Monday, December 23, 2013

December Flooding

Widespread flooding will continue on area rivers and streams with many locations remaining under standing water.  Just how much rain fell this past weekend?  

This lined up very close to the forecast that we consistently called for Thursday and Friday of last week.  Here were those projections:

Moderate to major flooding will continue on many area rivers, with significant improvements the next 24 hours.  Here are a few rivers with the latest crest information.

Take a look at what the city of Findlay would look like from above at the crest of the flooding this morning at just shy of 15.5'. 

Many communities near rivers will continue to see flooded roadways.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE, DO NOT EVER DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED ROAD.  You man never know the true depth of the water, if the road is washed out or the strength of the current.  Flowing water of 12" or less can sweep you off your feet and sweep away your vehicle.  

~ Meteorologist Chris Vickers

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Weekend Storm -- Significant Rain Maker

The track of a weekend storm still looks to target the area late Saturday and through the day on Sunday. This storm has been on our radar since last weekend, and despite varying model differences, our forecast has remained consistent calling for mainly widespread rain into the area.  Unfortunately, even with the big snowpack now, the chance of a white Christmas next week looks very low.  Here is the current picture and my take on how this storm will evolve.  

Upper level Jetstream energy over the Pacific Ocean will parallel the west coast of the United the next 24 to 36 hours.  From there a deep trough will sweep into the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico.  Into this weekend a powerful storm will evolve, drawing significant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico up into the Great Lakes region.  

Despite a stray radical early model projection of widespread snow, all other models have remained consistent on this being mainly a rain event.  Our forecast has mirrored that and remained consistent calling for widespread and potentially heavy rain.  It's the task of a meteorologist to sift through and analyze immense amounts of data to determine the most realistic outcome based on all data available.  It's important to understand any computer model projection does not equal a sound and well reasoned weather forecast!  

A heavy rain event, with potentially localized flooding will be the main concern this weekend.  I expect light rain showers to begin on Friday with less than 0.25" of rain possible.  After a break in rain early Saturday, steady and possibly heavy rain Saturday night and into the day Sunday is expected.  This may bring 1.0" to 1.5" of rain for rainfall totals during the weekend up to 2".  This combined with current snowpack and a frozen ground may lead to localized flooding.  Here is a projected model ensemble (combination of many models) for anticipated precipitation through the weekend from the WPC (Weather Prediction Center).  

Wintry weather is not completely out of the mix here, I do anticipate late on Sunday that we will turn cold enough for a few hours of snow to mix in.  Best chance of an accumulation would be northwest of Toledo.  Stay tuned for additional updates!

~Meteorologist Chris Vickers
Twitter: @ChrisWTOL

Monday, December 16, 2013

Alberta Clipper -- More Snow

Alright folks another round of wintry weather headed out way this evening via an Alberta Clipper.  These systems are notorious for being quick hitting, light snow producers.  Here is the latest location of the Clipper which will be directly targeting the area after dark tonight

This will be a steady, quick and hard hitting "light and fluffy" snow that will quickly amount to accumulations in the 1 to 2" range with an additional 1" possible on Tuesday afternoon.  Total accumulations will be around 3" by tomorrow afternoon.  It will become quite windy Tuesday afternoon and evening with widespread blowing and drifting snow.  This will likely create very hazardous travel conditions.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ice Starting to Form on Lake Erie

The recent cold snap has allowed the lake temperature to rapidly drop in the shallow western basin. Mid-December is typically when we do see the first formation of ice. Forecasts have it forming rather quickly with the cold overnight lows expected the next week or two.

Above is the ice coverage map and a view from the Toledo Harbor