Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon

The final day of 2009 will be special for many reasons.  It's a once in a Blue Moon occurrence--literally.  A blue moon occurs on average once in every 2 0r 3 years.  It is generally regarded as having two full moons in the same calendar month.  This December 2009 is that month. 


Even more interesting, the last time a blue moon occurred on New Year's Eve was 19 years ago in 1990.  The next time it is expected to occur on New Year's Eve is 2028. 


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The End of 2009

A cold trend will stay with us to end the year.  Highs and lows will be near or below normal through New Year's Eve.  Without any extreme conditions the next few days, we can mention some facts about 2009.

Hottest:  94°  on June 25, August 9 & 16

Coldest:  -14° on January 16 & 17  (followed closely behind by -12° on February 5)

Precipitation for the year was about 5" above normal.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Forecast

We will remain on the warm side of a powerful storm through most of the Christmas holiday.  We will have rain showers, heavy at times through the morning.  It will be very breezy with southeast winds around 20 mph gusting to over 30 mph at times.  High temperatures will be mild reaching nearly 40 degrees. 


The record high for Christmas was 63 degrees set back in 1982.  Ironically, the record low was set the following year of -13 below zero in 1983.   Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Major Christmas Storm--Who will see Snow?

A major and potentially record setting snowstorm is gathering strength across the Southern Plains.  Winter storm warnings, Blizzard warnings and winter weather advisories have been posted from the Texas Panhandle north to the Dakotas and east to the western Great Lakes.  Here is a look at Stormtrack 11 Futurecast and the prediction of as much as 12" to 24" of snow by Saturday morning across the northern Plains. 

 Snow Accumulations

Travel will be hazardous to outright dangerous anywhere from Chicago westward into the central and northern plains.  Blizzard or near blizzard conditions will cause whiteouts and render some roadways impassable. 

We will be on the warm side of this storm with the dominant weather maker being rain and wind through the Christmas holiday which has put our chance at a white Christmas at nearly zero.  But remember; be careful for what you wish for.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Official Start Of Winter

Even though it felt like the middle of winter last week, winter does not officially begin (astronomically) until next Monday, December 21 at 12:47 p.m.

It is the winter solstice, and marks the time when the direct rays of the sun are over the Tropic of Capricorn (south of the equator).  After December 21, we begin to gain a little daylight each day heading towards spring in March.



December Precip Stats

Liquid precip (rain and melted frozen precip):

1.79"  (0.61" above normal)



2.1"  (0.8" below normal for the month, we are 3.6" below normal for the season so far)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Coldest Temps In About 10 Months

After a mild November, December has sure made up for it very quickly.  Highs Thursday will struggle to break much above 20 degrees.  And, depending on the amount of cloud cover Thursday night, we will see lows by daybreak Friday in the single digits to around 10°.     (Normal high is now 38° and normal low is now 24°)

Here are some previous cold temps across greater Toledo:


  • 28°   -   December 5

  • 23°   -   March 2

  • 19ยบ   -   February 5

  • 15°   -   February 4


  • 14°   -   December 5

  • 12°   -   March 4

  •   5°   -   March 3 & Feb 24

  •   2°   -   February 6

High Wind Warning


A high wind warning is in effect into early tonight.  Winds will be 25 to 40 mph with some gusts exceeding 50 mph.  The strongest winds will be this afternoon into this evening.

Wind gusts of this magnitude are enough to affect trees and power lines, as well as high profile vehicles.

Wind chills tonight through Thursday will be near or a little below zero.

The winds will also cause the western part of Lake Erie's water levels to drop.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Evening Storm Update

As the storm approached today, it encountered very dry air in the lower atmosphere.  So, although the radar was lit up with echoes, the majority of it was evaporating before reaching the ground.

Things began to start hitting the ground around 4-5 pm in some of our southern sections.  The onset of the precip has been snow, and a mix of snow/sleet/rain.  With temps near 32, some of the rain has been freezing on untreated surfaces.

The colder sections of our viewing area (west of I-75 in northern Ohio and southern Michigan) will be the last to see the precip change to just plain rain tonight.

The storm will keep rainy conditions (and maybe even some thunder) around tonight into the morning rush hour Wednesday.  As cold air filters in after daybreak, rain will begin to mix with some wet snow (northwest to southeast) during the morning and midday hours.  There will be no sleet or freezing rain -- just rain and snow mixed.  The precip will be in the form of just snow in the afternoon.  Some snow showers will be enough to put down a light accumulation, a coating to 1", in some areas.

Of bigger concern Wednesday will be the winds.  Wind speeds will continue increasing in the morning, reaching sustained strengths between 25 & 40 mph, with some gusts exceeding 50 mph during the day.

Following this will be some of the coldest air since late February/early March on Thursday and Thursday night.  Highs will struggle to reach the mid 20s Thursday afternoon, and gusty winds will create wind chills near or slightly below zero.  With some breaks in the clouds Thursday night and Friday morning, lows will drop to near 10°.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Storm Discussion -- updated

The main aspects of the storm have not really changed much in the past 24 hours, but we see a few items to refine in terms of the timing.

Light snow should develop Tuesday afternoon, and transition to a wintry mix during the evening hours.  A minor snow accumulation will occur, especially north and west of I-75, late in the day into the evening.

The wintry mix will transition to all rain Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.  Cold air will return around midday Wednesday and change the leftover rain back to snow for Wednesday afternoon.   Scattered snow showers will continue Wednesday night and Thursday.  A new light accumulation of snow is possible as the storm exits. 

Another factor of concern will be extremely strong winds.  Gusts may exceed 40 mph Wednesday afternoon, and could top 50 mph late Wednesday into Thursday.  This combined with the coldest air of the season for Thursday will create wind chills in the single digits.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Major storm this week

A strong winter storm will move across the country this week.  Clouds will thicken Tuesday with some light snow arriving late in the day.  Snow will switch to a wintry mix in the evening and overnight, and should turn to rain Wednesday morning.  It will be wet the first half of Wednesday, but strong winds will bring much colder air and change the rain back to snow later Wednesday.  As of right now, the timing may work out that there isn't much snow accumulation, but we shall continue to update the forecast frequently the next 48 hours.

This storm will produce heavy snow to our west (near and west of Chicago into the upper Great Lakes & midwest through the northern and central plains).  Those with travel plans Monday night through early Thursday to points westward need to monitor upcoming forecasts.  Blizzard-like conditions may affect parts of the northern plains by Wednesday with significant snowfall accumulations.

Cold Mornings

We recorded lows in the mid teens both yesterday and this morning.  These are the coldest lows of the season, and the coldest temperatures since early March.  The numbers were not close to any records -- those are near or below zero for most of the area.  However, the lows averaged about 10-12 degrees below the normal of 26°.