Despite the hints of spring to start our week, do not put the snow shovels and blowers away yet. There??s another major winter storm brewing that is expected bring a fresh coating of the white stuff to northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
First, the good news: Temperatures will be at seasonable levels today and Tuesday, with highs in the mid 40s. Some light rain will be possible Monday morning as a weak disturbance passes, but at least it??s warm enough that any precip will fall as rain. That won??t be the case by Wednesday morning.
The storm that will bring another round of snow is currently positioned over the Pacific Northwest, and will be gaining strength as it moves across the country over the next 48 hours. The center of the storm will move right along the Ohio River, positioning us on the cold side of the system and right in the primary band of snow that is expected to develop.
The storm will kick into gear starting late Tuesday night, likely beginning as rain. But as colder air is drawn in by the storm, the rain will transition to a wintry mix overnight, with a slight chance for some freezing rain in some spots. By sunrise Wednesday, all of the precipitation will have switched over to snow, which will be heavy at times. Not only will the peak of the storm occur during the morning rush, but the snow will be combined with strong winds gusting to 30 mph, causing blowing snow and reduced visibilities. Expect major travel impacts with this storm. The snow will diminish in the afternoon as the storm pushes east.
Right now, I expect between 3 and 7 inches of fresh accumulation for most of us, though some tweaking is still possible as our forecasting models finalize the storm??s track. The final snowpack on the ground might also be a little less, because the ground will be warm at the start of the storm, allowing some of the early snow to melt. However, any melted snow may form into a thin layer of ice at the bottom of the new snowpack, adding to the slippery conditions.
Bitter cold air will linger around after the storm, with possible record lows Thursday morning in the single digits. But this cold snap won??t last for long, with temps back in the 40s for Friday. What a roller coaster ride this week is going to be!
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