FORECAST: The calm before the storm

Posted at 6:14 AM, Dec 19, 2022

CLEVELAND — Clouds will hang tough tonight as lows dip down to near 20 degrees by sunrise.

This is the calm before the storm!

4 DAYS OUT... A HIGH IMPACT PRE-CHRISTMAS WINTER STORM looks likely for the Great Lakes and Northern Ohio beginning Thursday night and lingering through the Christmas Weekend. A strengthening low pressure will likely move across lower Michigan into Southern Ontario Canada Friday into Saturday dragging a strong arctic cold front across Northern Ohio early Friday morning. Scattered rain showers are forecasted ahead of the system Thursday and Thursday night. Temperatures will drop quickly Friday morning...from the 40s at 4am into the teens and lower 20s for the morning rush. This means a FLASH FREEZE is likely for the Friday AM commute. Any lingering puddles and wetness on the roads and bridges will rapidly freeze for commuters Friday morning. A burst of snow, perhaps an inch or two, will accompany the front along with gusty winds of 20 to 40 mph. This presents some big challenges for drivers. After a few hours of dry, cold, windy weather midday Friday, another round of wrap-around snow is possible for the Friday evening commute. That snow will likely linger into early daylight hours Saturday for all of Northern Ohio before we transition to Lake Effect snow for the primary snowbelt east of Cleveland for the rest of the event Saturday into early Sunday. High winds could gust between 40 & 60 mph after 4 pm Friday through about 10 am Saturday morning causing blizzard-like conditions and blowing snow are-wide. As for snow totals, Northern Ohio is NOT on the favorable side of this massive storm system for the heaviest snowfall totals. However, early estimates range from a few to several inches for everyone in the News5 viewing area by Christmas morning. Plus, lake effect snow squalls are always the wild card when it comes to measurable snow. As I always say, WHERE SQUALLS PERSIST. There is still a lot of uncertainty, especially when it comes to snow estimates. The track and speed of the low pressure system will tell how much snow each of us gets by Christmas morning. WHAT WE KNOW: 1) A Major temperature drop is on the way Friday. 2) Highs Winds between 40 & 60 mph are likely Friday and Saturday. 3) Wind chills will drop below zero at times this weekend beginning Friday. 4) Bursts of moderate to heavy snow can be expected Friday into Saturday. 5) All of these factors combined will seriously impacts travel Friday through at least Saturday morning. WHAT WE DONT KNOW: 1) How much snow will fall in your back yard. 2) Exact timing of storm arrival and departure. 3) Where will squalls dump the heaviest snow into Sunday. ***ALL Shoppers, travelers, and family gatherers should prepare now for severe Winter Weather beginning early Friday morning and lingering through at least Saturday morning. Get your shopping done before Friday. You may have to adjust travel plans Friday and Saturday based on current weather and road conditions. Plan on delays. Flights could be delayed or cancelled Thursday (farther west toward Chicago) Friday and Saturday. Pack a warm weather safety kit in your car in case you get stuck! Stay alert and stay connected with News5.

What To Expect:

  • Quiet start to the week
  • Seasonal temps through Thursday
  • Tracking strong winter storm
  • Rain, Ice and Snow all possible
  • Temps Plummet Friday
  • FRIGID Christmas

Daily Breakdown:

Monday Night: Mostly Cloudy. Cold. | Low: 23º

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Blustery. Seasonal. | High: 38º

Wednesday: Cloudy skies. Isolated rain. Blustery. | High: 37º

Thursday: Rain to Snow Showers. Cloudy. | High: 42º

Friday: Snow. Accumulations possible! Falling Temps. Very windy. Much Cold. Chills to -15 | High: 42º Early. Teens by afternoon.

Christmas Eve: Mostly cloudy. Lake effect snow possible. Still windy. Very Cold. Chills to -15. | High: 10º

Christmas Day: Cloud/sun mix. Very cold. | High: 15º

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