Snow followed by bitter cold

January 4th, 2014 at 8:31 pm by under Weather

I was out of town for the last week visiting family in Northwest Indiana for Christmas.  It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced lake effect snow!  I shoveled my mom’s sidewalk about 2 or 3 times in one day.  Luckily the next day after about 8 inches of snow the neighbor brought over his snow thrower to give my back a break.

I get back to the Dayton area and there’s more snow on the way.  I promise I didn’t bring it from Chicago ;)

This is going to be an interesting storm because we’ll see snow, a possible mix of rain and VERY cold temperatures.   I’ve said this before and I keep thinking the most recent storm is the most difficult one I have had to forecast.  This one is no exception.  I spent hours pouring over data and several computer model outputs.  There are many scenarios that could happen but this is what I am expecting.

A line of snow is already beginning to get organized from Michigan through Chicago stretching toward Kansas City.  This snow will head into the Miami Valley sometime after midnight and will continue for much of the day Sunday.  Winter Storm Warning goes into effect Sunday 5am until Monday 4am.

winter storm warning

Expect the snow to be heavy at times especially for Mercer, Auglaize and norther Darke counties.  These areas will likely see all snow and not mix with rain or freezing rain.  The rain/snow line is something we’ll be watching closely throughout the day tomorrow.  One of the computer models suggests that most of the area sees rain while the one below shows that there’s enough cold air for almost all snow.

rain snow line sun 6amrain snow line sun 6pm

Tomorrow morning as you wake up we’ll likely see some snow across much of the area.


By the afternoon warmer air moves northward and this is where we’ll see the chance for a bit of freezing rain/rain or sleet.   The big question is how far with the warm air go?

sun 2pmsun 7pm

I think this model is a bit to warm and brings the rain a bit farther north.  However I do feel that the Dayton area may see some rain during the afternoon.  If that’s the case snowfall totals will be a little less.  Colder air moves back into the area by late Sunday night.  This means everyone will change over to snow.

sun 11pm

As far as snowfall totals….Again a tough one.  I will show the map but I will say this….there’s really not that many miles between these snow bands.  So the northern part of one county may see 5-6 inches more than the southern part.

(I’ve updated the snowfall forecast – computer models are still trending a bit warmer – these snowfall amounts may need to be tweaked again.)


Mercer, northern Darke and Auglaize counties may likely see the most from this system.  While Clinton county may not see much snow at all.  It all depends on where the heavy snow band sets up and how much rain we see mixing.  This snow will be a wet and heavy snow so make sure to take it easy when shoveling.  (Great for packing and making snowmen!)

By early Monday morning the heaviest snow tapers off and we’re left in the cold.  Winds will be picking up out of the northwest.

mon 6am

This is some of the coldest air we’ve seen in a long time.  In fact we have the potential to break records.  The cold air is north and west of us but will head this way for Monday and Tuesday.

850 temps 1850 temps 2

When I say cold blast I mean COLD, BITTER, ARCTIC air.   Temperatures will likely stay below zero for highs on Monday.  Yes you read correctly…highs below zero are possible for Monday.

As you can imagine with temperatures below zero any wind will make the wind chill or feels like temperature very low.  There’s already a Wind Chill Warning in place for the Miami Valley for Monday.

wind chill warning

Wind chill values or the feels like temperature on your exposed skin may drop to 20 – 40 below zero.  This is not something to take lightly.  Stay indoors if possible.  If you have to go outside make sure that you limit your exposure and that you are covering every part of your skin.  Of course don’t forget your furry friends!  Their exposure needs to be limited as well.

So here’s a recap:

storm impacts

We’ll be here to help you along and keep you updated throughout the weekend and during the week.  Jamie Jarosik will be live during the Today Show on Sunday morning to give you a look at conditions.  I will be here with Brian Davis Sunday night tracking the storm.

Stay safe and warm!

9 Responses to “Snow followed by bitter cold”

  1. Teresa Recker says:

    Is this storm going to be labeled a “Blizzard”?

  2. Tara Hastings says:

    Teresa – Fantastic question. A blizzard warning is issued for winter storms when winds of at least 35 mph or higher and visibility is reduced to a quarter of a mile for at least 3 hours. There needs to be significant blowing and drifting of snow and low visibility. Not sure if we will make that. The snow will taper off just as the winds really begin to crank up.

  3. Jeutopique says:

    Do you think driving conditions will be tolerable by Monday noon, please?

  4. Tara Hastings says:

    That is a tough one Jeutopique – There may be some blowing and drifting because the winds will be so strong. The one thing crews will have to face when clearing the snow will be the quick drop in temperatures Sunday night/Monday. Not sure if salt will work in these cold temps. Main roads and interstates may be ok but those side streets will be tough.

  5. Jepani says:

    Will there be a good chance of Level 2 or higher for the Monday morning commute?

  6. Daniel says:

    Well, obviously this snow didn’t happen and doesn’t appear that it will, either. We may be lucky enough to have an inch in the Dayton area. Thanks for nothing. You incite panic on a regular basis with your reports and then they fail to come to fruition. This seems to be a major issue with meteorologists throughout the country but worse here than anywhere else. Despite all the training you and your team have received, you consistently fail at your jobs. If I were wrong as often as you are, I would have lost my job by now. Perhaps there is another field where you would be of better use. I am not just referring to you, Tara, I’m referring to the entire staff at WDTN. People were out in droves yesterday preparing for the worst. NOTHING has happened. Not a single snowflake fell. Perhaps you can tone down the rhetoric in the future, assuming you’re not fired. People have come to rely on your reports way too much. I will no longer watch WDTN for anything.

  7. Roy says:

    Daniel, apparently you have selective hearing. Every meteorologist in the Dayton area said that depending on how the warm front set up would affect how much snow the area gets… weather forecasting is an inexact science at best.
    I watch all the Dayton area weather and WDTN is the most accurate in my opinion…. just sayin’

  8. Daniel says:

    Roy, you’re right. It is an inexact science and it is very hard to determine the exact amount of snowfall. My issue is the level of rhetoric that is displayed, not just by WDTN, but by all of the news stations. It can definitely be toned down.

  9. Daniel says:

    And I have to apologize for being over the top. No one deserves to lose their jobs or to have hateful mail like what I sent. My apologies to the entire staff at WDTN. I do appreciate your hard work; I let me frustration get the best of me.

Leave a Reply