12 a.m. Update: Heavy snow continues to fall across Columbus. Storm total accumulation of 5-6 inches remains likely with locally higher amounts possible. Areas southeast of Columbus are still under the warm bubble of air that has barely evaded Franklin county. These locations will see significantly less snow, but a changeover is expected in the next one to two hours. Be prepared for isolated power outages overnight as well due to the heavy nature of the snow.
10 p.m. Update: Rain and sleet have changed to snow in Columbus. Some rain may mix in at times between now and 11 p.m. Light accumulations will occur through the next hour while temperatures remain just above freezing. As colder air settles in, snow will begin to accumulate rapidly. Be prepared for variable road conditions during the next hour with conditions turning much more hazardous as the night continues.
With the earlier changeover to snow, amounts will be towards the higher end of what is indicated on the forecast map above. Some locations in the Columbus metro could even pick up six inches if heavier bands of snow occur.
--- Original article from Tuesday afternoon ---
*Winter Storm Warning in effect through 1 p.m. Wednesday*
An area of low pressure is sliding south of Ohio this evening bring rain, sleet, and snow to the Ohio Valley. Some locations could pick up over 6 inches of snow before all is said and done.
Rain will overspread the Columbus area this evening after 6 p.m. Some isolated pockets of sleet will be possible especially north of the city. As colder air filters in, rain will change to snow. This changeover will occur faster to the west of Columbus where temperatures did not get as warm today.
A warm tongue of air is being wrapped around the surface low pressure system from the southeast into central and southeastern Ohio. (See the graphic in the slideshow list for a visual image.) This will cause temperatures to hold above freezing a little longer than previously expected. As temperatures cool aloft, rain will still change to snow as planned after 10 p.m.
The problem for snow lovers is that the temperature needs to fall below freezing for optimal accumulation conditions. Some minor accumulation will still occur before temperatures drop below 32 due to the heavy snowfall rates, but the slightly warmer air will put a dent in storm total accumulations.
For this reason, the forecast has been cut back to just 2-5 inches for the eastern two thirds of Franklin County including downtown Columbus. Up to 6 inches of snow will be possible further to west from Dublin to Hilliard where the temperature is expected to drop below freezing faster. Because there will be such a tight gradient in amounts, any tiny fluctuation will cause parts of Columbus to receive more or less snow. Stay with examiner.com for the latest updates on the snowstorm.
Road conditions will deteriorate rapidly after the rain changes to snow across the region. The worst conditions will be after midnight when the temperature drops below freezing. Use extra caution and plan extra time if you will need to be out driving. The morning commute will also be a little messy, but some improvement is likely as the snow winds down after 5 a.m. School delays and closings will be likely on Wednesday morning.
Leftover flurries will be possible through the afternoon on Wednesday, but the worst of the weather will be past us. Expect some melting to occur as temperatures head into the upper 30s. A warm up is on the way for the weekend with highs in the 50s expected. Get ready for some spring weather after our last snowy blast!
Forecast graphics are both above and below this article!
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