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      The big snowmelt begins

      For the first time since last Sunday, temperatures finally cracked the freezing mark in northwest Ohio Friday morning. And it looks like the mercury will stay above freezing until late Saturday night, as the bitterly cold air has retreated all the way back up into Canada, replaced by a seasonably mild air mass. Even though itâ??s warmer, with highs Friday in the upper 30s and some spots even getting into the lower 40s, it will be a gloomy finish to the week, with overcast skies and a few areas of mist and drizzle as we go through the day.

      A larger storm system will move in Friday night, bringing widespread and steady rainfall to our area, really picking up after 9 p.m. So if you have any evening plans, you may want to bring your umbrella with you. It will certainly be warm enough for any precipitation to fall as just rain, as weâ??ll start off the evening in the upper 30s, climbing into the lower 40s by sunrise Saturday. The steady rain will become more scattered for Saturday morning before ending Saturday afternoon. A cold front will also swing through Saturday morning, knocking temperatures back into the 30s for the p.m. hours. The winds will also increase Saturday and Saturday night, gusting to 30 mph out of the west, adding a nip to the air. The second half of the weekend will be dry, but it will stay breezy for Sunday with highs back in the upper 30s.

      Thereâ??s still a threat of some localized flooding this weekend as the rains move in and the snowpack melts away. Total rainfall Friday night and Saturday will total between .25â?? and 1.00â??. The iced over rivers and streams will also begin to thaw, but doing so will lead to chunks of ice that may cause ice jams, further adding to the flood threat. With all the variables at play, itâ??s difficult to determine the exact level of flooding that will occur until we get into farther into this storm system, so continue to monitor the forecast and weâ??ll make sure to update you if any advisories or warnings are issued. Have a great weekend!