Monday, January 31, 2011

Major Winter Storm--Update Monday Midday

A major winter storm is set to paralyze the area with significant snow, sleet and ice all followed by a blast of strong winds. This storm is still going to arrive in two parts. The first is on track for tonight and into tomorrow morning as a steady light snow passes over the area. Snow begins late this evening and will last into Tuesday morning with 1-3" of fresh snow. A brief lull in the activity through the early afternoon will be followed by the onslaught of heavy snow and ice by Tuesday evening. The most significant snow totals will be north and west of Toledo and across southern Michigan where 12 "+ of snow is possible by later Wednesday.

Much of northwest Ohio will moderate snowfall with a period of sleet and freezing rain late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. Icing and/or sleet totals may exceed 1/2 and inch. Our southern counties will see the least snow with significant icing and sleet possible.

The potential for ice and sleet will limit snow totals across northwest Ohio.  The combination of snow, ice and strong winds will create extremely hazardous travel at times and the potential for power loss.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What is a blizzard?

Anytime there is a large winter storm with some wind, the term "blizzard" gets thrown around very casually.

The National Weather Service's definition of a blizzard is a storm that produces:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Storm Details


Latest computer models are pushing the storm track slightly more northwest, bringing that chance of sleet & freezing rain into much of the area Tuesday into early Wednesday.  This would cut down on the accumulations a bit, and would cause ice accumulations during that period.  The Winter Storm Watch has been expanded to cover the entire area, beginning in many locations Monday evening and lasting through Wednesday.

Snowfall of 1 to 4 inches is likely thru Tuesday morning.  Additionally....Late Tuesday into Wednesday will produce  10-12"+ near the state line and across SE Michigan.  Areas from the state line down to around Findlay will see the potential for 6" or more Tuesday night into Wednesday, along with some ice accumulation.  Should the sleet/freezing rain stay far enough south, additional totals could reach an  10".  Areas south of Findlay will see some snow accumulation, but many hours of sleet/freezing rain...creating icy conditions and not as much snowfall.

Please note the bulk of this storm is still many thousand miles away, and the difference in track of 50-100 miles will shift the mixed precip line and alter the totals quite a lot.  We will mention more precise zones and amounts as the storm system gets closer. 


Things are coming together a bit more to suggest the track for a major snowfall.  The storm should be in a few stages:  the first Monday night into Tuesday morning...where a moderate snowfall is possible.  The second stage would be during the day Tuesday, where we may see a lull in the snow.  The third stage would be a period of heavy snow from Tuesday evening into Wednesday.  Strong winds will develop on Wednesday, causing blowing and drifting snow.

Of course, the exact track is pivotal, and is something that we will continue to monitor.  A wild card in this whole storm is the potential for a mix of sleet and freezing rain in the middle of the storm -- which would cut down snowfall totals.

The National Weather Service has already issued a Winter Storm Watch for Tuesday into Wednesday.  This could be modified to start earlier, depending on how the first stage comes together in the Monday night/Tuesday AM time frame...and will likely become a Winter Storm Warning once the storm gets closer.

Of note is an unusual occurrence happening today...You may know our computer models are fed by many sources of data, especially weather balloons.  But, a lot of the energy with this developing storm has been off the west coast where data collection is sparse.  The National Weather Service will be flying in airplanes today to get a lot more data.  This data will be fed into the latest computer model runs, and should help narrow some variables down.  The NWS developed the flights for situations like this, and it is similar to how they investigate tropical systems.


A big storm will develop Monday into Tuesday in the southern Plains.  Its track is still uncertain, but it will move through our area Tuesday into Wednesday.

We have been looking at a lot of computer model runs, most of which give us new output every 12 hours.  From studying them the past few days, there is a huge range in potential tracks.

One suggested track is to take the low up near Chicago or western Michigan -- that would mean the storm starts as snow for us, but then transitions to a mix and rain.  Snowfall accumulations would be light before the changeover.

Another suggested track takes the low through the southeastern states, and barely grazes us with little to no snow.

