Saturday, December 22, 2012

Next Week's Snow & Christmas Lights

For weeks now, I've been harping on the pattern shift and how our snow chances were going to climb heading into the Christmas holiday. Snow #1 was yesterday.

There is nothing better than seeing a freshly fallen snow over lit Christmas lights.

Snow #2 will be next Wednesday and/or Thursday as many people will be traveling.
Here is one computer projection's (GFS) estimate. It paints a big bulls eye over Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The models have been consistent in taking this storm along a southern track through Tennessee which would keep Ohio and Pennsylvania in the COLDER air mass. A lot of uncertainty on the specific timing and how much of a northerly push this storm will make. More on this developing snow later this weekend. Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012

First Snow of the Season; First Since Early March

The pattern shift to a more cold and snowy one (that we talked about weeks ago) is finally upon us. And with this shift, the first snow of the winter which is falling, appropriately enough, on the winter solstice. Yesterday, a neat double rainbow was sighted by many people. Here is a photo of the double rainbow taken over the lake.

The last time we had a stretch without at least 1" of snow was in the 1920s! So far, the accumulations as of early Friday morning have been on grassy surfaces.
Coating of snow in Chesterland early Friday morning
The radar still shows some dry air being pulled into the system. This happens in lows that spin over the Great Lakes. So a burst of blowing snow followed by a drier break is not that uncommon.

Here are the initial snowfall projections I went with on Thursday. These numbers indicate the snowfall through early Friday evening. Everyone will get at least 1-3" by sundown.

Factor in the localized lake effect today through early Saturday. Total accumulations are as follows. Most areas will get a good 2-4" by early Saturday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Weather is Coming...and It Feels Good!

Weather forecasting is like playing a round of golf. Sometimes you hit a great shot. Maybe a 40 foot putt or a 190 yard approach shot 3 feet from the cup. The feeling is tremendous! Your the man! You can conquer ANYTHING! The adrenaline rush is euphoric. Then comes the next hole. You tee off and shank the ball into the woods another zip code away. That adrenaline rush is quickly replaced with the dejected feeling of failure.

Last winter, the feeling of failure was palpable in early December. I cautiously called for a few quick snows but the pattern different cooperate. Like my golf game, my tee shots were in the woods. I learned from my mistakes and promised to apply what I learned to this winter's forecast. So far, my prediction of a pattern reversal later this month feels like a 40 foot putt and a 190 yard approach shot all rolled into one. It feels great. So let me ride my wave of euphoria. Let me bask in the glory of my accurate forecast I tweeted and "Facebooked" weeks ago. Let me enjoy it. Let me brag a little...ring my own bell.  Because like golf, weather forecasts have a tendency to humble you REAL FAST...knock you down to size.  So in the back of my mind, I know the other shoe will some point.

Now to the the weather and the snow potential for Christmas.

Look at the winds aloft. The "digging" in the middle of the country is the key. It steers the storm system south and back up to the northeast. All the while, it pulls cold air in behind.

Thursday storm will deepen. Temps will climb into the 50s ahead of the front early in the day. Look at the COLD temps behind the front. Expect temps to fall into the lower 30s by early evening

The storm will head into Michigan by late afternoon. the "R" is the rain. The "S" is the snow on the back end.
Preliminary snowfall projections show a good accumulating snow across more than 80% of Northeastern Ohio by Friday afternoon. The "C" is Cleveland. The "A" is Akron. Check the legend on the right for the amount that represents your town.  A lot can change. Lake Erie winds will complicate the snowfall projections so look for more updates right here!