We told you in our Winter Forecast that December would be MUCH different than December 2015 and that is certainly panning out. Winter is going to continue to pummel us for a few more days until the pattern relaxes early next week.
Very cold air has already settled into the region this morning, with temperatures particularly frigid to our west.
Temperatures will only make it into the lower 20s today with wind chills in the lower teens much of the time. But the REAL arctic air is on the way tonight through Friday. By tomorrow morning the wind will be howling and air temperatures will be in the single digits in most spots. Wind chills? Yuck.
This is the kind of cold in which we (for reasons beyond understanding) have to remind people to bring their pets in. You’d think it is common sense, but……
Count on plenty of school adjustments Thursday morning. We don’t make that call and I am often surprised at what school districts decide to do but this seems like a no brainer.
The unusual December cold is thans to a pattern that has allowed a lobe of the (cue ominous music) POLAR VORTEX to come much farther south than it’s usual home (the, well, polar regions).
Wind chills Friday morning will not be as harsh, generally 2 to 7 below…probably still enough to cause delays. Air temperatures? 0 to 4 above.
With all this arctic air going over the Great Lakes, you know there will be a healthy amount of lake-effect snow. It will get going tonight and continue into early tomorrow night.
Of course the highest amounts will be in the primary snow belt but several inches is likely in parts of Trumbull and Mercer counties.
“GENERAL SNOW FRIDAY NIGHT”
A strong warm front will approach Friday night and we expect snow to break out before midnight. At first, this will be “high ratio” snow, perhaps a 20:1 liquid to snow ratio (instead of typical 12:1 or 10:1). This will translate into the snow accumulating quickly during the first several hours of snowfall. It will get “wetter” by early Saturday morning.
When true arctic air is dislodged it is usually a bumpy ride and there may be a period of freezing rain/mixed precipitation around daybreak Saturday.
Thankfully a transition to “plain” rain will occur as temperatures warm into the 40s.
How much snow? I think this will easily be enough to shovel and plow. Thinking 3-5″ is fairly likely.
We’ll have ONE MORE arctic blast behind this system for Sunday night/Monday before a milder pattern takes hold. That milder pattern is likely to last through Christmas and even into the New Year.