Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Spring Outlook

Spring? We aren't so sure winter is ready to give way just yet with more bone chilling temperatures ahead as we turn the calendar into March. But eventually that snow will melt and warmer air will return. We promise.

Below is our spring outlook for the few months ahead. For reminders sake, we predicted a colder than average winter with near to above average snow. Both verified, read here: WINTER OUTLOOK

Temperature: Below average, especially early. 

We can look back to last year to show how likely this forecast is. Anytime there will be a northeast wind, especially early in spring before Lake Erie ice melts, it will be bone chilling. It took until May last spring for temperatures to consistently reach their normal values. That could very well be the case this spring as well. The ice is actually thicker on Lake Erie than last year. 

Precipitation: Near to slightly below normal precipitation.

With an active pattern slated for early March it is likely that old saying will prove true. In like a lion, out like a lamb. While overall rainfall may be below normal, individual heavy rain storms may prove troublesome for local river concerns. See the next section for more details on that. 

Flooding: Significant Flooding Potential.

We use the word 'potential' to describe the spring flood outlook because that is exactly what this winter has built up to. Thick ice on local rivers and deep snow packs are the two main ingredients for dangerous flooding with spring rains just around the corner. Last year ice jams and periods of heavy rain came close to causing major flooding area-wide. This year the potential is just the same. It will take some luck for a slow thaw and dodging of major rain storms the next 1-2 months. Any quick warm-ups or heavy rain storms will need to monitored closely.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rapidly Changing Weather

This weekend is a grab bag of weather phenom with snow on the radar early Saturday and an eventual dangerously cold situation with our first Wind Chill Warnings of the season. 

Some snow showers will track through the area, especially during the first half of the day. Up to 1" of accumulation possible.

Along with the snow, as of 4am Saturday, the National Weather Service has populated all of NW Ohio and SE Michigan with Wind Chill Advisories and Warnings on top of Winter Weather Advisories that will last into the evening hours Saturday. 

After noon Saturday, the Wind Chill Warning goes into effect for all counties east of I-75 in Northwest Ohio and lasts through 7:00pm Sunday. 

A Wind Chill Warning is issued when a strong wind will combine with cold temperatures to create dangerously cold conditions for exposed skin. 

The wind will make it feel like it is 25 degrees below zero or colder for several hours. Advice from the National Weather Service states that those planning to spend extended periods of time outside should dress warmly and use common sense. If something doesn't feel right, head inside immediately. Frostbite and hypothermia are risks with this combination of cold temperatures and gusty winds. 

This entire pattern has been setting up for days, now. A Polar blast of air swinging in from the Arctic Circle is to blame, and once a pattern like this sets up, it's a tough one to break.

Along this strong polar jet, winds will range between 15-30mph Saturday with temperatures falling rapidly through the afternoon and evening hours. We bottom out tonight with lows 10 degrees below zero. 

Sunday morning will be remarkably cold, and there is no warm-up in sight. High temperatures Sunday will top out near zero degrees and in the lower single digits for the day. Winds die down and the Wind Chill Warning expires at 7pm. 

Another bitterly cold evening Sunday into Monday. Good thing it's Presidents' Day! Otherwise, we'd be tracking major school delays.