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Trent

Northern Ohio Obs/Discussion Part 2

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21 minutes ago, NEOH said:

It will be interesting to see what happens later tonight. 290 would be an ideal flow... But with weak winds I think the band will have a hard time pushing this far inland. Who knows... Maybe we'll see an inch or two as the band decays and pushes off to the southwest with the turning winds. 

Ice has rapidly formed on the western basin so that fetch will be lost by tomorrow. 

Don't mean to sound so pessimistic but what a waste the cold has turned out to be locally. 

I do agree with your concerns about the band struggling to push inland. I do think it moves onshore over much of Cuyahoga County may but only affect the northern half of the county into northern Geauga.  Most models push it farther south sooner or later but that is probably overdone.  

As for the ice I was just looking at GOES 16 and you can definitely see some has developed.  Relatively thin ice still has a decent heat/moisture flux so I'm actually not that worried about it for the next day or so...you can see some clouds forming over the ice currently and feeding into the band...but it will become a bigger deterrent as it thickens and expands over the next week, which is unfortunate because we've gotten very little lake effect this season locally. 

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53" at the Erie Airport yesterday and today. 34" yesterday alone. Has smashed all Erie snowfall records and the PA state two day snowfall record.

Band is again right back up hugging the lakeshore, jackhammering the airport via the live webcam. http://www.yourerie.com/skycam-cameras/erie-international-airport-tom-ridge-field-skycam

Amazing on one hand, so very disappointing on the other due to yet another miss, this one historic. 

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22 minutes ago, MAIDEsNow said:

53" at the Erie Airport yesterday and today. 34" yesterday alone. Has smashed all Erie snowfall records and the PA state two day snowfall record.

Band is again right back up hugging the lakeshore, jackhammering the airport via the live webcam. http://www.yourerie.com/skycam-cameras/erie-international-airport-tom-ridge-field-skycam

Amazing on one hand, so very disappointing on the other due to yet another miss, this one historic. 

That's amazing. Wish the radar was better in that area. Looks like the rich will get richer. We are dealing with heavy clouds in Geauga County... That's about it. Might be able to squeeze out of couple of inches tonight/tomorrow if we are lucky enough. It just doesn't seem possible to get a wnw wind direction.

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Impressive totals in Erie. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the snow totals at the airport there are a bit inflated this month. Looking at the ERI December F6 they got over 20” without a thaw earlier in the month and their snowdepth never exceeded 4 inches. Later on the 15th and 16th they reported 13” new but the snow depth only went up by 3” to 7”? Seems suspect even considering the fluff factor of this type of snow. 

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It's a shame we don't have radar for Erie.  This has been an incredible event for them.  The winds on land are just perfectly parallel to the shore from Ashtabula to Erie, so though the winds over the lake have been moving a good bit over the last 30 hours the band just hasn't moved from the shore there.  Perfect setup.  It did finally push inland briefly earlier today but is back to pounding that area again.  The obs are extremely impressive, with hours on end of quarter mile or lower visibility.

I do agree that the earlier month snow totals don't seem right.  Either the depth or snowfall is wrong.  There are a few days where there's a seemingly impossible snow depth change compared to the amount of new snow recorded. 

I'm going to look over the LES for northern OH one more time here over the next little bit and see if I have any positive thoughts or not.  

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Right now 2017 is currently the warmest year on record for Cleveland. The cold snap this week might be enough to swap places with 2016 for record warmest. Nonetheless, the past two years have been exceptionally warm for Cleveland. 

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This is a pretty interesting/tough forecast for the remainder of this LES event through Wednesday night...

Indications are the band (which the heart of is actually north of Erie at the moment) will reach its farther north point by 7-8pm, and then begin sinking back south as a weak surface trough evident over SE MI pushes east this evening and causes winds over the lake to shift from SW to more west.  This should allow convergence to increase from near Euclid up the shoreline and allow decent snow to develop up the shoreline in NE Ohio by mid to late evening.  As winds on the lake continue to gradually veer to more WNW after midnight, the snow will likely push inland into more of NE Cuyahoga and northern Geauga County.  Given WNW to almost NW winds over the lake I have to imagine it will push inland over Erie County as well. 

