After a warm start to December, with temperatures running 2-5°F above the long-term average (1991-2020), more winter-like weather has settled into the region. Temperatures this past week were cooler than average, supporting some light snow showers over the weekend. Overall, precipitation over the last two weeks has been light (0.2-0.75”) from Dayton to Canton and points north (Figure 1). Southern counties have picked up between 1-2.5” over this period, helping to ease some of the drought conditions that have been present there most of the fall. According to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, about 52% of the state is experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions, down from 57% the previous week. For the latest up-to-date conditions, seasonal outlooks, and monthly climate summaries, please visit the State Climate Office of Ohio.
High pressure will keep tranquil weather in place for Ohio through Wednesday. Temperatures will slowly modify from highs in the 20s and 30s on Tuesday into the mid 30s to mid 40s on Wednesday. A very strong cold front and associated low pressure system will move into the region beginning on Thursday with rain showers developing Thursday afternoon. Overnight Thursday into Friday morning, the cold front will rapidly sweep through, ushering in much colder air, very gusty winds, and a changeover to snow. At the time of this report it is too early to detail snowfall amounts, but some of the coldest air we have experienced for Christmas will move in this weekend. Morning lows on Saturday and Sunday will likely hover near zero, with highs only in the single digits to low teens, and wind chill values well below zero. Stay tuned to local forecasts for updates as the forecast is likely to fluctuate throughout the week. Overall, the Weather Prediction Center is currently forecasting 0.50 (south)-1.00 (north) of liquid-equivalent precipitation across Ohio this week (Figure 2).
After this weekend’s Artic blast, temperatures will moderate heading toward New Years. The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14-day outlook for the period of December 17, 2022 – January 2, 2023 and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center show above normal temperatures and precipitation (Figure 3). Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 36-41°F, a low-temperature range of 22-26°F, and average weekly total precipitation of 0.55-0.85 inches.