February has started quite cold across the Valley but the weather over the next 5-7 days will probably cement February 2015 as one of the coldest on record around here.
The cold will come in two waves. The first cold front is out over the Plains this morning: This front will spark some snow showers, starting early this evening. 5pm simulated radar: Snow showers will visit occasionally overnight into Thursday. Thursday 8am predicted radar: Snow accumulations will be pretty modest in the Valley; generally a coating to an inch…possibly two. Here are the NWS odds of more than 1″ of snow: Highest NE of Youngstown.
Wind chills (and temperatures) will drop all day Thursday. So, it will feel quite a bit worse AFTER work/school than before. Wind chills at 7am: 7pm: 7am Friday…wind chills still around -10 or so: Winds on Thursday will be sustained at 12-22mph with gusts to 30. A harsh afternoon!
Friday will be a very cold day but at least the wind will diminish.
Saturday’s system will be stronger with even colder air behind it. Here’s the weather map at midday Saturday: This shows lots of snow showers swirling around the Great Lakes. Notice how closely packed the isobars (lines of equal pressure) are. Will turn very windy. Temperatures will fall all afternoon. There can probably be 1-3″ of snow Saturday and the wind will cause a lot of blowing snow. Cleared roads can be covered up again by blowing snow, especially in open areas. Have a date night planned for Valentine’s Day? Get ready for wind chills that look like this:
The wind will continue to crank Saturday night into Sunday and with the coldest air of the season drilling in, conditions will turn dangerous by the start of Sunday. Frostbite can occur in 15-30 minutes in these conditions: Be ready for these possibilities Sunday morning:
1) Frozen pipes
2) Car batteries dying
3) Pets needing to stay indoors
And that’s not the end of the story. While we are a long way from knowing the details, there’s a decent chance for a winter storm Tuesday, as shown on the GFS model: Again, we don’t know the details at this early stage. Stay tuned.