Thursday February 3, 2022 1:40pm EST

Since our last update, the MASSIVE WINTER STORM currently impacting the Ohio Valley has generally acted as expected thus far with some areas picking up several tenths of an inch of freezing rain and sleet since early this morning. Further to the Northwest, snow has been accumulating since late morning and will continue through tonight where it may become heavy at times. Elsewhere, sleet and freezing rain will gradually change to snow along and to the northwest of Interstate 71 later this evening. Snow, thanks to strong upper level support, will live on across portions of the Ohio Valley well into the day tomorrow, which has prompted us to increase snow totals in some areas, especially along a Cincinnati to Wilmington to Columbus line and northward to Interstate 70, including Dayton and Richmond, Indiana. Power outages are expected to initiate across far southern portions of the region well into tomorrow due to the likelihood of 1 and 2" of ice through daybreak tomorrow. With any luck, the expected impacts are minimized via heavy precipitation rates etc. Otherwise, following the conclusion of the storm, bitter cold air will follow for Friday night with temperatures ranging from -5F to +5F by early Saturday morning. Stay safe and stay warm!

Meteorologist: Joshua Ketchen
Forecaster: Rich Gross

Total Snow Accumulation through Friday 2pm.

Total Ice Accretion starting Wednesday 10pm until Friday 2am.


Cutting straight to the point, this storm is going to be a nightmare for all of us, both publicly and to forecast.

After pouring over hours of data, past occurrences, trends, and our own intellect, one simple question can be answered: It is the Ohio Valley, so anything and everything is possible.

Trends suggest that cold air is progressing faster then a day or two ago. This leads to the idea more snow should get involved. Ice will be very significant in places; however, the farther north and west you go, ice should be less than what might have been depicted on Sunday or Monday. The biggest and toughest issue is where does the boundary set up?  20 miles can be the difference between significant icing and light snow, to a snowfall that buries someone.

Confidence has been high on a major, disruptive storm, but as of Tuesday afternoon, the exact location for snow/sleet/freezing rain battle zone is still a coin flip. Major adjustments are likely over, but small fluctuations can mean big changes for those that straddle the line for what could be 12-24 hours of precipitation.

Stay tuned as we will continue to provide updates throughout this impending storm.

❄ Meteorologist: Josh Ketchen

Previous Discussion:

So what is going to happen?  As the deep, low pressure exits eastern Canada on Sunday, a broad, southerly flow will develop across the Plains and East. A rapid warm up will occur rooting out the Arctic air.

The major problem; however, is the mean flow in the mid and upper levels is that of bitter, Arctic air so a very intense airmass battle will begin to take shape by the middle of the week, breeding a very intense low pressure across the southern Plains.

As Arctic air begins to move southeast and bumps up against the rapid warm surge, heavy precipitation and wind will break out. I believe two waves will accompany this cold front and full latitude trough, giving rise to a myriad of weather issues.

The first wave with the cold front will deliver the shot of warmer temperatures and modest rainfall. As the cold air begins to overtake the warm air, I think a second wave will develop along the Gulf Coast somewhere between Houston and New Orleans on Wednesday. It is this wave that can spell all kinds of trouble.

As the Arctic air whips down from Canada and collides with the trough, moisture being lifted over this boundary will lead to a large shield of heavy precipitation to break out. This is where track of the low becomes vital.

Right now, the track appears to be from around Houston into Mississippi/Alabama up into the Tennessee and Ohio Valley. The questions of how strong the low will be, where the placement of the low will set up, and the other atmospheric effects will be the determining factor between flooding rain, significant icing, and possibly record level snowfall, not to mention wind.

Specifics are not yet attainable, but the probability of a significant, potentially major, winter storm is high. Being in the Ohio Valley, we will once again lie right in the dissection path. Places South and East could experience flooding rainfall and even severe thunderstorms. The battle zone between low level warmth and growing Arctic air rushing in could see significant icing. Places firmly in the cold air could see significant snowfall that could reach the foot criteria. A distance of 50 miles could be the difference between a ton of wet, a ton of white, and a ton of ice.

We will be glued to this storm and be updating with the latest information to keep you aware of the situation.

☀️ Meteorologist Josh Ketchen
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