The full suite of midday Sunday operational models are in and now we have to take a stab at predicting what will happen Monday night into Tuesday. Overall forecast confidence is NOT as high as we would like it to be. It’s important to check the forecast often over the next 24 hours as we fine tune things.
FIRST: MINOR SNOW EVENT TONIGHT INTO MONDAY
A warm front will track our way tonight and will spread some light snow into the region. This is not the “storm” so let’s not be fooled into thinking this showed up 24 hours early.
The snow is off to our west this afternoon:
Hi-res radar through 3am Monday:
This light snow can add up to a fluffy 1″ or so (locally 2″) through tomorrow afternoon.
THE MAIN “STORM”
Monday evening, a storm will be taking shape across the Lower Mississippi Valley, tracking northeast. The track of the low pressure area is key to our forecast. The arctic air that is in place over the region now will get dislodged tomorrow so the system will not be heading into a super cold air mass. Therefore it will be easy for rain to occur near and to the east of the center of the system.
The low seems to be headed near or just east of Pittsburgh by Tuesday morning.
That is going to drag the mild air awfully close to the viewing area. I think surface temperatures will be near 32 most of Monday night and Tuesday morning. The question will be: what’s the temperature like a few hundred and thousand feet above our heads?
If it gets to 32 and above in a deep enough layer, sleet, freezing rain and perhaps plain rain could get involved for a time. I think this is most likely SE of Youngstown.
So, there are challenges.
One thing we are pretty confident about is timing. After our light snow earlier in the day, snow should pick up again between 8pm-1am Monday night/Tuesday morning.
Precipitation should taper off by midday Tuesday.
That means the steadiest, heaviest precipitation is likely between 3am-9am.
This storm will certainly impact the morning commute on Tuesday. Many roads, especially major roads, may be primarily wet, depending on the intensity of the snow and whether a mix with rain or even a changeover to rain occurred. Again, best chance of that is southeast of Youngstown.
This will be a WET snow, great for making snowballs but not so easy to shovel. It could be made worse if liquid precipitation or sleet falls on top of it. Be careful when shoveling.
The heavy nature of the snow and the possibility of some freezing rain means I can’t rule out isolated power outages. Tree branches and power lines might be weighed down. Don’t want to emphasize this too much but it’s worth a mention.
This is a tricky one. Again, check forecast often. Think the highest totals are likely from Youngstown north and west but this is greatly dependent on exact track of system and whether mixed precipitation occurs. Some places in the 2-4″ zone may get more than 4″ if no mixing happens.
Our confidence in the specifics will increase as we get closer.
Thanks for reading.