Saturday, January 03, 2015

Current Radar Loops - Freezing Rain, Steady Rain, Arctic Air

Spotty freezing (rain that hits the ground and freezes on untreated surfaces) will be mixed in with general rain this morning. The transition to all rain will continue by late morning as temperatures climb into the upper 30s, lower 40s by mid afternoon.

Rainfall amounts will be significant. See graphic below.

Current OHIO temperatures

Current Ohio Valley radar loop
Central Great Lakes sector loop

Temps will climb into the 50s tonight and early Sunday then drop by late afternoon.

Arctic air returns next week with lake effect on Monday, General "Clipper Snow" Tuesday for all of northern Ohio (several inches very possible) then more lake effect Wednesday and early Thursday. Its not only Cleveland and northern Ohio. Much of the eastern 2/3rds of the US will experience temperatures similar to last January.

Lake Erie water temperature is 37. Typically we need an approximately 23 degree temperature difference (Fahrenheit scale) between the lake water and the air aloft (5000 foot level) for lake effect to develop. That puts the threshold at 14 degrees Fahrenheit at 5000 feet. By Wednesday of next week, the temperature will drop to -9!  Again, this is all in Fahrenheit.  (-22 to -25 for meteorological purposes in northern Ohio). For comparison, the "Polar Vortex" event last January had a 5000 foot temperature (850 mB) of -23.

Daytime highs might stay in the single digits Thursday according to one projection.

I hesitate to give snowfall projections this far out. But considering that the extended models have been very consistent with this arctic air or late (some too warm; some too far west with the cold), posting a preliminary snow forecast seem reasonable. TUESDAY'S CLIPPER could drop between 2-4"+ across northern Ohio.

By the end of next week, significant snow cover will blanket much of the snowbelt.  Get ready.  Winter is back!

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