I'm a 31 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.
By: Buckey2745 , 8:50 PM GMT on December 19, 2012
For the record I wasn't a huge fan of The Weather Channel naming winter storms at first. Naming a storm that wouldn't get named if it were Spring seems corny. But as time's gone on I've began to accept it. That's my rant.
Draco is comin together and making its way from the Western Plains toward Chicago over the next 24 hours. It's within that next 24 hours that Ohio will begin to feel the effects. In fact tomorrow morning should begin our rain. With every post this storm has added a more significant impact to our area. Here's the latest:
High Winds Probable
Foot in mouth. Yesterday I wrote that winds would probably stay below Advisory criteria. Well with the latest forecast discussion from Wilmington, it appears the winds will ramp up just enough:
MOST OF THE MODEL SOUNDINGS ARE KEEPING
WIND GUSTS UNDER HIGH WIND WARNING THRESHOLDS AND THEREFORE
DECIDED NOT TO GO WITH A HIGH WIND WATCH. A WIND ADVISORY WILL
LIKELY BE NEEDED WITH A FUTURE FORECAST PACKAGE AS FORECAST WIND
GUSTS FALL WITHIN WIND ADVISORY CRITERIA ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA.
WENT WITH WIND GUSTS THURSDAY NIGHT AROUND 40 TO 55 MPH.
I still believe sometimes that Wilmington overshoots their estimates, but this storm does appear it'll pack that kind of punch.
Most models are indicating winds late Thursday in to the day Friday to be in the 26-32mph sustained range, like the NAM below:
NAM Friday morning, map type: winds (kts)
Snow Still Possible
I'm not ready to predict snow totals until tomorrow morning, but it does appear that we'll at least see snow showers overnight Thursday in to the day Friday. Accumulations will be light, and they'll be almost impossible to measure. With gusts still in the 40mph range, all surfaces should be blown clear.
I still don't have a very high confidence that we'll see much above a dusting here in Franklin County, but some estimates are already coming in with up to 3 inches to our north. I'll have official predictions tomorrow on the snow.
As soon as I posted this entry the NWS put out an unexpected Advisory for the Columbus area and points westward. A Winter Weather Advisory, not the expected Wind Advisory (which was actually issued for points south):
...COMBINATION OF LIGHT SNOW AND VERY STRONG WINDS TO AFFECT THE AREA...
.IN THE WAKE OF A STRONG COLD FRONT THAT MOVES THROUGH LATE
THURSDAY AFTERNOON...STRONG WINDS WILL DEVELOP...WITH SUSTAINED
WINDS FROM 25 TO 35 MPH...AND GUSTS TO 50 MPH. THE COLD FRONT WILL
BRING A RAPID DROP IN TEMPERATURES FROM THE UPPER 40S TO THE MID
20S THURSDAY EVENING...WHICH MAY CAUSE WET ROAD SURFACES TO
BECOME SLIPPERY. LATER THURSDAY EVENING AN AREA OF LIGHT SNOW AND
SNOW SHOWERS WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA WITH ACCUMULATIONS
THURSDAY NIGHT AROUND AN INCH. ADDITIONAL SNOW AND SNOW SHOWERS
WILL CONTINUE FRIDAY WITH ANOTHER INCH POSSIBLE. ALL THE
WHILE...STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE...AND THE COMBINATION OF THE
REDUCED VISIBILITIES IN FALLING SNOW...TEMPERATURES BELOW
FREEZING...WARM PAVEMENT TEMPERATURES...AND STRONG WINDS WILL
CREATE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL IN THE ADVISORY AREA.
Quick Look Ahead
It's still 7 days out and impossible to predict, but all models are depecting a major winter storm this time next week, right after Christmas. The storm track could be the one we've been looking for, a "ridge runner," which would bring us our first significant snowfall of the season. I'll be writing much more about this after Draco's passage.
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