Friday storm brings threat for icing before transition to snow

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Friday storm brings threat for icing before transition to snow

Despite being less than 36 hours away from the upcoming storm, there is still a wide disagreement on the impact of this system.

This has led to unusually low levels of confidence in snowfall amounts. It is because of the low confidence why our friends at the National Weather Service in Wilmington have held off on issuing any winter storm watches despite some of the surrounding offices doing so.

That all being said, here is what we are concerned about — it appears the incoming cold air will likely "undercut" the warm air Friday, causing precipitation to change from rain to freezing rain. My concern is a lot of the higher-resolution models which can make up on this type of set-up are increasing the threat for icing.

On the positive side, we will have a warmer ground than in days past to start with, so the icing may be delayed through the day Friday. The negative is once we get closer to sunset and temperatures continue to drop, that icing may become much more of an issue. 

Here is my other concern — even though snowfall amounts seem to be dropping on the latest models, even a few inches of wet snow onto tree limbs and/or power lines coated in ice could become another issue all together. Plus, ice underneath snow creates a unique challenge to road treatment. 

Also, there are still a few high-resolution models that are sticking with the higher snowfall amounts (6+ inches), so I still don't think we can rule out higher amounts.

But for now — I am thinking 2-4 inches is most likely, but that is on top of some ice. Combine that with gusty winds developing Friday night into Saturday and the impact of this storm will be just the same as a bigger snow event. 

Bottom line - be ready for a typical Ohio winter storm.

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