Yesterday was cold, and breezy, with increased cloudiness towards the evening. We went out and did some light grocery shopping and it began to snow.
This morning near Lodi, OH, the weather is cold, windy, and mostly sunny. There is still a heavy dusting of snow on the ground, though even the back roads are clear at this time. Here is a photo from near Lodi this morning:
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Cleveland, OH, forecasts (for Lodi) a mostly cloudy day, with a 40% chance of snow showers before 3 pm and a high temperature of 30 F. The winds will be 16-20 mph from the west. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 23 F. Winds will be from the west at around 8-14 mph, becoming south after midnight. The NWS has issued several lake effect snow- related products for northeastern Ohio.
The visible satellite imagery shows some cloud cover over the state today. However, the clouds are clearing in the western part of the state.
The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few thicker clouds in clusters over the eastern part of the state. It does not take a very thick cloud to produce snow.
The water vapor imagery shows uniform moisture over the state. What I like about this image is that you can clearly see the cold front (running through the Deep South) as well as the mid-latitude cyclone (the point where moisture is swirling counter-clockwise).
The 12Z sounding from Detroit, MI, shows a cold, but humid sounding, with a nearly saturated atmosphere under 650 mb. There was 0.19 inches of precipitable water present in the column on the west side of Lake Erie, and there was likely much more on the east side. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.6 C/km.
The hodograph shows 24 kts of low-level shear (mostly directional changes) and 46 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly speed changes).
The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cold temperatures, cloudy skies, moderate humidity (as shown by low surface dewpoint depressions) and strong westerly winds. Notice that there is more moisture in the air on the east side of Lake Erie than on the west side- Detroit had a dewpoint of 19 F and 20 F in Cleveland, OH. I expect this to become steeper throughout the day. There are no major frontal boundaries present over the state today.
The surface pressure chart shows a moderate pressure gradient over the state today as a high pressure system moves east. The RAP shows that this gradient will persist for at least the next six hours.
The Critical Thicknesses plot shows that all critical thickness contours are south of the state today, meaning snow is the most likely precipitation type. Anyone that walks outside this morning could guess this, without looking at the critical thickness contour plot.
The Lake Effect Snow plot shows a bull’s eye over very northeastern Ohio and Erie, PA, today. There is some convergence here, and the boundary-layer streamlines move directly across Lake Erie into this area.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows strong zonal flow over the state.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows no major vorticity advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.
The 700 mb NAM chart shows some no rapidly-rising air over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.
The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Warm Air Advection (WAA) approaching from the west. It’s not really a strong warm front, but the temperatures will rise.
The Precipitation chart shows some precipitation over the northeastern part of the state by 0Z. The precipitation will be snow, and though the amount of inches does not appear high, keep in mind that the precipitation chart shows inches of water, and that there is no direct correlation to how much snow to expect, given an amount of water.
I expect lake effect snow in the northeastern part of the state today, and breezy conditions everywhere. The temperature will warm slightly- perhaps enough for this weekend to be rainy instead of snowy.
Thank you for reading my forecast.
The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC