Winter Returns with Squalls
The cold blusters of winter will return on Friday with a burst of rain, sleet and snow midday into the afternoon likely to produce poor travel conditions.
Thursday night’s light snow pattern melted on paved surfaces while coating grass and rooftops in parts of Southern Ohio for an astounding 15th time this winter season. Adding it all up, there has been less than 12 inches of snow for the season except in the mountains.
Friday’s snow prospects will offer some travel issues. After a morning of "surprise" sun, a wave of afternoon showers of first rain then ice and finally snow will develop. The initial snow looks to melt on paved surfaces. Then as temperatures fall below freezing, roads will become slick. In addition, the winds will blow hard and vision through the intense snow showers will be poor during these near whiteout conditions.
Fortunately the squalls only last 15-30 minutes, but they leave behind a whitened landscape and ice on untreated roads.
One final thought, you will know a blinding squall is moving in when the sky suddenly turns dark on the western horizon with sunshine breaking through where you are. There is even a chance at a rare rumble of January thunder as the squalls pass.
Another round of snow showers is expected Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Next week will see a piece of the polar vortex break off and head into the Northeast USA. That should translate to more snow and the second coldest arctic cold snap of this winter.