But, a lot of the computer model runs have been leaning towards a track in-between those already mentioned.  This track would bring the low through Tennessee and southern Ohio.  If this materializes, it would put us in the sector for heavy snowfall.  Having said that, even those model runs vary a bit on the exact track.  A difference of 50 or 100 miles means a big change in the snowfall amounts.

Keep in mind this forecast is based on a storm that has not even completely formed yet....and many of the computer models tend to be biased towards a more southerly track.  We have had many situations that looked like this 4-5 days out, and the actual track was the more northern option.

We will continue to update this the next few days!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowy Pics

These are some pictures sent in by my sister, who lives just NW of Philadelphia.  The first picture shows the yard around 8 am Wednesday, as about 2" of snow was accumulating (on top of some snow pack from previous snow).  The second picture is from 8 am Thursday, after the storm was done.  Final totals in that area were 12-14", and a lot of the snow was the heavy, watery kind.  The last picture is also from this morning.  Although the snow stopped around 2 am, side roads were not touched until around 11 am.

A band of heavy snow, combined with thundersnow, produced snowfall rates around 3" an hour at times.

-Mike Stone

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dodging Another Storm

UPDATED (THURSDAY MORNING):  The storm produced around 1 foot of snow for areas like Philadelphia & New York City.


Yet another big winter storm is moving to our east.  This will provide moderate to heavy snow for the northeastern United States.

Our snowfall tally this season is running a bit behind normal, and we are being surpassed in a big way by cities to our east.  Norfolk, Virginia, has had more snow this season than Toledo.

Here are the seasonal totals just before this latest storm, and the departure from normal snow totals:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lake Erie Ice Cover

Visible Satellite pictures of the progression of the ice cover on Lake Erie this month. The average January temperature is running -3.4° below normal. The colder winter month has meant an extensive progression of the ice coverage. Check it out!

January 23rd

January 17th

January 10th

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This Week

The arctic air from the weekend will get pushed out of the area, allowing highs to reach the mid 20s to around 30, and overnight lows to get out of the single digits this week.

A big storm will move up the east coast, which will also push some colder air back into our area for Thursday (but not as cold as this weekend was).

Normal high for this time of the month is around 31°, and the normal low is around 16°.

Another cold morning

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Very cold stretch ahead

A blast of arctic air will move through the area Friday into the weekend.  We will see our coldest stretch of the season, possibly putting together 4 consecutive days with highs in the teens.  The snow pack, combined with light winds, will allow lows to reach or dip below zero on the nights where skies clear a bit.

There will only be a modest warm-up late next week as temps try to get back to normal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thursday Snow

A storm system will track south of our area Thursday into early Friday.  Areas like Indianapolis, Columbus & Cincinnati will receive moderate snowfall.

Winter weather advisories and winter storm watches have already been posted for areas well to our south and southwest.

Snow will begin towards midday Thursday, and exit early Friday morning.  The potential exists for a light snow accumulation, especially well south of Toledo.

Warmest In 2 Weeks

The high at Toledo Express Airport hit 37° today, making it the warmest day since January 4.

Normal highs for this point of the month are around 31°.  Colder air takes a firm hold on the area the rest of the week.  We may not crack the freezing mark until the middle of next week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another cold stretch

After hitting temps well above freezing Tuesday, the remainder of the extended forecast will be quite cold.

Colder air will seep into the area Tuesday evening into Wednesday, with another push of colder air for Friday.  Opportunities for flurries or some light snow will stay through the end of the week.

Normal high during this period is around 31°, and normal low is around 16°.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monday-Tuesday storm

The next storm system will spread some light snow in during the mid to late evening Monday, probably after 7 pm.  Light snow will last for a few hours.  Any accumulations would be minor.

From midnight to daybreak on Tuesday, there is the potential for some hours of freezing rain or a mix.  We could have some icy conditions for the early part of the morning.

Temperatures will surge above freezing during the rest of Tuesday morning, allowing the precipitation to be just plain rain.  Highs will reach the mid/upper 30s.  As colder air returns late in the day Tuesday, the tapering precipitation could switch back to snow for a short time.

