6 min

Three different National Weather Service forecasts for the Toledo area on Feb 4, 2013

(my Feb 04, 2013 toledotalk.com post)

The National Weather Service is part of the NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A National Weather Service forecasting office used to exist at Toledo Express Airport. Obviously, it issued forecasts for the Toledo area, and it broadcast on NOAA weather radio.

Back in the 1990s, NWS consolidated, closing offices. I think the reason for eliminating NWS offices was because of Doppler Radar.

Toledo's NWS was closed. Toledo Express Airport is still Toledo's official weather reporting station for the NWS. It provides info, such as high and low temperatures, rainfall, snowfall, wind, humidity, etc.

But Toledo forecasts, advisories, warnings, and some watches are issued by the Cleveland NWS.

Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma. Other watches, such as Winter Storm Watch, Flood Watch, etc. are issued by the "local" National Weather Service office. And all warnings are also issued by the "local" National Weather Service office.

In the Toledo area, the Cleveland NWS covers Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa counties.

Fulton and Henry counties are covered by the NWS in northern Indiana.

Monroe and Lenawee counties are covered by the NWS in Detroit/Pontiac.

Before consolidation, I don't know if Toledo or Detroit NWS covered Monroe and Lenawee, but obviously, the Toledo NWS covered the northwest Ohio counties.

The Toledo area is at the western edge of Cleveland NWS coverage, the eastern edge of N. IN NWS coverage, and the southern edge of Detroit NWS coverage. We're in a weather coverage black hole. We get a mix of forecasts, and sometimes, it seems weak or inconsistent radar coverage because the NWS Doppler radar coverage for Toledo comes from Detroit/Pontiac NWS. Before Doppler, our radar coverage came from Toledo Express Airport.

To get a good picture of weather radar for the Toledo area, we have to view the radar from Michigan and and Northern Indiana.

Sometimes it "seems" the Cleveland NWS ignores Lucas County in terms of localized advisories or watches when we probably need them issued. All three NWS offices are too far away from metro Toledo to be fully aware of what's happening here, weather-wise. The NWS offices rely on the hourly reporting station weather conditions, Doppler radar and all the many types of information that it provides, and on the usual forecast models. But sometimes, a human in the forecast area is more helpful.

On Saturday, February 2, 2013, we received a decent snowfall in the Toledo area. It was our biggest one-day snowfall for the entire fall-winter-spring season. In fact, we received more snow on February 2 than we did for the entire month of January.

On February 2, over three inches fell in West Toledo. I had lunch around 1:00 p.m. in Perrysburg. The snow in the untouched areas of the parking lot measured over 3.5 inches. Most of the snow fell before Noon on Saturday. By 10:00 a.m. while walking our dog around home, we had 2.5 to 3.0 inches. The snow continued for a couple more hours with some light snow in the afternoon.

The February 2 snow began before daybreak. Toledo Express Airport officially recorded 3.8 inches of snow. The roads were a bit tricky around 11:00 a.m. but not horrible. People exhibited common sense and drove extra slow.

No Winter Weather Advisory was issued for Lucas County on Saturday. Normally, such an advisory is issued when we have the weather conditions like we had on Saturday morning. An advisory, however, was issued for counties along the lake shore in north central and northeast Ohio.

It's probable that one or more forecast models did not expect the Toledo area to receive approx 4 inches of snow, and thus, no advisory was issued before daybreak. But it seems that a human measuring the snow at daybreak in Toledo and knowing what the radar showed at the time, it would have been obvious that Toledo was going to receive more than 1 to 2 inches of snow on Saturday.

Now today, February 4, 2013, Lucas County is under a Winter Weather Advisory for 2 to 4 inches of snow by 7:00 p.m. By 9:00 a.m., we have received maybe 1/2 inch. The snow intensity remains very light. The snow will have to pick up to reach the 2-inch amount.

Update: Cleveland has upgraded the snowfall amount for Lucas County to 3 to 5 inches by 7:00 p.m.

WWA Statements

Feb 4, 2013 Winter Weather Advisory statements for the Toledo area

Cleve NWS

Cleveland NWS zone that includes Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa counties

Statement as of 3:49 AM EST on February 04, 2013

... Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 7 PM EST this
evening...

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a Winter
Weather Advisory for snow which is in effect until 7 PM EST this
evening.

  • Accumulations... 2 to 4 inches.
  • Timing... today.
  • Winds... south 5 to 10 mph.
  • Impacts... snow accumulation can make roads slick... requiring
    lower speeds and greater distances between vehicles while
    driving.
  • Temperatures... 14 to 23.
  • Visibilities... as low as a quarter of a mile at times.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Weather Advisory is normally issued for a variety of
winter weather conditions such as light snow, blowing snow,
sleet, freezing rain and wind chills. While the weather will be
significant, the word advisory implies that severe winter weather
is not anticipated. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio for further
details or updates.

N. IN NWS

Northern Indian NWS zone that includes Fulton and Henry counties

Statement as of 4:14 AM EST on February 04, 2013

... Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 1 PM EST this
afternoon...

Hazardous weather...

  • snow will increase in intensity through daybreak and continue
    through into this afternoon.
  • Total accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with isolated higher
    amounts possible along and just north of the Highway 30
    corridor.
  • The snow may be heavy at times during the morning rush hour.

Impacts...

  • untreated roads will become snow covered and slick.
    Visibilities will be greatly reduced at times... especially in
    heavier snow bands.
  • The greatest snowfall rates are expected during the morning
    commute... leading to difficult travel.

Det/Pon NWS

Detroit/Pontiaz NWS zone that includes Monroe and Lenawee counties

Statement as of 4:08 AM EST on February 04, 2013

... Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 2 PM EST this
afternoon...

Hazardous weather...

  • light snow will increase in intensity and produce 2 to 3
    inches of accumulation in the relatively short time between
    this morning and very early this afternoon.
  • Visibilities may be reduced below one mile within areas of
    heavier snow.

Impacts...

  • Road conditions will progressively deteriorate through this mornings
    rush hour and into early this afternoon.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

  • a Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow will
    cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and
    limited visibilities... and use caution while driving.

Update Cleve NWS

Statement as of 8:59 AM EST on February 04, 2013

... Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 7 PM EST this
evening...

  • accumulations... 3 to 5 inches of snow.
  • Timing... today.
  • Winds... south 5 to 10 mph.
  • Impacts... snow accumulation can make roads slick... requiring
    lower speeds and greater distances between vehicles while
    driving.
  • Temperatures... 16 to 23.
  • Visibilities... as low as a quarter of a mile at times.

#weather - #toledo

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