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LiveBlog: Season's Last Big Storm, Saturn, Hits Ohio

By: Buckey2745 , 3:48 PM GMT on March 05, 2013

This is a LiveBlog of Saturn's impacts on Ohio. Newest entries are at the bottom.

Even with Saturn quickly approaching from the southwest, computer models still can't come in agreement with placement and intensity of snowfall. Yesterday the NWS issues a Winter Storm Warning with the headline of "5-7 inches of snow." Today it's 4-8", but with the actual forecast for southeastern Franklin County at 1-3", with some 2-4" predictions just a few miles west.

Right now if you believe computer models it appears the western portion of the state will get the worst of it, with upwards of a foot of snow.

The best we can do now is just pay attention to upper air soundings, radar and low trajectory. That'll tell us all we need to know. And right now it's looking like most of today will saddle us with rain and sleet, with a changeover happening after dark.

My concern is with a warm pocket of air that may stay behind as the low exits, leaving us with possibly heavy sleet on the backside during the best accumulation time for snow. If this occurs, like I'm afraid might happen, our totals will bottom out from the 5" I predicted to maybe an inch or two. This storm could be a bust.

A large dry slot exists between our morning precip which gave us our first accumulation of the storm, a dusting, and the main low. Our eyes need to be to the west where the deformation axis will setup on the backside and bring us our snow. More later...

This ensemble model shows what I was referencing earlier with a pocket of warm air staying behind leaving us with a much longer duration of rain/sleet. This is from 11pm tonight, with this model not showing a transition to all sleet until 2am and all snow at 4am, which would pretty much drop us below warning criteria for this storm:

You can find this by accessing the SPC's Storm-Scale Ensemble here.

The low pressure is already in southern Ohio and slowly moving east. The freezing temps are already as close as Dayton:

Once the changeover happens, which should be in the next two to three hours, we could have snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour.

Snow has started here in Canal Winchester with large wet flakes. Since changeover started sooner than expected we'll probably see accumulation on the higher end.

At 11:25pm snow totaled 2" here in Canal Winchester. That's an average of a little over an inch an hour. Snow is still coming down hard but a dry slot is beginning to develop just south of here that makes me think we may get a reprieve for a while:

The constantly heavy snow will probably end a little after midnight with a few scattered patches of heavy snow, so I don't expect an inch an hour to keep up, but with snow not ending until daybreak I think 5" will easily be achieved for all areas of Franklin County.

The most exciting part of this storm that I never anticipated was a report through a scientific discussion this evening:


The chances of any thunder have passed. You'll find it right in that transition from rain to snow when the lift in the atmosphere is at it's greatest, so with two hours in the snow now we'll have to wait for another winter storm to experience that.

That's it for this evening, I'll have a wrap up tomorrow.

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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13. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:03 PM GMT on March 06, 2013
Buckey2745 has created a new entry.
12. Buckey2745
4:49 AM GMT on March 06, 2013
Some of the heaviest snow I've seen in quite a while. Imagine now much of a monster this would have been with more cold air infused in from the start!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. AnalogueKid
3:17 AM GMT on March 06, 2013
It's been coming down pretty heavy here in NW Columbus for the last hour as well.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. MantaRay1
10:10 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Yeah, it's gotta make you wonder. The HPC maps are still showing a 70% chance of greater then or equal to 4 inches, for what that's worth. Drops to 30% for 6 or greater. That's still a pretty solid chance!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. Buckey2745
9:54 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Yeah it makes me think they're not sold on the NAM either...
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8. MantaRay1
9:37 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Weird that nws updated the WSW, instead of dropping it to advisory!
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7. Buckey2745
8:50 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
I know! These southern lows are the big ones. I'm still wishcasting a quick turnover of snow this evening but with temps in the 40's it makes it difficult.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. MantaRay1
7:39 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
This... This makes mr sad. Could've been a big one!
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5. Buckey2745
7:06 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Ya know what I've been looking but I don't think the Euro puts out a snowfall total forecast. It's strange, because you're right, lately it seems to have taken the led on accuracy.

But I agree this may not the monster it once was. It really is going to be down to how long that warm air at the surface sticks around, because I believe aloft it'll cool rather quickly after the low gets east.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. AnalogueKid
5:54 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
It's definitely looking like this won't be the big deal that was forecast yesterday evening.

Following up on MantaRay1's question, do you have access to the Euro forecast model? Since that one seems to be the most accurate of late, I'm curious what it is showing.
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3. MantaRay1
5:04 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Thanks so much!
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2. Buckey2745
4:34 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Of course!

For GFS I use:
http://wxcaster.com/gis-gfs-snow-overlays.php3?ST ATIONID=ILN

And for NAM I use:
http://wxcaster.com/gis-snow-overlays.php3?STATIO NID=ILN
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. MantaRay1
4:17 PM GMT on March 05, 2013
Just curious, do you have a link to where you pull images from? I especially was curious about the image from yesterday based on the GFS model, showing predicted snowfalls. Thanks!
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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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