The band will likely stall or really slow down for several hours after midnight or 1am, especially across the eastern Cleveland metro.  This is due to the winds on the lake not moving much, possibly in response to the mid-level shortwave approaching/moving overhead, and due to the shape of the shoreline near Cleveland likely focusing shoreline convergence in that area for several hours.  The hi-res models have a known bias (that has been on display constantly this event) to underdo shoreline convergence and push bands inland too quickly.  Given where the models place the band, the expected wind direction, and shape of the shoreline, my guess is it will lay near the western lakeshore (perhaps nipping land at times very close to the lake west of Cleveland) and then move inland near or just slightly NE of downtown and then push ESE through the eastern suburbs towards Chesterland and South Russel.  The NAM and RAP both have a crosshair signature for several hours late tonight (strong lift in the DGZ and decent RH in the upper half or so of the DGZ), which along with moderate lake-induced instability and EL heights of 9-10k feet suggests the band will produce heavy snow with rates of 1-2" per hour.  Given it may move little for several hours, the potential for several inches of snow exists in the eastern suburbs into northwestern or west-central Geauga County.  With some large scale lift from the shortwave passage think the higher terrain in the rest of the northern Snowbelt will hang on to snow showers in this time, but nothing too organized or heavy.  If this band pans out could see some spots get near 8" by morning under the band in the eastern suburbs.  

The shortwave finally passes Wednesday morning, resulting in some sinking motion and winds veering even more to NW over the lake.  As temps on land warm the lake-aggregate trough and shoreline convergence should weaken, causing the band to swing southwest and become less organized.  The band will likely lose its lake Michigan connection Wednesday afternoon.  Even so, moderate to borderline extreme instability may result in snow showers continuing from Lorain County points east, likely heaviest a bit inland given no dominant band or shoreline convergence.  These may result in additional light accumulations late Wednesday morning through the afternoon.  The combination of a cold and somewhat drier airmass may limit snow growth late Wednesday morning and beyond, possibly limiting ratios with any snow showers that persist, so I suspect amounts after about 10am Wednesday through the rest of the day will be reasonably under control. 

I still don't trust Wednesday night not to produce some additional accumulations.  With winds going NW to even NNW a Lake Huron band may set up over NW PA and produce a couple inches or so.  As temps drop on land convergence will increase along the rest of the shoreline.  With winds going very light after midnight, some "tea kettle" snow may result with convergence near the shore just spilling inland, possibly dropping accumulating snow near the shore.  This could occur as far west as Lorain County.  The light winds and extreme temp differential between land and water may support meso-low formation too, which could also brush the shore with some accumulating snow.  Any lingering snow should end Thursday morning.

For additional accums, given the band gradually progressing south tonight think a general 4"+ is doable over most of the northern Snowbelt.  I kept amounts at 4-8" over the eastern suburbs into western Geauga County, though I can't rule out a higher amount if the band after midnight into early Wednesday remains stationary enough.  A few mile bust in band location results in a lot of population seeing different amounts, so that's a sensitive forecast which also factored into my decision not to pin down a 6-12" area.  Think the period of snow along the shore tonight along with the potential for tea kettle lake effect Wednesday night supports 4"+ additional snow even along the coast.  With the band currently affecting extreme NE Ashtabula County and coastal Erie County, along with a potential for a Huron connection early tomorrow night and tea kettle snow after midnight that 6-12" (locally more) is doable in those areas.  The inland penetration of snow in NW PA is tough, but think once the band swings south later tonight with a quick accumulation that enough opportunities for snow showers (especially if some Huron moisture is involved) exists for at least a few to several inches of total additional accumulation in inland Erie County possibly clipping northern Crawford County.5a42d9dea1f42_nologo.thumb.png.59304f4f858ef4b1ac117e27d9ee0485.png 

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A very fine snow coming down. Maybe an inch so far. Temps are just too cold. Anyway, nice to see the snow falling. Erie PA is at 100" of snow for the season, while CLE is just short of 12". What an amazing gradient.

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I'm not sure what we have to do for an event to not completely fall apart.  The band was reasonably intense as it approached the downtown lakeshore then broke up/weakened quickly. I suppose the good news is it should snow very lightly most of the day. Around an inch here. 

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1 hour ago, MAIDEsNow said:

Brutal gradient here. 42.4" for the season, north of 100" 14 miles to my north.

What an anomalous season.

