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Northern Ohio Obs/Discussion Part 2

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43 minutes ago, dta1984 said:

Just noticed that the cle snowfall page is different this year.   They added probabilities of higher or lower.  

https://www.weather.gov/cle/winter

I have mixed feelings about those products.  Some offices have been doing them for a few years.  Some offices (CLE included) just can't get them right.  Right now their low end amount for Chardon is 11" and their high end amount is 13"...so there's a 80% chance that around a foot of lake effect will fall within a 2" range...not quite.  Their probabilistic maps for the amounts are the same way with sharp drops from 100% to 0%...again not quite how it should look.  And their forecast in this instance (and many other instances this winter) actually matches the 90th percentile...again, that shouldn't be the case.  In Athens in January of 2016 (prior to "Jonas") a day out RLX had less than 1" as our low-end amount and like 20" as our high-end.  When stuff like this happens I don't find these maps to be at all helpful to planners...not sure what goes into them and how much input the forecaster has, but other offices don't have these issues as frequently. 

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Heavy snow at work right along the lake, pretty much sun-bathing weather imby...color me surprised.

Went up to the top of our roller coaster today to get a few pictures of the Lake and open water / ice, but to snowy and cloudy to do any good. Lake is very slushy, but still open and waves rolling.

Here are a couple shots from the crest of the lift hill:

5a46b139c8d85_IMG_20171229_151857017(004).jpg.ae2e2796e7d7aed5b5e79c662af38750.jpg5a46b1fe3cb81_IMG_20171229_151901621(002).jpg.691a5aa98cbc8988a2dbf6afd87b6781.jpg

 

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54 minutes ago, MAIDEsNow said:

Heavy snow at work right along the lake, pretty much sun-bathing weather imby...color me surprised.

Went up to the top of our roller coaster today to get a few pictures of the Lake and open water / ice, but to snowy and cloudy to do any good. Lake is very slushy, but still open and waves rolling.

Here are a couple shots from the crest of the lift hill:

5a46b139c8d85_IMG_20171229_151857017(004).jpg.ae2e2796e7d7aed5b5e79c662af38750.jpg5a46b1fe3cb81_IMG_20171229_151901621(002).jpg.691a5aa98cbc8988a2dbf6afd87b6781.jpg

 

Great pics. We've had two straight seasons where the lakeshore areas have been favored. The next two days look snowy with a potential lake Huron connection. Let's just hope we are not left wondering  what could have been if use lake was a just a few degrees warmer. I'm cautiously optimistic for a big event... But how much  the ice effects things is the big caveat.

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1.8" so far.  I can say this likely would've been a big event for the Cleveland area with a wide-open lake.  We'll see what we can squeak out with the ice.  Clouds are clearing blossoming over the ice so there's still some juice, hopefully enough.  Also, nice pics from Erie.  Luckily you've gotten to see the snow at work I guess. 

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2 hours ago, OHweather said:

1.8" so far.  I can say this likely would've been a big event for the Cleveland area with a wide-open lake.  We'll see what we can squeak out with the ice.  Clouds are clearing blossoming over the ice so there's still some juice, hopefully enough.  Also, nice pics from Erie.  Luckily you've gotten to see the snow at work I guess. 

The band was impressive as it moved through. Surprised it moved south so quickly. Figured there would be more convergence with the sw winds over land. Good to see the radar starting to fill in over the lake though.

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1 hour ago, NEOH said:

The band was impressive as it moved through. Surprised it moved south so quickly. Figured there would be more convergence with the sw winds over land. Good to see the radar starting to fill in over the lake though.

Murphy's Law I guess.  Band is slow to move when it's to our north and races south past us when it finally budges. That surprised me a bit as well. I actually managed at least at inch out of the band, maybe an inch and a half, it was over me for a little over an hour and the snow was very efficient. 

The band has as expected become a bit less organized as it pushes south and the LES north of it isn't too intense right now.  Lift and moisture increase late afternoon through mid evening as another vort max and trough push through.  Given winds are only WNW now, I definitely expect another transient but intense band to form over the Cleveland area and primary Snowbelt later this afternoon and then swing south through the evening.  I could see somewhere getting a quick 3-4" where the band initially develops for a couple hours then a quick inch or two as it pushes south.  Decent lake effect may immediately develop behind the band for a brief period as good synoptic moisture lingers as the winds go NNW.  

