LIMA — Coming on the heels of December temperatures which more closely resembled spring than they did winter, residents of northwest Ohio ushered out the year — and the decade — on Tuesday by fending off howling winds, chilly temperatures and scattered snow flurries.
While Tuesday morning’s snowfall led to only a minor accumulation on the ground, the combination of snow and winds of up to 40 mph did create hazardous driving conditions in some areas. The snow ended for the day in early afternoon but blowing and drifting conditions lingered.
Temperatures were in the low 30s Tuesday, but wind chill factors dipped into the teens. The forecast for New Year’s Day calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 38 degrees. Highs for Thursday and Friday are 44 and 54, respectively, with a chance of rain each day.
Paul Pastelok, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, said above-normal temperatures should continue into January.
“I think it will be similar to December,” he said Tuesday. “We will get some cold spells and we will get some snow, but I think temperatures will be above normal, especially in the second half of the month.”
AccuWeather’s long-range team of meteorologists say a storm is currently brewing in the Gulf of Mexico that will be responsible for the wet conditions in the Upper Midwest later this week. The storm will have a wintry side, according to AccuWeather forecasters, who say it is possible that heavy snow will develop in a swath from northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri to southeastern Iowa, northern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin and part of northern Michigan from later Friday through Friday night.
After that storm has passed, milder conditions are expected to be prevalent in the Midwest throughout most of the remainder of January.
Pastelok said February will see winter arrive in full force in northwest Ohio, however, with below normal temperatures and average to above average snowfall levels during the month.
And winter will be slow to release its grip this year, the AccuWeather meteorologist predicted. “In March we’re still going to see snow early and it’s still going to be kind of cold, with temperatures below average. April should be nicer, with less precipitation that normal.”
Pastelok said a drought is being forecast for the Plains States this summer, “but it’s too early to tell how widespread that might be.”
2019: A look back
In a recap of 2019, Pastelok recounted how above average precipitation started early in the year and continued into June – forcing area farmers to delay the spring planting season and in some cases prevented crops from ever finding their way into the ground.
“Through the first six months of the year precipitation was above normal,” Pastelok said. “There was a lot of rain in the middle of March, and in April there was measurable rainfall on 18 of the month’s 30 days. Close to 6 inches of rain fell in April, which was 2.3 inches above normal. Total precipitation for May was nearly 7 inches, or 2.7 inches above average,” he said.
The period from late June to early July “brought the first real heat wave of summer,” Pastelok said. “From June 27 through July 2 temperatures hit 90 degrees or higher each day.”
The hottest day of the year came on July 2, when temperatures hit 96 degrees.
A similar pattern was evident in October, with average temperatures for the month 4.7 degrees higher than normal. Records were set on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 when the mercury hit 88 and 90 degrees, respectively.
Coming on the heels of record highs in October were record low temperatures in mid-November, when all-time lows were recorded on Nov. 12 (9 degrees) and Nov. 14 (1 degree).