Yeah, that's a tough one to take. LES is so localized. Hopefully we can all share in a decent WNW wind event prior to the lake freezing. Time is running out though.

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2 hours ago, OHweather said:

I'm not sure what we have to do for an event to not completely fall apart.  The band was reasonably intense as it approached the downtown lakeshore then broke up/weakened quickly. I suppose the good news is it should snow very lightly most of the day. Around an inch here. 

Ha! We are used to disappointment. Looks like winds are turning more WSW'erly over the lake as the bands are starting to move to the NE up the shoreline. Maybe it's temporary but I had thought winds were going to come around more NW'erly as the day went on. Fetch is being maximized and it appears a more intense single band may form. We'll see what the afternoon brings if that can get organized.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, dta1984 said:

Right at 2" since last night.   Hopefully the bands can get more organized throughout the day.  

There's a nice band forming now. Not sure if it is convergence related to the WSW winds over land and the WNW winds over the lake. Hopefully the band doesn't swing too far to the northeast though.

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1 hour ago, NEOH said:

Ha! We are used to disappointment. Looks like winds are turning more WSW'erly over the lake as the bands are starting to move to the NE up the shoreline. Maybe it's temporary but I had thought winds were going to come around more NW'erly as the day went on. Fetch is being maximized and it appears a more intense single band may form. We'll see what the afternoon brings if that can get organized.

 

 

The 0z models last night hinted at this happening with the winds going more NW this evening.  So we may continue to see a semi-coherent band through the afternoon, shouldn't lift too much farther north.  Somehow Chardon got 5" last night, some spots may see a few more inches through tonight as light snow may continue within 10-15 miles of the lake much of the night.  

It was snowing half decently here all morning but with poor flake size and I got another half inch give or take.  I may hit 2-3" and can see spots just a bit north of me seeing a 5 or 6" total considering Shaker already has 2" and should continue to see more snow for quite a while. 

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I'm thinking many areas will get into the forecast ranges from yesterday. Not really exciting though but getting there.  Was a general 1-5" through this morning from the east side into Geauga County, and the bands been moderate this afternoon into NE Cuyahoga, southern Lake, and northern/west-central Geauga and likely has added 1-3" in those areas.  Another vort max passes through early to mid evening which should result in a minor uptick and also send the snow farther south.  With light winds over the lake going NNW tonight expect convergence to focus at least snow showers within 10-15 miles of the lake most of the night from Lorain County points east, with potentially moderate snow from a Lake Huron connection into Erie or Ashtabula Counties.  With light winds and very cold air on land still think there's some risk for a meso-low perhaps over the central basin that could graze the coast with heavier snow.  All in all a real slow burn but much of the east side points east will end up with at least a few inches from last night through tomorrow morning, with locally probably upwards of 10" in northern Geauga County where they had 4-5" through this morning and are under decent snow now. 

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3 hours ago, dta1984 said:

Morning wrfs get .3-.5" precip from about shaker through chagrin and a little east.  

Surprised they show so much precipitation. But there is agreement in the 12z run. Maybe we make a late rally.

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Maybe this should be in the general LES thread for anyone interested, but will put here.

I was up at work today clearing the snow at our Park right on the lake. Later, I went into communities along the lakeshore from Fairview to Presque Isle and into the city of Erie proper. I will say, as Trent mentioned above, that those numbers reported at the airport may be a tad overdone. I realize there is settling, compacting, blowing, etc., but the snow depth really does not indicate any 60+ inches of snow since Sunday night. There may be a snow pack of 24-36" in spots, and not even that in the City. Even the piles, walkways, driveways etc after the plowing and snowblowing, just does not seem that 5 feet fell. Moreover, the original 5pm airport snowfall total on Christmas day was 13.6", and then was later upped to 21" due to some "measurement error" related to blowing/drifting. Dont get me wrong, they have some serious snow up there, but it is not as draconian as the news reports would suggest imo.

Route 430 in Harborcreek and Greenfield townships, just east southeast of I-90 running parallel seemed to have the most snow.

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No doubt that Erie got clobbered with an immense amount of snow, but I’m betting totals are inflated. ERI reported 54” at the 7 am update yesterday but the snow depth was only 28”. Seems awfully suspect. 

