The weather pattern over the last couple of weeks has certainly brought cooler temperatures to the region. However, temperatures are still above average across the state through the first 16 days of October. In fact, most locations across the northern half of Ohio typically experience their first 32°F (freeze) in the first two weeks of the month. As Figure 1 shows, this is not the case in 2023, with only a couple of stations having reported freeze conditions so far.
Despite widespread rainfall this past week, with many sites picking up 0.5-1.5” of rain, precipitation is still running 25-75% of normal across the bulk of the state. As of Thursday October 12, 2023, 97% of the state was described as abnromally dry and about 46% of the state was experiencing moderate drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Cooler temperatures and any moisture should help to slowly improve conditions over the next few weeks to months, but with the strong likelihood of El Niño conditions persisting through winter, we will need to watch the progress of soil moisture recharge closely throughout winter. For more information, check out the State Climate Office and sign up for our monthly and quarterly climate summaries.
We are starting the week off with northerly flow and a few scattered lake effect rain showers across the state on Monday. These should diminish throughout the day on Tuesday, leaving drier weather and a modest warming trend for Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs should recover into the 60s for much of the week, ahead of low pressure that is expected to move through the Great Lakes region on Thursday through Saturday. This system will drag a series of cold fronts through with rain showers and breezy conditons to end the week. Temperatures will drop back into the 50s for daytime highs over the weekend, but clouds should keep overnight lows from falling too low. Clearing skies Sunday and Monday night next week could create a scenario for a more widespread freeze event however. The current forecast shows anywhere from 0.10” NW to as much as 1.5” across eastern Ohio over the 7 days (Figure 2).
The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 Day Outlook and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center indicate that above average temperatures are likely for Ohio with precipitation leaning toward above average for the period of October 24 – 30, 2023 (Figure 3). For this time of year, the average high-temperature range is 61-66°F, the average low-temperature range is 41-45°F, and the average weekly total precipitation is 0.55-0.75 inch.