We all knew it was coming. Temperatures have been way too warm for way too long. This happens in November every year it seems. We are teased into thinking that winter won't happen or that it'll be delayed for some extraordinary amount of time, maybe until January. In reality, it never works out that way.
At this time last year, temps were somewhat warm. This map below is a birds-eye view over the North Pole looking at the surface temperatures. Northeastern Ohio is on the far left as we look south (to the right). Notice as the temperatures were warmer here in Cleveland, the cold air was building over the north pole.
By Thanksgiving and into the first week of December, pieces of this arctic air began to break off and seep south into Asia and Canada.
By the middle of December, arctic air was pushing into the northern half of the US.
This upcoming week--like a trip to the dentist--will be the wake up call we all knew was coming. Just like last year, cold air is building over the north pole and Siberia. All it will take is a strong cold front to extract that cold air sliding into the eastern US and northeastern Ohio. Here is how I think it will shake down.
Late this weekend into Monday, temperatures will start to climb quiet a bit. Notice the cold air starting to push south at the top of the following map. (Maps courtesy: Intellicast.com)
A strong cold will push east late Tuesday into Wednesday producing some rain and gusty winds.
Today (Friday), cold air is slidding over Hudson Bay and is visible with the lake clouds its created on this visible satellite loop (Click image for the animation).
By Thanksgiving, temps will start to fall somewhat...cold enough for some wet snow late.
By Friday and Saturday, the air gets cold enough for Lake Effect snow with a series of Alberta Clippers thrown in for good measure.
The bottom line: Late next week and into the first half of the Thanksgiving Weekend, many spots around Northeastern Ohio will have a good amount of snow on the ground. Expect flight delays and slick road Friday and Saturday.