Perhaps it’s just the way the snow is measured by clearing a snow board and then it blowing back on the board. It’s kind of like going to a casino winning 500, losing 250, and then winning another 500. You walk out with 750 but you can say you won 1,000.

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Had around 2" of new snow last night. Slowly but surely scraping our way to a decent snowpack. Looks like another fairly significant LES event coming up for areas favored by a west flow - what's new! Pretty amazing that we've haven't had one significant WNW flow LES event this year. The ice is rapidly expanding so time is running out.

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It looks like two little shots of synoptic snow over the next 48 hours...an inch or less tonight and perhaps an inch or two Friday night.  

As for the lake effect it'll be a decent but not outstanding W to WSW flow setup through Saturday morning favoring the lakeshore.  The watch for over a foot in northern Erie County is reasonable, I don't think it'll get into southern Erie County much.  By Saturday afternoon through Sunday winds turn to NW and then NNE.  Moisture is diminishing by then and winds will be shifting, so think it'll be a minor LES event for those of us farther SW and inland.  Depending on how the Lake Huron band behaves maybe someone gets a few inches, but most will get another light token amount. 

There may be more WNW to NNW flow after midweek which could support more LES. We will have to see what the ice looks like. Have to think the western basin will be getting pretty thick by then and not have a strong heat/moisture flux, but the central basin may still have some juice.  What we need is one week of a lot of warmth, rain, and SW wind to force that ice lose! Unfortunately that isn't coming for at least 2 weeks. 

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14 hours ago, MAIDEsNow said:

Maybe this should be in the general LES thread for anyone interested, but will put here.

I was up at work today clearing the snow at our Park right on the lake. Later, I went into communities along the lakeshore from Fairview to Presque Isle and into the city of Erie proper. I will say, as Trent mentioned above, that those numbers reported at the airport may be a tad overdone. I realize there is settling, compacting, blowing, etc., but the snow depth really does not indicate any 60+ inches of snow since Sunday night. There may be a snow pack of 24-36" in spots, and not even that in the City. Even the piles, walkways, driveways etc after the plowing and snowblowing, just does not seem that 5 feet fell. Moreover, the original 5pm airport snowfall total on Christmas day was 13.6", and then was later upped to 21" due to some "measurement error" related to blowing/drifting. Dont get me wrong, they have some serious snow up there, but it is not as draconian as the news reports would suggest imo.

Route 430 in Harborcreek and Greenfield townships, just east southeast of I-90 running parallel seemed to have the most snow.

Interesting !   Some of that is probably due to the compacting nature and settling of lake effect.  Seems like that when buffalo had the big Lake effect event a few years ago that roughly only 50% of the 6 foot (or whatever fell) was actually on the groud.

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Unfortunately, another snow event where I don't have time to do more than a text-only write-up...pretty interesting forecast yet again...this map is valid Friday-Sunday PM.  More LES will likely continue through at least Monday and I'll work on that at some point.  The lake will be even icier by then. 

Snow should push onshore into northeastern Ashtabula and Erie County near the lakeshore by around noon Friday as winds on the lake come around to west with WSW winds on land behind the passage of a vort max and surface trough/possible meso-low over the lake.  This general wind pattern with W winds over the lake and WSW winds on land focusing convergence near the coast in Erie, Ashtabula, and possibly NE Lake Counties will persist all of Friday afternoon and into the early evening before winds shift more SWrly and push the convergence out over the lake.  This will still be a good 7 or 8 hours of potential banding near the lakeshore in eastern Ashtabula and Erie Counties (possibly brushing NE Lake and western Ashtabula County) Friday afternoon into the evening.  Thermodynamics during the afternoon will be decently supportive with moderate instability, EL heights of 10-11k feet, and good moisture to around 7k feet including in the DGZ.  EL heights drop off some towards evening due to mid-level warm air advection ahead of the incoming clipper.  With the decent thermodynamics/moisture, strong convergence near the shore, weak shear in the mixed layer, and near-optimal snow growth have to think snow rates of around 2" per hour will accompany the heart of the snow band Friday afternoon and early evening.  The band will mainly hug the shore and not move a ton, and may produce 6-12" of snow near the lake in Erie County and also northeast Asthabula County, dropping off quickly farther inland.  There may be an inch or two as far southwest as northeastern Lake County.

