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Northern Ohio Obs/Discussion Part 2


Trent
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The Euro will win this weekend with it's much quicker/weaker storm and less impressive LES event...though some snow is still likely. 

There may be a brief window of synoptic snow and lake/orographic enhancement late Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Temps look marginal, the window is only a few hours, and rates only look light to moderate, so this may produce perhaps an inch of slush in the higher terrain downwind of the lake in Ohio and perhaps 1-2" in the higher terrain of NW PA.  Still time for trends but at the moment that looks like an optimistic forecast. 

Some LES still looks likely Sunday and Sunday night. We get a window Sunday late morning and afternoon with a NW flow with moderate instability, marginally enough moisture, lift from a shortwave and perhaps some upstream lake connections.  With the short fetch, marginal moisture, and temps likely above freezing I don't expect much out of that, but some briefly moderate to heavy snow showers that drop a light accumulation, especially in the higher terrain, seem possible.  Accumulations may remain possible Sunday night as the winds back to the W and WSW and possibly focus a briefly organized band of better snow into extreme NE OH and NW PA, but lowering inversions and drier air will also limit that potential.  

Between the synoptic snow and lake effect I think this is a 1-3" event in the higher terrain in NE OH and perhaps 2 to locally 5" in NW PA, and those high ends may be optimistic. Closer to the lake may stay too warm for any accums. 

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Don't have time to elaborate much at the moment, but the lake effect looks briefly decent Sunday evening...here are my current thoughts (apologies again to those in NW PA for not getting a map background that includes you yet).

5a10b9a0f142a_snow11-18.png.76409e22968314a2de605305d79ce299.png

The gist...not expecting much if any accumulation through early Sunday afternoon.  Mid to late afternoon a shortwave approaches and steep lapse rates/moisture extend to about 7k feet (with higher lake-induced equilibrium levels of near 10k feet).  With well-aligned WNW winds and a NW to SE oriented isobar pattern expect a band to initially develop over western/southern Cuyahoga and shift NE and become locked in from near Cleveland to the eastern suburbs into northern and central Geauga County during the evening as winds back to 270-280 due to the ridging building in on land.  Favorable conditions with upstream moisture from Lake Michigan, moderate instability, moisture depth of over 5k feet, and some large-scale lift from the upper-level trough along with convergence with the band suggest moderate to heavy snow is possible through about midnight.  Winds don't move much so someone could see a quick few inches with the band.  Expect the band to shift up the lakeshore and weaken after midnight as ridging moves in, inversion heights lower and the low-levels dry out.

In NW PA with more elevation, potential moisture from northern Lake Michigan, and a deeper layer of instability over the lake expect a similar setup with perhaps more widespread snow outside of the main band Sunday late afternoon and evening.  Better moisture/instability last into Monday morning as one last little gasp of synoptic supper moves by, and the remnant convergence band should affect Erie County for a few hours early Monday.  This leads to higher potential accums...am thinking widespread 3-5" in inland Erie and northern Crawford County with potential for locally up to 8" mainly in a narrow corridor in parts of Erie County if a more distinct band can develop for a few hours.  Could also see a couple inches down to the lakeshore with the convergence band Monday morning.

Eastern Cuyahoga/southern Lake/northern Geauga may flirt with the 4" advisory criteria if the band is persistent enough...I expect Erie and Crawford Counties to need an advisory, and with such a prolonged period of fairly steady winds and borderline extreme instability to go along with enough moisture, if a focused band develops some spots could get close to warning criteria. 

 

 

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Good hi-res agreement on 4" or so of snow with the band this evening, which I think seems reasonable.  There's probably enough instability and snow growth for 1" or so per hour with the band, but I kind of doubt we see big 2 or 3" per hour rates.  The NAM is impressive in that it doesn't move the winds more than 5 degrees in the boundary layer for several hours this evening, so the band should be fairly stationary which is why I think a few inches is a good possibility.  The winds seem like they'll be in the 280-285 range by late this afternoon when the band should develop which may suggest it hits more of Cuyahoga County than my forecast yesterday...I may tweak that in a little bit.  

Edit: I'll go with this as my "final call"...we will see.  Starting to see some signs of organization, need it to get a little colder so it can accumulate well.  5a11dbe061ede_snow11-18.png.7d50202b388f97c603dce90edbbb3ae1.png

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The RAP and NAM both have the winds backing a little bit more towards the W through about 6pm before veering to the WNW until late evening, so there's probably a weak surface trough passing.  This may lift the bands a bit north over the next hour or two before they settle back south for a few hours later this evening.  We should see the band consolidate nicely as the weak surface trough/wind shift approaches, and it sounds like it's starting to accumulate under the better bands.  I'm in Bedford Heights now and think I should be in an OK spot.  I'm still getting some graupel here at the moment and am hoping it changes to all snow as it cools a bit more.  

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0.6" here thus far.  The snow has really wound down in the past couple of hours which I didn't expect so soon...the HRRR insists on it re-developing soon, but we'll see.  The band never really persisted over me, just grazed me at times.  I was down in Macedonia around 5pm and they had a little over an inch with moderate to heavy snow with big flakes still falling.  

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Decent little event here IMBY. From north to south in the middle of Erie County in NWPA:

  • Lakeshore by Presque Isle/Waldameer - nothing on the ground.
  • I90 / I79 intersection area: inch or so, some grass still showing.
  • My house just a tad north of Edinboro - 4" or so.

Radar less than impressive, not sure how much longer it will be snowing, but it is moderate snow at the moment.

Also, thanks for the writeups OHweather. They are great - love visiting the board and seeing your red Indians avatar front and center with new posts.

 

 

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I'm glad you got some snow there in NW PA! Thanks for the kind words.  

Elsewhere there was a report of 3.5" in the middle of nowhere in NE Geauga County but most other areas were 2" or less which was a bit disappointing. 

And unfortunately down in Brunswick you really need at least a NW wind to get good LES. It'll happen a few times each winter and your terrain helps some but the best action is usually farther north/east. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, dta1984 said:

We're bound to cash in sometime in the next few weeks.  Will be nice to get into a wintry pattern. 

Personally, I'd like to cash in early to maximize what's left of the warmth in Lake Erie. Temps are already hovering around 40 in the western basin/pond. Look forward to see what happens next week.

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Cle mentions Le weds-thurs.   Hopefully we can get a better idea of the flow the next few days. 

Flow appears to become well aligned for
a potential for significant lake effect snow Wednesday into Thursday
but exact location still remains to be seen because of the slight
shifting of the winds with time.  All-in-all situation will need to
be watched as the event unfolds.

 

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The upcoming LES is a half decent setup, but wind direction isn't our friend...it looks like the best snow will likely be north of route 6, and some guidance suggests the snow staying even closer to the lake than that.  Wherever the band locks in from mid-Thursday morning through Thursday evening could see over half a foot of snow...assuming that happens on land and not just out over the lake.  Lake County, northern Ashtabula County, mainly northern Erie County, and perhaps extreme northern Geauga County appear to be best positioned for this one.  Elsewhere, we're waiting until at least the weekend.  

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