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Ohio State University Extension


Weather Update: Winter Weather Finally Arrives, But Will It Stick Around?

Total precipitation for January 9 – 16, 2024 Figure courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.

For Ohio, December 2023 ranks as the 2nd warmest December on record since 1895 and caps off the 4th warmest year on record over that same period. Dry weather was also the main story in December, ranking as the 45th driest December on record and continued a pattern we experienced over much of the fall. However, even with a weather pattern that typically brings a drier and warmer than average conditions in winter, cold outbreaks are bound to happen. This has certainly been the case over the past week, with temperatures plummeting into the single digits for lows and sub-zero wind chill values. Before the cold snap, widespread 1-3” of liquid-equivalent precipitation (rain and snow) fell across the state as well (Figure 1), helping to alleviate some of the dryness and lift rivers and streams back to normal seasonal levels. As of Thursday January 11, 2024, 47% of the state was described as at least abnromally dry with about 27% of the state in moderate drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. With last week’s precipitation, improvements are likely when the new report is released later this week. For more information, check out the State Climate Office and sign up for our monthly and quarterly climate summaries.

Figure 1: Total precipitation for January 9 – 16, 2024 Figure courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.


Frigid air remains in place early this week, but southwesterly flow on Tuesday and Wednesday will allow for a brief warm up with highs pushing back into the 20s for much of the state. Our next winter system is set to move in beginning Thursday afternoon through Friday, bringing periods of light, accumulating snow. Another shot of Arctic air will move in for the weekend, with highs falling back into the single digits and teens with overnight lows near zero. A more significant warming trend will begin early next week. The current forecast calls for between 0.10”and 0.25” of liquid-equivalent precipition over the next seven days, with much of this falling as snow (Figure 2).

Figure 2). Precipitation forecast from the Weather Prediction Center for 7pm Tuesday January 16  – 7pm Tuesday January 23, 2024.

The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 Day Outlook and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from  NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center indicate a strong probability that temperatures will be above average with above average precipitation also expected for the period January 24 – 30, 2024 (Figure 3). The average high-temperature range is 33-38°F, the average low-temperature range is 18-23°F, and the average weekly total precipitation is 0.60-0.80 inch.

Figure 3) Climate Prediction Center 8-14 Day Outlook valid for January 24 – 30, 2024 for left) temperatures and right) precipitation. Colors represent the probability of below, normal, or above normal conditions.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.