The clipper snow doesn't look extremely impressive in N OH Friday evening and Friday night.  There will be some lift in the form of upper-level divergence evident at 500mb (which is above the level of non-divergence in winter), some mid-level positive vorticity advection, and weak isentropic lift/warm-air advection evident at times at 700mb and 850mb.  This will generally cause a decently long period where light snow will be possible.  Forecast soundings currently suggest that the strongest lift may be above the DGZ during the synoptic snow keeping ratios somewhat in check, and the sources for lift aren't extremely strong, so I tend to think amounts with the clipper in northern OH/NW PA will only be 1-2".  There may be pixie dust or small flakes falling for a while which will be nice, but they won't add up a ton.

Winds will come back around to the W or WNW over the lake by Saturday morning which will bring lake effect back into the picture.  Lingering synoptic moisture to over 10k feet through most of the morning and outstanding thermodynamics with EL heights of 10-12k feet (higher at ERI) and steep lapse rates to go along with convergence near the shoreline will support an intense lake effect snow band.  In addition, a potent vort max will pass overhead late morning and early afternoon, adding some large-scale lift.  Given nearly optimal snow growth, rates of 2 to locally 4” per hour will be possible in the heart of the band.  Band placement will be important, as some areas may see a lot of snow quickly in the Saturday morning/early afternoon timeframe.  To start the day, winds will be W over the lake and WSW on land…a familiar pattern…which will likely drive the band onshore over northeastern Ashtabula County and the Erie County lakeshore.  It may be snowing in parts of Lake County but likely won’t be that heavy at this juncture.  Winds will continue to slowly gain a more northerly component and by mid-morning are expected to be WNW over the lake and slightly south of due west of land.  With an approaching vort max (which seems to tend to keep winds more “backed” or southerly around the lake) and shoreline convergence, don’t think the band will push inland too fast, but may get into far NE Cuyahoga and northern Geauga by mid-morning, with heavier snow spreading into Lake County and the rest of northern Asthabula County.  Snow may start spreading a bit farther inland over Erie County by mid-morning.  The vort max passes around noon which should nudge the surface trough farther south as the winds likely gain more of a northerly component behind the vort max.  This should allow the band to gradually resume a more southward drift during the early afternoon. 

I don’t expect the band to get too far south, as the vort max really only grazes the region with no big height falls with it, so there shouldn’t be a huge push of northerly winds Saturday afternoon…but likely enough to get the band into a good chunk of Cuyahoga County (possibly into the central part of the county) and more inland portions of the Snowbelt.  The thermodynamic environment will remain very favorable and with good snow growth to go along with some pre-seeding from Lake Michigan, though the shoreline induced convergence will likely weaken some and there will be a brief period of sinking motion during the early to mid-afternoon behind the vort max.  This should cause the band to become less organized and weaken a bit, though it probably won’t completely go away.  Ice cover over the western basin is over 80% which will limit moisture flux some, however, the ice is still not that thick and still has some cracks, which typically still allows a half decent moisture flux.  Given the strong instability and high EL heights, I think that while the ice will somewhat limit the band intensity over Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties where the fetch of open water is much diminished that it won’t completely prohibit some decently intense snow. 

Another potent vort max and surface trough (with much colder air behind it) approaches late afternoon and early evening and passes around mid-evening Saturday.  These features tend to back surface winds a bit more than modelled, which suggests winds may be around 280 degrees as this vort max and trough approach.  The lift and moisture ahead of the vort max and likely upstream moisture from Lake Michigan, along with increasing convergence near the shoreline should allow a decent band to re-develop.  This band will likely develop across northern Lorain County and northern/central Cuyahoga County east into southern Lake County and Geauga County and swing south by mid-evening behind the vort max as winds then quickly go more NNW.  Though there may not be an organized convergence band over NW PA, Lake Huron moisture and increased lift should still result in a nice burst of snow.  Instability will be extreme by this point with ample moisture/good snow growth remaining in place, so the band could produce a quick few inches over parts of the Cleveland metro and into the Snowbelt, likely a bit inland form the lake, as well as in parts of NW PA especially in the higher terrain.  A brief period of good moisture behind the winds turning to the NNW may briefly allow upslope snow to continue through late evening, though colder air will start hurting snow growth.  Given the stronger vort max/surface trough passage and cold push of air, the snow band could detatch from the lake and push inland as a strong snow squall that drops a quick 1-2” of snow.  Lake Michigan moisture may contribute to a risk of squalls well west of the NE Ohio Snowbelt as well Saturday evening as the trough moves through.

