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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After a memorably cold Christmas holiday weekend, with a 4-inch snow cover, blowing snow, and frigid temperatures, the weather pattern flip-flopped on New Year’s weekend.
A surge of warm air led to a record high of 65 degrees in Columbus on Dec. 30, and a balmy 58 early on New Year’s Eve, accompanied by a half-inch of rain that led to areas of dense fog to start the New Year.
A potent storm brought a soaking rain and isolated thunderstorms Tuesday, as temperatures soar into the low 60s, close to the record high of 64 degrees set on Jan. 3, 1950. The unseasonably warm weather resulted in an early-season severe weather outbreak across parts of the Southern states, including damaging winds and tornadoes.
A realignment of the jet stream will feed seasonably air into the Ohio Valley later in the week, accompanied by sprinkles changing to snow showers Thursday night, as temperatures fall back into the seasonal 30s.
There are also indications for wet snow and mixed precipitation on Saturday in central Ohio, as a modest system tracks a little south of the Buckeye State, with marginally cold air in place, reminding us that it’s still January despite the current warmth.
After a period of moderate cold across the Midwest and Northeast January 5-10, NOAA’s 8- to 14-day outlook favors a return to warmer-than-average weather over much of the country around midmonth for a few weeks, dominated by a Pacific flow of mild air.
Precipitation is projected to be a little above normal over the Eastern states during the second and third weeks of January and across the southern Plains and Far West.
Long-range numerical forecast models suggest an upper-atmospheric warming in the stratosphere, which would dislodge a mass of polar air southward and bring bouts of arctic air across the eastern half of the country in late January.
January, on average, is the coldest (29.6 degrees) and snowiest (9.5 inches) month of the year in the Columbus area.
January 2022 was cold (25.3 degrees), with a modest total snowfall (6.3 inches). Heavy rain on Groundhog Day turned to ice and snow the next day, accumulating around 5 inches of snow on Feb. 3-4, creating hazardous travel conditions.