Moist air plume offers risk of water problems

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 9:14 PM EST
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  • Mist and fog to slow morning commute
  • Heavier rains by night raise the prospects of street flooding
  • Thursday squall passage with strong winds and downpours

Late this Tuesday night, the Doppler radar scope at NewsChannel 3 is tracking a sea of green echoes. The late night returns on the computer screen suggest a rather pedestrian wet start to Wednesday. With the Huntington and Charleston rain gauges measuring a mere few tenths of an inch or less of rain so far, the only worry for the morning rush hour will be a misty, light rain and fog that will obscure the hills and make roads wet for the commute to work.

Likewise the daytime forecast as we get over the hump will be uninspiring from a standpoint of heavy rain. More like a Seattle rain, the grey, sully overcast skies will spit a fine drizzle at us much of the day. So fine will the rain drops be that many will be undetected by radar.

In addition the dreary, dark skies will come with a chilled north wind which will hold temperatures near 40 with a damp chill in the 30s much of the day.

Areas in interior Ohio north of Route 35 (Bob Evans highway) are susceptible to localized freezing conditions as temperatures hover near 32 much of the day.

By nightfall Wednesday, steadier, heavier rains will be arriving from the south, coinciding with a spike in warmth back into the 50s overnight into Thursday. This first batch of heavy rain may be accompanied by a rumble of thunder. It will also serve to deliver up to one inch of rain water which may prime the ground for problems. Odds favor pockets of street flooding in poor drainage areas into Thursday morning.

Thursday will dawn with a stiffening south wind, falling air pressure and rounds of chaotic rains. As temperatures get close to 60 the prospects for a squall line of stronger rains with wind and downpours will need to be monitored. Should these new rains fall long enough, small stream overflow will be possible.

By Thursday night into Friday, the race is on for cold air to catch the moist field and change rain to wet snow. The faster the change the better chance of an accumulation, but on the flip side of the coin the slower the arrival of the cold air, the more time for the moist air to move to the mountains and prevent any snow accumulation.

A moderately cold winter weekend will follow with a good chance of a small wet snowfall Saturday night into Sunday morning.

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