COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The winter has been fairly mild, despite a few cold blasts, and snowfall has been scant, totaling merely 1.4 inches in Columbus. The snow drought ended Sunday night in central Ohio.
Snow will accumulate 3 to 5 inches in central Ohio, with locally up to 6 inches south and east of the Columbus area, where a Winter Storm Warning continues through Monday morning. Eastern areas of the state could receive as much as 6 to 10 inches, with the Winter Storm Warning until 1 p.m..
Gusty winds and blowing snow will make travel conditions hazardous overnight into Monday.
Tracking A Winter Storm
The weekend storm initially dumped 14 inches of snow on Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, before diving southeast to the Gulf Coast Saturday night, and now making the turn northeastward along the Appalachians. The Appalachians were blasted by 6 to 12 inches of snow, with ice in the eastern foothills, from the Carolinas to western New England. Closer to the storm track, snow changed to rain in the coastal cities along I-95.
Low pressure in the Tennessee Valley will drift northeast, as a coastal storm develops along the Mid-Atlantic Coast. A wintry mix of ice and snow turned to all snow across Ohio in the early evening.
Sunday night will bring moderate snow along and east of the I-71 corridor, as the western low weakens over the central Appalachians and the coastal low becomes the dominant feature. Snow will fall heavily at times over the eastern half of the state, tapering off before dawn. Winds will increase to 15-25 mph.
Expect slippery travel conditions overnight and through Monday morning.
Martin Luther King Day will be cold and blustery with lingering snow showers and challenging travel conditions over the interior Eastern states. Lake-effect will add some daytime snow showers.
Tracking Winter Storms
Meteorologists look at multiple computer models to gauge the development and probable track of a winter storm. Numerical guidance ideally comes to a consensus path closer to an event; this weekend as energy in two branches of the jet stream combine to deepen the core upper-level system.
Subtle shifts in various forecasting models are monitored and compared to past events for outcomes while allowing for inevitable differences. The challenge is determining snow-ice-rain boundaries, based on the vertical temperatures profile of the atmosphere, which are correlated with model data to prepare a reasonably precise forecast.
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