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Winter Storm Q: Ohio, Two Days Out

By: Buckey2745 , 9:27 PM GMT on February 20, 2013

The past few days have been somewhat active, all things considered, with 1.35" of snow that I never predicted or wrote about. By this point in the season I've become so skeptical of all backside snow, lake effect showers, and just about any small scale event that I discount it. Between Friday, Saturday and yesterday, we got enough snow to put our season snowfall totals over 20"! For those who didn't follow me at the beginning of the season, I predicted 20" for our winter. Not bad.

But now comes Winter Storm Q, the first major US storm to actually have any effect on us in quite some time. Parts of the midwest could be looking at 2 feet of snow from a system that'll pass just west of us but still bring us some winter weather.

The Setup
Yesterday a strong cold front passed through, dropping our temperatures pretty low last night, around 16°. That cold arctic air left behind by the deepening trough will stay in place for at least the next 36-40 hours, setting us up for the next component of the setup.

The storm.

ECMWF Friday morning. Overlayed are the cold (blue) temps at the surface coupled with the warm (red) air aloft. The convergance zone should bring us ice.

"Q" is a deepening low over the midwest that is powerful enough to entend moisture far from the center of the storm, allowing warm air to surge in alot well ahead of the main storm. This means our temperatures near the surface will be in the mid 20's Friday morning, while above freezing in the clouds. With our artic air being shallow, all precip being brought in Friday morning should fall as rain or sleet, with everything freezing on contact.

Most computer models are suggesting the system weakening as it reaches us, meaning there may not be a ton of moisture with this system, at least not during our prime freezing time.

What this means is we could have a few dicey hours Friday morning until the warm air finally overtakes all levels of the atmosphere, rendering the ground too warm to support freezing rain.

I plan on writing my final predictions tomorrow, but I wouldn't be surprised if by tomorrow afternoon they have a Freezing Rain Advisory for our area.

I'll have an update tomorrow morning.

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

Snowfall Totals:
October: 0.1" (Predicted: 0.1")
November: 0" (Predicted: 0.1")
December: 10.25" (Predicted: 10")
January: 3" (Predicted: 1.5")
February: 7.35" (Predicted: 5.75")
Season: 20.7"

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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8:36 PM GMT on February 21, 2013
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About Buckey2745

I'm a 31 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.

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