Later this evening and through the overnight moisture does diminish but instability remains extreme and winds well-aligned, so snow should diminish outside of any lingering bands.  A decent Huron connection still appears likely likely over Ashtabula County and possibly into eastern Lake/Geaga and western Erie Counties at times through Sunday.  This could add at least several inches additional overnight tonight through Sunday to those areas, more if it stalls anywhere.  Outside of that, the ice orientation and cutoff near Cleveland may allow some modest convergence into the east side later tonight Iater tonight into Sunday morning which may focus a secondary band into that area.  That could be a secondary corridor to watch for a band with some additional accums overnight tonight into Sunday.  The hi-res models appear to be under-doing moisture flux over the icier water so their QPF may be too low on the western edge of things. 

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3 hours ago, OHweather said:

Murphy's Law I guess.  Band is slow to move when it's to our north and races south past us when it finally budges. That surprised me a bit as well. I actually managed at least at inch out of the band, maybe an inch and a half, it was over me for a little over an hour and the snow was very efficient. 

The band has as expected become a bit less organized as it pushes south and the LES north of it isn't too intense right now.  Lift and moisture increase late afternoon through mid evening as another vort max and trough push through.  Given winds are only WNW now, I definitely expect another transient but intense band to form over the Cleveland area and primary Snowbelt later this afternoon and then swing south through the evening.  I could see somewhere getting a quick 3-4" where the band initially develops for a couple hours then a quick inch or two as it pushes south.  Decent lake effect may immediately develop behind the band for a brief period as good synoptic moisture lingers as the winds go NNW.  

Later this evening and through the overnight moisture does diminish but instability remains extreme and winds well-aligned, so snow should diminish outside of any lingering bands.  A decent Huron connection still appears likely likely over Ashtabula County and possibly into eastern Lake/Geaga and western Erie Counties at times through Sunday.  This could add at least several inches additional overnight tonight through Sunday to those areas, more if it stalls anywhere.  Outside of that, the ice orientation and cutoff near Cleveland may allow some modest convergence into the east side later tonight Iater tonight into Sunday morning which may focus a secondary band into that area.  That could be a secondary corridor to watch for a band with some additional accums overnight tonight into Sunday.  The hi-res models appear to be under-doing moisture flux over the icier water so their QPF may be too low on the western edge of things. 

It's ripping under the heavier returns and the radar look great to the north. The Huron fetch looks like it's making a run for the Eastside. 

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1 hour ago, NEOH said:

It's ripping under the heavier returns and the radar look great to the north. The Huron fetch looks like it's making a run for the Eastside. 

Just started really coming down here.  Wasn't much of an organized band, but a nice blob of heavy snow on the east side downwind of Lake Huron. Didn't expect it this far west, let's see if it lasts. 

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34 minutes ago, OHweather said:

Just started really coming down here.  Wasn't much of an organized band, but a nice blob of heavy snow on the east side downwind of Lake Huron. Didn't expect it this far west, let's see if it lasts. 

It has been pouring snow. Eyeballing another 3+ in a short amount of time. Unusual set up but this could be a good one.

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17 minutes ago, NEOH said:

It has been pouring snow. Eyeballing another 3+ in a short amount of time. Unusual set up but this could be a good one.

As of about 8:30 I had gotten 1.5" from this burst in about 75 minutes, but it's probably coming down at around 2"/hour right now.  Looks like it may maintain close to this intensity for another 2-3 hours before gradually weakening.  Hi-res models suggest this general area may see some sort of snow into morning.  We'll see what it adds up to.  My 12 hour total was 2.6" pushing my storm total so far to 4.4"

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Just cleared 4" from my driveway.  Still snowing at a decent rate.   Just south/west of me is getting rocked though. Surprised Cuyahoga county isn't under a warning. 

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I've gotten over 5" since shortly before 7:30 when it started to really come down (and yes roughly 4" between 8:30 and 9:40).  This is nuts.  Visibility is less than 1/4 of a mile and it's raining down large dendrites.  Hoping the band doesn't push to my south but it looks like it's about to.  This is still fantastic either way. 

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It's a winter wonderland out there. Sitting right under the Lake Huron band. Haven't been out to measure but it sure looks like double digits. Huge flake size within the band.

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My 12 hourly measurement is 5.6"...I measured 5.6" between 7:15 and 10:45, including about 3.5" between 8:30 and 9:30.  My storm total is up to 10", with 8.2" of LES in there.  This will do just fine.  Monthly total 27.8" which I'd imagine is above average for this area. 

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Looks like 3.5" new snow since late last night when I measured 4".  Lake effect total would be 7.5" .  Huron band was a nice surprise.   Didn't think it would get this far west. 

My monthly is at 27.5".  I've been out of town a bit, but that should be close. 

Almost looks like the Huron band is trying to swing back west now.

 

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Measured just over 7" this morning. Not your typical fluff despite the cold temps. Another chance of snow near the lakeshore tomorrow. Looks like winds are primarily from the wnw on the models unless I'm wrong. Just looked at the wrf and I don't see a wsw flow.

