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Northern Ohio Obs/Discussion Part 2


Trent
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I bumped up to 6-10" in the higher terrain this morning.

Pretty good agreement that the low will come in on the upper-end of projections intensity wise and track from just south of Mansfield to near/just south of Youngstown.  This stronger low will also move slower to our east tonight and hold on a little longer before transfering to the East Coast.  Good agreement on the southern edge of a band of moderate to heavy snow driven by low to mid-level frontogenesis rotating across north-central and NE Ohio this evening bringing a 2-3 hour period of moderate to heavy snow with rates of 1-2" per hour possible in the northernmost counties.  After that, mid-level deformation and deep moisture lingers well past midnight in the Cleveland area and into the morning near and east of the PA boarder, keeping light to moderate snow going for several hours after the initial burst.  In the higher terrain downwind of the lake, as 850mb temps cool to -7 to -10C after midnight some terrain/lake enhancement should keep a somewhat heavier snow going in the higher terrain.  Ratios while starting out less than 10:1 this evening should climb a bit after midnight...thinking event average ratios of a little under 10:1 in the high terrain where the enhanced snow later tonight into tomorrow will be a little higher ratio and maybe 7-8:1 near the lake...in NW OH where it will snow today with temps above freezing they may see 5:1 ratios making accums out west really uncertain. 

Given a long window of moderate to heavy snow, especially in the higher terrain, and copious QPF on the hi-res guidance that will pick up on terrain enhancement better, think 6-10" in the high terrain is likely as far west as Cuyahoga County.  In Cleveland, I do expect amounts to be a bit less near the lake, though a little farther northeast more substantial synoptic snow should allow for more snow right along the lake as well.  Local amounts of over a foot seem likely in the higher terrain of inland Erie County, PA where there will be a better shot of synoptic snow and more prolonged deformation/orographic lift snow into Friday morning. 

Given winds gusting 30-40MPH during the snow for a lot of tonight, perhaps better than 50MPH for a time near the lake and right behind the front this evening elsewhere, blowing snow/reduced visibility will be a significant issue.  Near blizzard conditions are possible if it comes down hard enough to meet the visibility requirement (more questionable given the wet snow).  Could also be some downed trees/powerlines with the initially wet snow and strong winds.

Anyways, here's my map for the NE Ohio Snowbelt...would include a 8-14" area in inland Erie County, PA and 6-10" along the lake there. 

28379712_339113336595995_864351752553868

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Hope this plays out. I expect heavier totals will be just north of me, as with the entirety of this winter. This event may be one of, if not the, last chance to move this winter grade from a solid F into D territory.

Second lowest snowfall total in my 15 years living here - just barely above the terrible winter of 2011-2012, with every month well below average (save December). Of course the real kicker is the "fact" that 10-14 miles to my north has received "record winter snowfall". The idea that the Erie Airport received 100" of snow in the month of December (they sit at 156" for the season) is about as likely as me dunking a basketball - at 5'5", ain't that likely. The constant complaining or bragging of how "harsh" this winter has been for Erie...makes it even more insufferable.

Perhaps this can be reverse psychology to the weather gods, and I get hammered with snow March into early April. Thank you for allowing the cathartic rant. 

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14 minutes ago, MAIDEsNow said:

Hope this plays out. I expect heavier totals will be just north of me, as with the entirety of this winter. This event may be one of, if not the, last chance to move this winter grade from a solid F into D territory.

Second lowest snowfall total in my 15 years living here - just barely above the terrible winter of 2011-2012, with every month well below average (save December). Of course the real kicker is the "fact" that 10-14 miles to my north has received "record winter snowfall". The idea that the Erie Airport received 100" of snow in the month of December (they sit at 156" for the season) is about as likely as me dunking a basketball - at 5'5", ain't that likely. The constant complaining or bragging of how "harsh" this winter has been for Erie...makes it even more insufferable.

Perhaps this can be reverse psychology to the weather gods, and I get hammered with snow March into early April. Thank you for allowing the cathartic rant. 

I think you are in a great spot for this storm... snowfall should only increase as you head NE out of Ohio into PA. Edinboro seems like a good spot for terrain enhancement given the elevation. It has been a frustrating winter for those that rely on a WNW or NW wind direction... we know that all too well around here.

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I’d be surprised if NW PA doesn’t do well with this storm.  Any other observers near ERI airport than can confirm or deny the December snowfall? It seemed suspiciously high at the time, though they did get hit well with a few events so I’m sure the city and lakeshore at least were “well above average” even if not as truly record breaking as reported. 

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29 minutes ago, OHweather said:

I’d be surprised if NW PA doesn’t do well with this storm.  Any other observers near ERI airport than can confirm or deny the December snowfall? It seemed suspiciously high at the time, though they did get hit well with a few events so I’m sure the city and lakeshore at least were “well above average” even if not as truly record breaking as reported. 

