A Messy Morning Commute Is Likely Across Much of Northern Ohio.

It’s time for a warm up!  After several days of chilly Arctic air and wind chills around zero, we’re finally going to get a little break as temperatures march toward 50 or better by Wednesday!  But in the process, the warm front bringing the warmer air is going to cause some issues with snow, freezing rain and sleet all possible early Tuesday morning.

First, a band of moderate snow will move through the northern half of Ohio, bringing around an inch of snow to many places.  Some places in the higher terrain east of Cleveland may receive slightly higher amounts.  The snow will start 9-10 PM in Western Ohio and reach Columbus around midnight and Cleveland around 2 AM.  Places like Ashtabula and Youngstown will begin seeing snow by 4 AM. Behind it will be a quick break in the action before round two moves in to the state.

 

The first initial round of snow will move in from 9 PM through 4 AM from west to east across the northern half of Ohio. Up to an inch of snow is possible.

Some snow may precede the freezing rain initially but the freezing will eventually take over fairly quickly from west to east.  Freezing rain and perhaps some sleet will start in western Ohio around 4 AM and quickly increase in coverage and intensity.  By 7 AM, freezing rain will spread over an area that includes Columbus, Mansfield, Findlay, Toledo, Lorain, Medina and the west side of Cleveland.  A period of 3-5 hours of freezing is likely in many locations, especially north of US Route 30.  By noon, everything will transition to rain but we’ll also see the rain become more scattered with moderate rainfall working into the state between 1 PM in western Ohio to 4 PM for much of the rest of the state.

Freezing rain moves across the northern half of Ohio through the morning hours. A glaze of ice is expected but we may see some additional ice in some areas.

 

By 3 PM, rain will overspread much of the state. Winds will also be strong out of the south with sustained winds of 20-30 MPH with gusts as high as 50 MPH in spots.

Quick Facts
  • Winter Weather Advisory and Freezing Rain Advisory in effect (see image below)
  • Snow accumulations around an inch possible.
  • Freezing rain will build in early Tuesday morning, making for a tricky commute.
  • Ice accumulations should generally be light but some locations could approach 0.10” (a tenth of one inch)
  • Untreated surfaces will be icy and very slippery!
  • Rain moves in along with above freezing temperatures in the afternoon.

Latest Winter Weather Advisories as of 7 PM Monday, January 9, 2017.

There is concern that ice accumulations could reach or exceed 0.10” through the period tomorrow morning as one model does show this possibility.  This model has done very well handling various weather conditions this year and has handled lake effect events better than any other model so far.  However, this model is the “outlier” compared to other high resolution models, which generally show a glaze of ice for most areas.  Of course, a glaze of ice is all it takes to cause several accidents and make for a very messy morning commute.  Higher totals would be concerning in terms of coating tree branches and power lines.

This model shows heavy amounts of freezing rain (top right image) over 0.20″ in spots. We think this is too extreme however it does hint at the possibility of heavier ice accumulations being possible.

Tuesday afternoon will also be extremely windy with winds of 20-30 MPH.  Wind gusts could reach 50 MPH at times.  This may also bring down some tree branches and cause power outages.  It will also make driving high profile vehicles more difficult.  If you will be outdoors in the afternoon or driving, use extra caution and watch for objects like trash cans blowing around in the roadway.  A Wind Advisory is in effect from 10 AM Tuesday through 1 AM Wednesday for much of Northeast Ohio (image below).

The Wind Advisory kicks in by Tuesday afternoon and lasts through Tuesday night. Very strong winds are likely and that will make travel difficult and power outages possible.

Continue to monitor the Ohio First Warn Weather Facebook page for more updates!

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About Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer joined Neoweather in August of 2010 and has lived in Northeast Ohio for most of his life. Mark has played a vital role in helping Neoweather to advance and grow. Currently he serves as the Client Services Director and Assistant Financial Director for Neoweather, overseeing client relations and managing the company’s finances. Outside of Neoweather, Mark works as an Air Traffic Controller and holds an Associate’s Degree in Air Traffic Control. He enjoys being outdoors and spends as much time as he can with his son and his wife Loretta.
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