GFS keeps us all snow. But, if you move the track to more of a western track, closer to the Euro track, I think you get a better idea of what we'll see here in Columbus.

Look at where the GFS has the low just after midnight Wednesday. And the precipitation types? Move those about 25 miles to the north and I think that's what we'll see:


So while I don't plan on putting out numbers until tonight or even tomorrow morning when I feel a little more confident, I think the track has been figured out. Now... how much warm air overrides? How long will we see sleet or freezing rain cut back our snow totals? Or... is the Euro not so crazy to think our cold air dams at the surface and aloft to hold off any warm surge?

This is where things get fun.

We're already under a Winter Storm Watch, which I expect to get upgraded to a Warning by morning. Check back often, as I may post again soon if new models show more consistency.

UPDATE: 4:22pm
There's the Winter Storm Warning for the Columbus Metro. Hard to believe it's only our second of the season:


Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 9
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 3
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")
February: 0" (Predicted: 0.75")
Season: 26.15"

Updated: 9:23 PM GMT on February 03, 2014

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Sunday Update

By: Buckey2745, 9:58 PM GMT on February 02, 2014

I didn't plan on posting again today but the southern extend of Winter Storm "Maximus" appears it'll come close enough to us here in the Columbus area to be an issue overnight.

Currently snow is working across the Ohio River toward our area, but I still think the heaviest snows will stay down that way and not in and around Columbus. Why? Because dry air has been inhibiting snow as it moves toward the dryer air that has set in post frontal:



I think we could see the precipitation shield reach as far north as NW Franklin County, and with about 3-4 hours of light to moderate snow in the overnight hours, I think we could see a little accumulation.

I don't want to go as far as drawing an entire snowfall map for this event, but it's a tight gradient from NW to SE. From least to most, here's what we should see by tomorrow:

Dublin: 0.25"
Columbus: 0.50"
Canal Winchester: 0.75"
Lancaster: 1.5"
Logan: 3"

In a straight line down US33 were the totals I highlighted, which would give you a pretty good visual of where the gradient is if you wanted to paint totals anywhere west or east of that line.

This could be a HUGE storm for southern Ohio and northern Kentucky where I think they will end up with 6-7" of snow.

UPDATE ON MIDWEEK STORM
The closer this gets and the more the models are coming in to agreement, this thing could be a monster. The three major models disagree on the placement of the low by about 100 miles total, but that's huge when it comes to ice and snow totals. Or... even just plain rain totals for some areas to our south. Here's the spread between the models:


The Euro is currently bringing us the most snow from this, but I'm not even ready to discuss totals yet. What interests me more right now is the placement of the low, and the way the Euro not only takes it further south, but almost on a curved trajectory would mean the most winter weather for us.

Notice I didn't say snow.

Because for right now this is going to be too close to call on freezing rain, sleet, snow, rain... all. As of right now I feel like we may see all of these at one point over a 24 hour period here in the Columbus area.

This has the makings of our biggest storm of the season. The impacts could be crippling if we have a long lasting icing event. It could be pretty bad too if we get hit with the dreaded heavy snow that this city seems to shut down for, too.

Early prediction: I still say this system comes in a little warmer than even some of the last second high resolution models will show. How will that affect us? That'll still depend on track, which is why I'm not ready to say for sure yet what we will have and how much. What I do think is north of Columbus will be the big winners in this one, with most likely all snow. Columbus will be right there in that transition zone where I think we could be either/or. Snow. Sleet. Freezing rain. And south? That's where we could see quite a bit of rain or even a decent icing event before the rain takes over.

I will post again tomorrow.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 9
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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About Buckey2745

I'm a 29 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.

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Lehman Estates
Canal Winchester, OH
Elevation: 754 ft
Temperature: 60.3 °F
Dew Point: 40.0 °F
Humidity: 47%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 8:59 PM EDT on April 18, 2014

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