This storm will not produce heavy precipitation for us, but there could be some hours Tuesday morning that are slick.  With the warm air coming into the area over a decent snowpack, fog is also likely Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Frigid Sunday Morning

Thanks to clearing skies, light winds and decent snow cover, temperatures dropped like a rock between midnight and 8 am this morning.

Most areas that saw some clearing had lows between about 5° and 10°.  Areas that kept lots of clouds, like Erie & Huron counties, had lows in the teens.

However, a few spots REALLY got cold:

1°    Toledo Express Airport

0°    Bryan

-3°   Adrian

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow in 49 out of 50 States

Every State, with the exception of Florida, currently has snow on the ground. This includes Hawaii where about seven inches of snow is atop Mauna Kea. As of Jan. 11, 69.4 percent of the contiguous United States is covered by snow - this is more than double the snow cover from last month. This week's snow storm in Southern states has allowed for this unusual occurrence. Take a look...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Has Arrived

Storm Update: 11 AM

A steady snow has spread across the area which looks to last through the afternoon and evening. Cold temperatures will allow for a very light and fluffy snow to accumulate in the 3 to 5 inch range by this evening. An additional 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected late this evening and into the overnight tonight. This could put several areas around 6 inches or more of snow by Wednesday morning.

Many of the area roads will likely see hazardous travel conditions especially during the peak of rush hour this evening. We will have the latest information on cancellations this evening and up to the minute information on any school closings or delays on WTOL or

Also, don't forget to check out our new Interactive Radar!

Winter storm update


Forecast is still on track.  Snow will turn steady this afternoon into this evening, making for increasing travel problems.  A winter weather advisory is in effect through Wednesday morning.  Additional lake-effect snow will occur in Erie/Huron counties Wednesday afternoon.


We continue to track a major winter storm moving towards the area.

Snow will begin  Tuesday morning or midday, but should not cause a significant problem for the morning rush hour.  Snow will turn steady and possibly heavy at times during the mid/late afternoon into the evening.  Accumulations of a few inches will be likely by the evening rush hour, with additional snow Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning.

Final accumulations by midday Wednesday will be at least 4 inches across the entire area, but could reach as high as 8 inches in spots.

Stay tuned for additional updates at

Sunday, January 9, 2011

An update on snow

This season has only produced 9.2" of snow at Toledo Express Airport.  This number is close to 5" below normal.

A major storm system that is providing heavy snow to the Plains and the Deep South will give us snow Tuesday, with some snow showers continuing Tuesday night into Wednesday.  Another system could give us more snow next weekend.

Stay tuned to the latest forecasts on our main weather page for further updates:

Cold morning lows

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Big snows continue to miss us

Persistent lake-effect snow bands will continue to add accumulation across parts of NE Ohio, NW PA & NY, SW Michigan, NW Indiana, and near the thumb of Michigan.

The snow in NW Indiana and extreme SW Michigan has been steady at times the last few days.  By the time the lake-effect winds down late Sunday, some sections may have over 2 feet of snow on the ground.

The next item of interest is a big winter storm that will target the Plains and the southeastern United States.  Parts of the deep south could pick up over 6 inches of snow Sunday into Monday.  This storm will track south of our area and only provide light snow Tuesday into Wednesday.  (BTW -- in the map below, the areas shaded in Michigan & Ohio are from the lake-effect snows described above)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Warm air exits quickly

The storm that brought the rain and warm air Friday into Saturday pushed a cold front through the area Saturday morning.  Temps dropped quite a bit during the day with most areas below freezing by early evening.  Sunday morning temperatures fell into the teens with wind chills in the single digits.  At 7 a.m. Saturday, the temperature was 52°, and at 7 a.m. Sunday, the wind chill was 5°.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Severe weather outbreak

A huge clash between unseasonably warm temperatures and bitter cold set the stage for a severe weather outbreak on Friday.  The first wave hit parts of Missouri and Illinois around midday and early afternoon.  A second wave hit the far south during the evening.  Both sets of tornadoes caused fatalities.

Detailed tornado path and damage surveys:   Missouri/Illinois   Southern states

(This same system, although in a much weaker state, brought us the steady rain on New Year's Eve into Saturday morning.)

A full tally about all the severe weather items can be found here.