Looks like a mix showing up on radar over the lake, with snow starting around the islands. I wonder if we'll have a slow turnover for those of us south of the lakeshore.

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7 minutes ago, NEOH said:

Looks like a mix showing up on radar over the lake, with snow starting around the islands. I wonder if we'll have a slow turnover for those of us south of the lakeshore.

I think as the band of heavier precip pivots in it’ll change pretty quickly (maybe a brief period of sleet)...but it probably won’t be until 7-9PM in the Cleveland metro and east side.  

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Just now, OHweather said:

I think as the band of heavier precip pivots in it’ll change pretty quickly (maybe a brief period of sleet)...but it probably won’t be until 7-9PM in the Cleveland metro and east side.  

Sounds good. CLE just jumped on board --

..WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO NOONEST FRIDAY...

* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 7 to  10 inches, with localized amounts up to 13 inches, 
are expected.

* WHERE...In Pennsylvania, Crawford county. In Ohio, Cuyahoga,
  Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula Inland and Ashtabula Lakeshore
  counties.

* WHEN...From 7 PM this evening to noon EST Friday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Plan on difficult travel conditions. Tree branches could fall. Be prepared for significant 
reductions in  visibility at times. Snow will be heavy at times with snowfall  rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour. Once
the snow begins to stick to  surfaces, it will begin to pile up rapidly in the heaviest snow.
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Changed to snow about 20 minutes ago here after a brief period of sleet.  It is beginning to accumulate.  Some streets adjacent to my complex have lost power...luckily mine is still on.  Everything seems on track, though how efficiently the snow accumulates will strongly influence where the totals end up at (ie higher end vs low end). 

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Flipped to snow around 7:20. Deck and grass are starting to get covered. We had so much rain today there’s standing water everywhere. It will be interesting to see the snow cover in the morning. The winds are really howling. Hopefully we’ll see a slow low transfer and maximize snowfall tonight.

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Drive back from downtown to Chagrin Falls. I-77S was okay, not great, but once I got over Valley View then things took a turn for the worse. 480E was awful and it just got worse closer I got to Solon. Absolutely ripping out there, haven't seen it snow this hard for quite some time.

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2 minutes ago, Trent said:

I thought the west side was finally going to score with this one. Add another 2-3” snowfall to the list. :rolleyes:

You did better than I did.  Just over an inch out my way.  Only a trace left on the ground this morning.

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It was too warm near the lake.  Sat at 33-34.  There have been a couple of marginal events where surface temps have been warmer than modeled.  An inch in Huron is ouch.  Definitely thought there’d be more based on the radar there, and saw a report on Twitter of 5” in Collins (which is much farther inland).  If I’ve learned anything from reading posts from you guys on the lake it’s that I’m never going to get a place right near a body of water if I can help it. 

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A little post-mortem looking at the reports that came in...

Definitely a typical late-season synoptic storm with some elevation dependence, a need for strong rates to accumulate well, and a very wet snow.  The unusually strong low and associated winds made it an impressive site with decent snow falling and blowing good for several hours...too bad this couldn't happen during the day.  The number of power outages (peaked at a bit over 100,000) was reasonably impressive, though certainly a far cry from bigger power outage events we've had like Sandy.  Roads were quite slick with a very dense, slushy snow last night, which made travel hazardous along with the scattered tree/power issues.  It was definitely an event worthy of a Winter Storm Warning both by amounts and impact.  I noticed here that in areas that were somewhat sheltered from the wind (either by terrain or buildings) there was a good couple inches of snow plastered to the trees, while areas more exposed had little or no snow on the trees...on one hand sort of cool, on the other would've been nice to see everything covered in snow.

As for the forecast and verification, this one sort of snuck up as it got closer.  The Euro in particular hinted at some snow several days out, while the GFS and CMC had the storm but were a little too warm for snow.  It became obvious early in the week that decent accums were at least remotely possible, but the last-second shift south and stronger really improved the odds of that occurring Wednesday and into yesterday on the models.  As for the final forecast, most of the higher terrain did see 6-10" in NE OH (including the secondary snowbelt), with a couple of 10-12" reports in Geauga and Ashtabula.  In general it was solid, but two areas that didn't do well were along the lakeshore from about Mentor west seeing less than expected and also southern Summit, southern Portage, and southern Trumbull Counties seeing more snow than expected.  As for the lakeshore, that's a perplexing issue that is hard to forecast.  I figured there'd be less there than inland, but also thought that with there being a lot of QPF from the synoptic snow along the lake that there'd at least be a few inches.  Temps did run about 2F warmer than modeled, which along with the strong wind off the water blowing some of the snow away likely made it hard to accumulate well on the lakeshore.  So, a bit disappointing in those areas.  As for farther inland, I'm guessing a little less wind and probably a slightly higher ratio snow falling allowed decent amounts to occur pretty far south despite gradually diminishing liquid equivalent.  I thought the forecast was solid but still could've been better.  Every local station except for channel 5 was only calling for 1-3" in the snowbelt yesterday morning, which was a bad miss.  The NWS was a little slow, though they did have 3-6" for the snowbelt yesterday morning before going up several more inches (and in turn being too high in most areas) with their afternoon package.

