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As a rule of thumb there are a couple "huge" forecasts that meteorologists face every year: the first 90 degree day, the first freeze, the first snowfall and any given holiday.
Christmas is a huge holiday to forecast, not only because millions of people travel, but because so many people want to know the odds of having a "white" Christmas. Usually here in Northern Ohio you'd think it would be a "no brainer", but anyone who has been here for a few years will know it isn't always a lock.
This year, however, it seems the weather may be on our side. A large and powerful storm system looks to be brewing just in time for Christmas Eve. Now, you won't see this storm on any map right now, but in the next 7 days we will closely be watching to see how the ingredients come together.
For now, it looks like we'll have rather "ho-hum" conditions through Monday of next week. Some rain showers will be possible on Tuesday as a cold front sweeps in and then halts progress over the Ohio Valley (longtime NE Ohio weather watchers will likely know what is coming next). Then, a strong area of low pressure will develop in the deep south and move into the Great Lakes region. This will likely keep rain in the forecast for the start of Wednesday, but as a push of cold air at the surface and aloft comes in the rain will change to snow (which will likely give much of NE Ohio a "white" Christmas). All the while, Wednesday is looking very windy.
So, you have rain to snow and a lot of wind of what is usually a pretty big day of travel locally, regionally and nationally.
There are MANY, *MANY* details still to work out in this forecast - details that only time will help develop. Changes to the timing and track of the various components of this storm will bring changes in the how all of this ultimately plays out. Keep an eye on the forecasts and try to be patient. We won't have all the answers today or tomorrow or this weekend, but we'll get you the answers as soon as we *responsibly* can.
GUIDE: Are you ready for winter?
Tonight: Mostly cloudy and colder. Isolated snow showers. Some light accumulations (maybe a couple inches) in the snowbelt east of Cleveland. Mid/upper 20s
Thursday: Mainly cloudy, early and isolated lake snow chances east. Cold and breezy. Low 30s
Friday: Partly sunny. Mid 30s
Saturday: Clouds and sun. Upper 30s
Sunday: Clouds and sun. Upper 30s/low 40s
Monday: Mostly cloudy. Rain chances late. Near 40
Tuesday: Rain showers likely. Mid 40s
Wednesday (Christmas Eve): Rain changing to snow. Quite windy. Snow accumulation likely by midnight. Temperatures in the 40s early then falling below freezing. **Conditions could be difficult for travel. Please keep an eye on forecasts, as changes are very possible.**
FORECAST: 7 day forecast
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