Friday evening update on weekend storm

Weather

**PINPOINT WEATHER ALERT**
A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for the entire viewing area. We are tracking a large winter storm with the potential for major impacts on travel for the Valley late this weekend. Heavy snow is likely for the area. The storm system arrives late Sunday. Click “PLAY” on the video above or scroll down to the weekend outlook for more details on this storm. To see current alerts, CLICK HERE.

TONIGHT
Patchy flurries or freezing drizzle are possible early tonight. Any drizzle will easily freeze at the surface so a few slick spots are possible this evening and overnight. Cloudy skies continue overnight. Temperatures will turn colder with lows dropping to the middle teens toward daybreak.

WEEKEND OUTLOOK
Saturday
Saturday will be cold but uneventful. Clouds will be decreasing through the day, allowing for a little sunshine. We become partly to mostly sunny into the afternoon. Highs only make it to the lower 20s. Winds won’t be too strong but there will be enough of a breeze to keep wind chills in the teens for much of the day.

Saturday Night
Saturday night will also be uneventful for the area. Skies will be mostly clear. Temperatures will be cold. Lows drop to the lower teens by daybreak Sunday.

Sunday
All eyes are on Sunday as a large storm approaches from the south. The arrival won’t be until the evening so we will still have a decent day overall. Skies start off mostly sunny with increasing clouds through the afternoon. Highs will be in the lower 30s. Skies become cloudy into the evening as snow approaches the area.

Update on Sunday Night Winter Storm
This storm is still two days out at the time of writing this so there is still a lot of time for changes. That said, there is a lot of agreement in all of the data coming in on our Friday evening for a heavy and impactful snow. Snow is expected to develop between around 6-9 p.m. and pick up intensity into the late evening. Heavy snow is likely from about 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. After sunrise, snow will be letting up as the storm system exits the region.

We will still need to monitor the storm track through the weekend. A slight wobble could either increase or decrease total snowfall. We are also monitoring for the potential of a brief window of mixed precipitation. Model data has suggested a pocket of air at to a smidge above the freezing mark of 32° nosing into southeast Ohio as the storm approaches.

Friday evening model data showing a pocket of air in the atmosphere above, at 850mb, with temps around 32° nosing into southeastern Ohio around 8 p.m.

Pictured above is data showing that warm pocket around 8 p.m. Most of the data this evening shows that warm pocket cooling before arriving to the Valley. Here is that same model at 2 a.m. Monday:

Friday evening model data showing the pocket of warm air at 850mb cooling by 2 a.m.

If that warm pocket doesn’t dissipate, we could see some mixing of the snow with sleet and/or freezing rain. Any mixing would also cut back on snow totals. That said, model data remains pretty consistent on the track and if any mixing were to occur, it is looking brief and wouldn’t be enough to eliminate us from having an impactful snow. Our team will be monitoring these trends in the data through the weekend.

ACCUMULATION OUTLOOK SUNDAY INTO MONDAY

Forecast as of Friday evening for Sunday night into Monday morning.

As of Friday evening, I am expecting the snowfall range to be between 6″ to 10″. There is a chance we see the totals approach greater than 10″ for parts of the Valley. On the low end, I expect everyone to see at least 3″ to 4″ of snow Sunday night. The low-end totals would occur with any areas of mixed precipitation or if there is any wobble in the storm track over the next two days. That said, it isn’t too often we see such agreement in model data so many days out. Below are four computer model depictions of accumulation for this storm, showing a lot of agreement on a very impactful storm system.

TRAVEL IMPACTS
With the snow starting Sunday evening and increasing in intensity, we will see a rapid deterioration of road conditions into the late evening. Difficult travel is likely throughout Sunday night and continuing through Monday morning.

Expected travel impacts across the area Sunday night into Monday

LOOKING AHEAD
The next big story after Sunday night’s storm will be the cold coming late next week. Tuesday will be in the upper 20s with a chance for snow and Wednesday warms to the mid-30s with a chance for a mix of rain and snow. An Arctic cold front will sweep through the area Wednesday night, bringing what is looking like our coldest air so far this winter to end next week. Highs fall to the teens Thursday and Friday with lows in the single digits by the end of the week.

For a detailed breakdown of the next seven days, click play on the video above.

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