Can you believe that our potentially biggest snowfall of the season may be about to occur…in March? This major winter storm will impact a large portion of the country and bring the potential for wind, ice, rain, and heavy snow.
*Winter Storm Warning in effect from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 1 p.m. Wednesday*
A deep upper level trough in the atmosphere will dig southeast into the Ohio Valley tonight spawning an area of low pressure near St. Louis. This low will slide east/northeast up the Ohio River and bring heavy wintry precipitation to our region on Tuesday and Tuesday night. For this evening, expect nothing more than an increase in cloud cover towards sunset. A few flurries will also be possible after dark, but no accumulating snow will fall.
The forecast track of this low pressure area has shifted slightly south over the past 12 hours. There are two main changes to the forecast that will occur because of this. First, less precipitation is anticipated during the morning hours on Tuesday. However, any areas that see some precipitation could get a light wintry mix of sleet, snow, and rain. This means scattered slick spots will be possible, but significant issues are expected during the morning hours.
The second change to the forecast is for the possibility of more snow in Columbus than earlier thought. With the storm system tracking slightly farther south, the heaviest snow band will occur near and just north of I-70.
Going through your Tuesday, expect light pockets of a wintry mix to develop during the morning and early afternoon hours. This will transition to plain rain by 3 p.m. as temperatures rise above freezing. The transition to snow will occur after sunset on Tuesday evening. Areas northwest of Columbus near Lima and Bellefontaine will see a slightly earlier transition occur.
Rain will change to snow from west to east between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday. As temperatures fall below freezing, the snow will start to accumulate rapidly. Heavy snow appears a good possibility for several hours after the changeover. Conditions on area roads will deteriorate rapidly. Strong winds of 15 to 25 mph will also create near zero visibility. Snow is expected to taper off by sunrise on Wednesday morning, but the commute could still be very messy from the overnight snowfall. There is a very good chance that numerous schools will be closed.
Snow totals will range from 2-4 inches south of Columbus to as much as 8-10 inches near Lima, OH. For the Columbus metro area, 5-7 inches of snow is expected.
Light flurries will remain possible through Wednesday morning before conditions completely clear up by the afternoon. Highs will head into the middle 30s. A rapid melt down will occur later this week and temperatures head for the 40s on Friday and even 50s by this weekend. Spring is right around the corner; just make it through the snow on Tuesday first!
Stay with examiner.com for the latest updates on the snowstorm.
Forecast graphics are both above and below this article!
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