Winter Storm Warning

From the National Weather Service for Columbiana County, OH:

.. WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON FRIDAY TO 6 PM EST SATURDAY…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON FRIDAY TO 6 PM EST SATURDAY.

SNOW WILL DEVELOP BY FRIDAY AFTERNOON… BECOMING HEAVY AT TIMES LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON INTO SATURDAY. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 6 TO 12 INCHES IS EXPECTED THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

THE HEAVY SNOWFALL WILL BE ASSOCIATED WITH A STRONG LOW PRESSURE THAT WILL BE MOVING THROUGH THE GULF STATES AND CAROLINAS FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL… KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD… AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. REPORT YOUR SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE… 1-877-633-6772.

In other words plan on doing your drinking at home Friday night.  Having looked at the precip forecast maps East Liverpool/Wellsville is right on the border of 6-12 inches to the southwest, south, and southeast and 3-6 inches to the north, which would tend to make a person think figure on right about 6 inches.  However these storms can be VERY tricky.  If it wobbles a bit to the north, and as my friend Nick would point out storms have a way of slowing up and heading a bit more NW than originally thought, that could mean closer to a foot of snow locally.  Or it could mean that warm air pushes further up the Valley and the region gets some sleet or rain for awhile especially early in the storm, which doesn’t really make driving in it any easier but does depress snow totals and can make post-storm cleanup easier.  The storm could wobble a bit south and the local area “only” gets 3-6 inches.  It could be weaker or stronger than forecast.  And we haven’t even discussed the possibility of dry-slotting, though the track of this storm is probably wrong for that to happen locally except maybe to shut it down early.  Keeping all these factors in mind I am going to predict a track slightly north of current thinking, that some warm air intrudes the Upper Ohio Valley causing a period of sleet and rain Friday afternoon before a conversion to straight heavy at times snow after sundown with an accumulation of 6-8 inches mostly before dawn Saturday.  I will also guess the presence of lake effect snow showers Sunday that are currently not in the forecast at all but ultimately prove to be nothing more than a nuisance.

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