Overall, I won't complain if we get another one or two types of these storms this spring...probably won't but who knows, the pattern doesn't look warm/dry anytime soon. 

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5 hours ago, OHweather said:

It was too warm near the lake.  Sat at 33-34.  There have been a couple of marginal events where surface temps have been warmer than modeled.  An inch in Huron is ouch.  Definitely thought there’d be more based on the radar there, and saw a report on Twitter of 5” in Collins (which is much farther inland).  If I’ve learned anything from reading posts from you guys on the lake it’s that I’m never going to get a place right near a body of water if I can help it. 

It actually started out fairly promising with close to an inch falling quickly after the changeover, but then the precip rate slowed and some rain started to mix in and pretty much stayed that way through the rest of the event.  I'm pretty used to these really borderline events not producing in November and early December but it really hurts when it happens near the end of the snow season when the lake should be colder.  I guess it shows how much the warm temperatures the last couple weeks raised the water temperatures.  I think with a mostly frozen lake we would have done a lot better.

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7 hours ago, vpbob21 said:

It actually started out fairly promising with close to an inch falling quickly after the changeover, but then the precip rate slowed and some rain started to mix in and pretty much stayed that way through the rest of the event.  I'm pretty used to these really borderline events not producing in November and early December but it really hurts when it happens near the end of the snow season when the lake should be colder.  I guess it shows how much the warm temperatures the last couple weeks raised the water temperatures.  I think with a mostly frozen lake we would have done a lot better.

 

That's definitely possible.  Some 36F waters showing up near the coast out west, and even if that added just a degree or two to the temps that may have made the difference. 

It looks like two more time periods to watch coming up with relatively deep/slow moving troughs across the east...Wednesday-Friday of this upcoming week and then around the 12th-13th.  Maybe some sort of lake effect potential along with non-zero synoptic snow potential.  A lot of ensemble members are uninteresting with only light amounts of snow, but enough have something more substantial with each period that it's worth keeping an eye on. 

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22 minutes ago, OHweather said:

That's definitely possible.  Some 36F waters showing up near the coast out west, and even if that added just a degree or two to the temps that may have made the difference. 

It looks like two more time periods to watch coming up with relatively deep/slow moving troughs across the east...Wednesday-Friday of this upcoming week and then around the 12th-13th.  Maybe some sort of lake effect potential along with non-zero synoptic snow potential.  A lot of ensemble members are uninteresting with only light amounts of snow, but enough have something more substantial with each period that it's worth keeping an eye on. 

You should look at the 0z GGEM.

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A number of snow chances through Friday with a slow-moving upper-level low drifting across the region...we'll see if any of them can put down some decent accumulations anywhere.

First shot is Tuesday morning with the occluded front.  This looks to be fizzling as it comes in.  Classic "dusting at best" scenario.

Second shot is Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as a lobe of the upper low approaches, takes on a negative tilt, and sparks a surface low either overhead or just to our north.  With very cold 500mb temps of -35C with the upper low, lapse rates will be steep and there will be some instability.  If the lift from the developing surface low and approaching upper low can spark some precip, as many models show, it may be a bit convective in nature and drop some locally moderate amounts.  Low-levels appear marginal for snow, but with plenty cold air aloft, favorable time of day, and potential for convective precip, have to think if any decent precip develops it would fall as mostly snow.  At the moment most areas will probably just see a light accumulation at best in this period, but the potential for some locally heavier convective snow will have to be watched and could produce some locally heavier amounts somewhere in northern Ohio.

Third shot is some potential lake enhanced snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning as we stay in a cyclonic flow on the backside of the intensifying Nor'easter as colder air works in.  This looks like a W to WNW flow event.  The 0z NAM was pretty robust with this, but the other 0z models are drier.  Even so, it's mainly lake-driven so something to watch as we get closer. 

And finally, another potent lobe of the upper-level low looks to move overhead Thursday night into Friday, increasing lift and bringing in somewhat colder air.  This increased moisture/lift with the upper low and what looks to be a W to NW flow could cause decent accumulations in parts of the snowbelt if all goes well.

Then probably a break over the weekend as that system currently is progged to go south of us, but potentially some more lake effect potential next week as some decent cold for mid-March looks to move in. 

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