Accumulating Snow Coming, But Not Much

A rain/snow mix is likely by mid to late afternoon in the Tri-State as a cold front approaches from the west. Through late morning, the only nearby reports of rain or snow reaching the ground have been in southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky. Dry air near the ground is winning for now, but there will likely be some light rain and snow in the area by 4pm, as the latest run of Microcast shows (snow is in blue, rain is in green):

dec31-micro4pm

Temperatures will drop only a couple of degrees tonight. In Cincinnati, we should drop to 29° by early Tuesday morning…just cold enough for snow. Notice Microcast forecasting snow showers around 7am tomorrow:

dec31-micro7am

Snow will be diminishing tomorrow afternoon and may briefly mix with rain as temperatures crawl back into the low and mid 30s. Microcast paints a light rain/snow mix in the Ohio Valley at 4pm tomorrow:

dec31-micro4pmtues

Microcast gives us about 1″ of storm total snowfall accumulation through tomorrow night, and last night’s hi-resolution ECMWF gives us about the same:

dec31-00zecmwfsnow

Other models – including the last two runs of the NAM and GFS – give us 1″ or less. Unless a big change happens in the models, you can plan on around 1″ or less for the entire event; isolated amounts more than 1″ are possible tomorrow, but no community is favored to see 1″+ over another.

If the cold has been too much for you recently, think back to this summer when we had several days over 95° and a few over 100°. When you balance this year’s cold and warmth, the warmth clearly won out. 2012 will likely finish as the 4th warmest year on record in Cincinnati (records date back to 1871) and the warmest year on record at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (official records for Cincinnati began there in 1947). Here are the warmest years in Cincinnati:

dec31-warmestyears

It is worth noting that Cincinnati records from 1870 to 1915 – including in 1881, 1882, and 1898 – were taken downtown at the first local National Weather Service forecast office. These records are likely skewed warm due to Cincinnati’s urban heat island. While it is difficult to confirm, 2012 would likely be the warmest year on record if Cincinnati’s records were taken in the same location since 1870 (unfortunately, this is not the case).

Happy New Year!

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