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Nice view of the ice on satellite today. From Lorain west there is ice cover, but not solid. The western basin seems to be closed off at this point. Hoping winds stay up tonight to keep the water moving around. A calm night would build a lot of ice. 

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25 minutes ago, NEOH said:

Measured just over 7" this morning. Not your typical fluff despite the cold temps. Another chance of snow near the lakeshore tomorrow. Looks like winds are primarily from the wnw on the models unless I'm wrong. Just looked at the wrf and I don't see a wsw flow.

Cle mentions 290 winds.  Isn't that ideal for us?  Seems their map is more northeast for tomorrow.  Maybe ice cover hurting the fetch?

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38 minutes ago, dta1984 said:

Cle mentions 290 winds.  Isn't that ideal for us?  Seems their map is more northeast for tomorrow.  Maybe ice cover hurting the fetch?

290 is as good as it gets for our area... maximizes the fetch all the way to Michigan. Really a bummer that we are a few days late with getting an ideal flow. The ice will definitely hurt heat/moisture flux but it’s not solid from Lorain on east. Only problem is that 290 brings the winds directly across the ice covered areas. 

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Just some quick thoughts before I head out for the night...

Winds will be WNW, however, am concerned the ice near the southern shore and also over the western basin extending into the central basin may allow the shoreline convergence to occur a little farther north closer to the remaining open water.  Ice coverage over the western basin is now over 90% with a thickness of 6-12"+, which is thick enough to be more prohibitive of good heat/moisture flux.  So, will cut off the snow farther northeast than I would for this type of flow with an open lake.  Still, with some moisture flux and a good fetch from Lake Michigan aimed towards the Cleveland area, was nervous enough to include an inch or two for the Cleveland metro and expand the 2-4" a bit farther SW than the hi-res models suggest. 

With a well-aligned WNW flow from early Monday AM through the evening before the winds start backing and pushing the snow up the shoreline, will be a 12 or so hour window of good snow.  Parameters are OK with EL heights near 8k feet and moderate instability.  The airmass is quite dry but Lake Michigan pre-conditioning and reasonably light/well-aligned winds will make up for that a bit.  The NAM shows super-saturation with respect to ice in the upper half of the very shallow dendritic growth zone and upward motion in the DGZ, so if the NAM doesn't bust too high with its dew points there should still be enough snow growth for decent ratios, though the airmass is quite cold and it's close, if dew points are lower than the NAM ratios may struggle outside of any stronger bnd.  Given OK instability and a good WNW fetch without a ton of movement for around 12 hours, will go with 4-8" in the northern primary Snowbelt.  There may be a convergence band possibly from NE Cuyahoga into southern Lake/northern Geauga/Ashtabula caused by the interface between mostly ice-covered and thicker ice and open water pushing the convergence a bit north of the shoreline.  Where any more dominant bands develop over NE OH/NW PA will be where the best shot at closer to 8" will be.  Think there will be a band that develops over the northern Snowbelt from Lake/Ashtabula/Erie Counties early Monday ahead of a vort max that then swings SW as winds go WNW by later morning.  The band will likely lift NE Monday night then push over the lake by Tuesday.   Could see a locally higher amount in Erie County as they'll have a longer window for snow through Monday night than NE OH. 

Happy New Year!

5a4988fabd049_snow1-1.thumb.png.bd9fa0f72932023117086db1b49dd353.png

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8 minutes ago, OHweather said:

Just some quick thoughts before I head out for the night...

Winds will be WNW, however, am concerned the ice near the southern shore and also over the western basin extending into the central basin may allow the shoreline convergence to occur a little farther north closer to the remaining open water.  Ice coverage over the western basin is now over 90% with a thickness of 6-12"+, which is thick enough to be more prohibitive of good heat/moisture flux.  So, will cut off the snow farther northeast than I would for this type of flow with an open lake.  Still, with some moisture flux and a good fetch from Lake Michigan aimed towards the Cleveland area, was nervous enough to include an inch or two for the Cleveland metro and expand the 2-4" a bit farther SW than the hi-res models suggest. 

