No-Hype Analysis of Upcoming Weather Pattern, Including “Potential” Storm

We are busting out of the Deep Freeze late this week, with temperatures in the 20s this afternoon, near freezing Friday and near 40 on Saturday. However, with a front settling across the region tonight through Saturday morning, a little snow will fall at times.

One of the tools meteorologists use in the short range is the “Short Range Ensemble Forecast” model and it looks like this:

sref

The most recent run of that model is the green line, while the oldest is the blue. The trend on this and other models has been LESS predicted snow each run. The most recent run gives the Youngstown area a total of 1.3″ between Thursday night and Saturday morning. Snow that does fall will be very light and travel headaches should be minimal.

By Saturday afternoon and evening, the atmosphere will have warmed enough that an approaching cold front will produce RAIN, not snow. Check out the nice surge of milder air coming north on Saturday’s high temperature map:

highssat

Behind the cold front, next week will start colder, but thankfully not as cold as it has been.

Now, what about the midweek storm????

It seems likely that there will be a significant storm system approaching from the southwest late Tuesday into Wednesday. That said, the weather disturbance that will lead to the storm is wayyyyy out over the Pacific right now. In fact it’s just south of Alaska:

stormnow

Until the disturbance makes it onto the mainland US this weekend, computer models will not be completely trusted by experienced meteorologists.

That said, right now the models have the same “general” idea with how things will evolve. Here’s the European model for Tuesday night. It has low pressure in southwest Ohio, with a warm front nosing into northeast Ohio:

EUROSTORM

The GFS model has a similar look:

GFSSTORM

If this does in fact end up being the exact placement of these features, we would likely have several hours of snow Tuesday evening, then a risk for mixed precipitation. Why could freezing rain and/or sleet take over? The air 3,000-6,000 feet above our heads may warm to above freezing, resulting in falling snow melting.

Here’s the projected freezing line at around 5,000 feet Tuesday night at 1am:

euro850

As I said, until the weekend, I am going to take everything the models say with a grain of salt. I am showing you the most LIKELY scenarios based on the CURRENT information, but this information is likely to change at least a little over the next few days.

IF mixed precipitation does occur, snow amounts could be cut by a significant margin. If there is little or no mixing, this storm, based on the current information, has the potential to bring at least a half a foot of snow.

I will of course keep you updated here, on TV, on social media and on my Weather For Weather Geeks video.

After the storm….COLD! Latest computer models paint a very cold picture for the 2nd week of February:

gefs

Winter is, sigh, FAR from over.

Thanks for reading!

Eric

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