High impact winter storm possible late-week

These are the top three things I’m tracking this Tuesday evening.
1. A large temperature swing will occur with near record highs possible.
2. A large storm will pull in colder air as the workweek ends.
3. Freezing rain and accumulating snow are expected late week.

Here’s how the week will play out…

A 57 DEGREE TEMPERATURE SPREAD
The difference between warmest high temperature and coldest low temperature in the forecast period is 57°! Thursday will be the warmest day. Expect afternoon highs around 55°! That will near the record for the day. Thursday’s record high is 56° set last year, 2017. By Sunday night, we will have a complete reversal. The forecast low Sunday night into Monday is -2°. The record low for Monday is -8° set in 1972.

LARGE STORM BEGINS IMPACTING THE AREA THURSDAY
A storm system, currently over California as of Tuesday evening, will continue tracking across the central plains through the week. It will strengthen as it approaches our area. Expect rain showers to become more steady heading into Thursday night. Rain will be ongoing Friday morning. The back side of the storm will bring much colder air to the Valley and a changeover to more wintry weather (More on the wintry precipitation below). Friday will start with temperatures near the 50s but temperatures will drop steadily through the day. We drop below freezing Friday afternoon and continue falling to the 20s by Saturday morning. Temperatures are expected to drop through the day Saturday, bottoming out in the single digits by Sunday morning.

FREEZING RAIN AND ACCUMULATING SNOW A CONCERN FOR FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY
This is something you will need to watch closely. This is an evolving storm system and changes to the forecast are likely through the week. As new data becomes available, the pinpoint weather team will be fine-tuning the forecast. Keep checking back to WYTV.com and be sure to catch our newscasts on 33 WYTV at 6p, 11p, and starting at 5a for 33 News Daybreak. 

Models are currently showing rain to start the day Friday, with a changeover to freezing rain taking place Friday afternoon/evening. Almost all forecast models are showing this changeover occurring Friday afternoon and evening as of the data available this Tuesday evening. Treacherous travel will be possible Friday night and lingering into Saturday. The following is a breakdown of how each model is handling the storm. You can see images in the photo gallery below depicting what each model is showing.

The GFS Scenario
The GFS shows the changeover from rain to ice occurring Friday afternoon, somewhere between 12PM and 3PM. It shows Freezing rain and/or sleet occurring through midnight, before changing the precipitation over to all snow overnight into Saturday morning. The GFS is pushing the heavier snow a little further to our west than it has previously. It show snowfall accumulation of around 1″ in Columbiana, with up to 4″ in Trumbull and Mercer counties.

The European Scenario
The ECMWF model takes the storm further west. This does two things for the Valley. First, it holds off the changeover to a wintry mix and freezing rain until overnight Friday into Saturday morning. Second, it delays the changeover to snow, but still shows a hefty batch of snow by Saturday evening. The ECMFW model paints around 2″ to 6″ of accumulation in our area by Saturday evening.

The NAM Scenario
The NAM model is much more aggressive with freezing rain occurring in our area. It, too, shows a changeover from rain to Freezing rain occurring somewhere between 12PM and 3PM on Friday. The model keeps freezing rain in the area for an extended period of time. The model does not go out far enough to see how it handles the precipitation by sunrise Saturday, but it shows freezing rain and sleet occurring Friday afternoon and continuing overnight. If this model is correct, a significant glaze of ice could occur.

Summary
This is s storm to watch closely. The track is key. If the central track of the storm continues to show a tendency to shift west, we would see lower snowfall accumulation. The further east, the track, the higher our accumulation would be. The other variable will be how long the freezing rain takes place. All models agree on freezing rain occurring, but the European is slower at changing the rain over. Regardless, a period of icy, snow covered roads is expected somewhere between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

For a more in-depth look at what models are showing with the weekend storm, click “play” on the video above, or launch the photo gallery below. To see an hourly forecast and the current 7-Day forecast, CLICK HERE.

If you are on the WYTV app, click here for a gallery of the current models forecasting the weekend storm.