With a well-aligned WNW flow from early Monday AM through the evening before the winds start backing and pushing the snow up the shoreline, will be a 12 or so hour window of good snow.  Parameters are OK with EL heights near 8k feet and moderate instability.  The airmass is quite dry but Lake Michigan pre-conditioning and reasonably light/well-aligned winds will make up for that a bit.  The NAM shows super-saturation with respect to ice in the upper half of the very shallow dendritic growth zone and upward motion in the DGZ, so if the NAM doesn't bust too high with its dew points there should still be enough snow growth for decent ratios, though the airmass is quite cold and it's close, if dew points are lower than the NAM ratios may struggle outside of any stronger bnd.  Given OK instability and a good WNW fetch without a ton of movement for around 12 hours, will go with 4-8" in the northern primary Snowbelt.  There may be a convergence band possibly from NE Cuyahoga into southern Lake/northern Geauga/Ashtabula caused by the interface between mostly ice-covered and thicker ice and open water pushing the convergence a bit north of the shoreline.  Where any more dominant bands develop over NE OH/NW PA will be where the best shot at closer to 8" will be.  Think there will be a band that develops over the northern Snowbelt from Lake/Ashtabula/Erie Counties early Monday ahead of a vort max that then swings SW as winds go WNW by later morning.  The band will likely lift NE Monday night then push over the lake by Tuesday.   Could see a locally higher amount in Erie County as they'll have a longer window for snow through Monday night than NE OH. 

Happy New Year!

5a4988fabd049_snow1-1.thumb.png.bd9fa0f72932023117086db1b49dd353.png

Thanks for the forecast and happy new year! Be safe out there. I’ll be sleeping by 11. This would be an ideal set up Cleveland without ice cover. Just what we have to deal with given the shallow lake. 

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28 minutes ago, NEOH said:

Thanks for the forecast and happy new year! Be safe out there. I’ll be sleeping by 11. This would be an ideal set up Cleveland without ice cover. Just what we have to deal with given the shallow lake. 

I'm really glad yesterday's event did well IMBY for this reason.  I will say, we had a number of minor to moderate events late in the frigid winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 when the lake was frozen, and a brief torch with rain and wind can really move some ice around, so we'll get more LES, but it's not quite the same without a fully loaded western basin. 

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Band looks like its sagging south as the winds turn.  We'll see how far south it goes and if it holds together.  Can see some moisture flux from northwest of Cleveland, we'll see if it's enough for snow into the metro area this afternoon.  Was in Kirkland and got on I-90 at 306 in the heart of the band a few minutes ago and it's coming down, visibility near 1/8 of a mile.  Thank God I'm not driving right now.  Surprised CLE didn't go with an advisory for Lake/Geauga/Ashtabula.

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The irony of a cold and snowy end to 2017 is that 2017 still ended up being Cleveland’s warmest year on record. This coming off 2016, which was at the time, the warmest year on record. 

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Happy new year all!

I'm on the southern edge of the band, lightly snowing.  Looks like it's sinking south, hopefully not too fast.  Traffic webcams around Cuyahoga county show mod to heavy snow along 480 and 271.

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I have to imagine the odds of having the warmest years on record back to back are quite low...probably a combination of all the left-over heat from the very strong El Nino in 2015-16 and a generally warmer planet overall than when records began in the late 1800s.  

Pretty decent snow band has settled into a good chunk of Cuyahoga County, which is impressive since its fetch is entirely over ice.  It's snowing good here with a visibility under half a mile, but flake size is less than stellar so it's not adding up too fast.  Winds hardly move until mid-evening, but after 3 or 4pm we lose the modest large-scale lift from a weak vort max passing overhead and the thermodynamics degrade gradually, so the snow should start weakening some later this afternoon and then will lift northeast up the shore later this evening.  We'll see if someone in Cuyahoga County can manage a few inches.  Based on some obs it appears the rest of the Snowbelt is seeing some decent bands that may be getting overshot by the radar, Ashtabula and Erie have reported some decently low visibilities at times.  Likely a similar situation with poor flake size keeping rates from getting out of hand in these areas, but hopefully someone can squeak out a 6" total somewhere.  

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Despite it snowing all afternoon and into the evening half decently, didn't even squeak out a full inch of pixie dust.  Through this evening totals across the Snowbelt ranged from 2 to as much as 7" (South Madison), and some spots probably added another inch or so tonight, so an advisory probably would've been good.  

We get some NW flow lake effect Wednesday night through at Friday.  Should still have some open water left on that fetch, but parameters aren't as good as they can by and by Thursday afternoon through the remainder of the event it'll be too cold for good snow growth.  My thought is maybe locations downwind of Lake Huron can marginally hit advisory amounts in the higher terrain(likely either Ashtabula or parts of NW PA) and see something like 5-8" over the course of 36 or so hours, with the second half of that being a slow low-ratio accumulation, with amounts of up to a few inches in the rest of the higher terrain in NE Ohio east of Cleveland.  There may be enough juice for an inch or two in the higher terrain south of Cleveland into northern Medina, but with a short/icy fetch, mediocre parameters and poor snow growth not expecting much more in the secondary Snowbelt. 

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