Behind the trough the thermodynamics remain impressive with EL heights over 10-11k feet and extreme instability over the lake, but the airmass dries considerably for the remainder of Saturday night and through Sunday night.  This will likely limit snow outside of a Lake Huron connection.  With well-aligned winds, extreme instability, and this connection going over the open part of our lake, it may produce heavy snow.  NAM soundings show the DGZ remaining in the clouds in the Huron connection through Sunday supporting high ratios.  Models tend to bring these connections too far west, but with a NNW flow think it should get into at least Asthabula County for a decent period of time Saturday night through much of Sunday and may briefly drift into Geauga/Lake Counties late Saturday night when winds have their strongest northerly component.  Winds back Sunday night which should push the connection east.  Given the winds don’t move a ton, are well aligned, and instability is extreme, this Huron connection may drop a general 3-6” over far eastern Lake/Geauga, Asthabula, and western Erie/Crawford Counties, with locally much higher amounts possible if the band stalls for any decent length of time.  With extreme instability and wind fields getting a bit light late Saturday night into Sunday, meso-low formation may be possible with the band which could move it around at times and also bring locally enhanced snow rates.  Outside of the Huron connection, a short fetch, limited moisture hurting snow growth, but extreme instability and fairly light/well-aligned winds may allow modest snow showers to continue in the higher terrain as far west as the secondary Snowbelt.  This may add a local inch or two after midnight Saturday night through Sunday in the higher terrain west of the Lake Huron connection. 

For total amounts, think there’s ample opportunity for snow for 12”+ along the lakeshore in northeast Ashtabula County and Erie County, PA.  Given a couple shots at banding, local amounts of 18-24” seem doable in Erie County within 10 miles of the lake.  Elsewhere, expect the rest of the core Snowbelt (parts of the eastern suburbs, inland Lake, northern Geauga, inland Ashtabula, inland Erie and northern Crawford) to see a general 6-12” of snow given banding likely getting in off and on Saturday mid-morning through evening, with some light upslope enhanced snow then continuing through Sunday.  Wherever the Huron band sets up, the potential for over a foot will exist.  Farther west/south, given 1-2” of clipper snow, potential squalls enhanced by moisture from Lake Michigan and the vort maxes, and likely a squall pushing south off of Lake Erie Saturday evening, think most areas can see over 4”…so will go 4-7” for much of the Cleveland and Akron metro down to Youngstown.  Given how unstable the airmass is before adding in the lakes, good snow ratios, sources of synoptic lift, and then moisture from the lakes, I have to think it’ll be a snowy Saturday and Saturday evening at times in these areas.  The moisture from Lake Michigan may also get wrung out in the central highlands at times adding some modest additional accums there on top of 1-3” of clipper snow. 

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Thanks for the forecast ohweather. Looks like a spread the wealth event. I was downtown yesterday afternoon. There was open water  but lots of ice starting to form along the shoreline. Hopefully there is enough juice for this event. 

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3 hours ago, NEOH said:

Thanks for the forecast ohweather. Looks like a spread the wealth event. I was downtown yesterday afternoon. There was open water  but lots of ice starting to form along the shoreline. Hopefully there is enough juice for this event. 

I hope there's enough juice.  My story for this one is the central basin is still open and the ice out west isn't too thick yet...but it's not ideal.  If we do get enough moisture flux off the lake, the winds going from WSW to NNW with a lot of instability and synoptic support should give many areas a shot at some accumulating LES, so hopefully, it works out.  Obviously, the ice will expand and thicken a lot over the next 10 days, which will make it considerably more difficult to see good LES.  Models are showing a nice W or WNW flow setup on Monday so I'm sure the Primary Snowbelt will cash in some more then. 

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Great forecast ohweather, it seems like one of the better shots we've had recently (other than nickel and dime stuff).  

I recorded 0.8" of snow overnight.    Also kind of interesting is this December looks to be one of the snowiest in the past 4 years (as long as I've been keeping track out here).  Sitting at 18.4" now, Dec 2013 had 20.75".

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