Forecast: Lake effect snow likely through late Friday

CLEVELAND - 9:00 pm Update: Scattered snow showers will continue across the area this evening. Lake effect snow bands should become more organized this evening and overnight as colder air aloft and trough approach from the west. A westerly wind favors a single heavy snow band, generally focused along the I-90 corridor closer to the Lake Erie shoreline. Where the squalls persist, I expect anywhere from 1-3" across Great Cleveland with as much as 7 inches east across Lake, Geauga, & Ashtabula Counties. Outside of the snow belt, isolated snow showers and flurries should only add up to an inch or less of accumulation. Temperatures will be cold area-wide tonight. Lows will drop to near 10 degrees with wind chills to -5 at times.

Winds will shift around a bit to the northwest on Friday. This should spread some of the heavier snow inland a bit into central and southern Geauga County, southern Ashtabula County and Eastern Cuyahoga County. I expect 3-5 inches of new snow where the heavier snow bands persist. Outside the snow belt, snowfall amounts should be well below an inch. Cold temperatures for everyone. Highs will struggle to reach 20 degrees with wind chills at times below zero.

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Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect until Saturday morning for Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties.

12:51 pm Update: Winds are stll gusting to 40mph keeping the light snow scattered. Some areas are reporting almost an inch on the ground already. As winds weaken, the snow will become more located along the snow belt. Expect 3-6" where squalls persist overnight.

While the winds are strong, wind chills are holding in the single digits. Be sure to dress in layers and plan for extra time on the roads. The wind keeps blowing the snow right back onto the roads.

11:44 am Update: Lake effect snow continues across most of northern Ohio along with gusty west winds. The highest gusts are topping out near 40mph. Gusts will calm down slightly through the rest of the afternoon but that will actually add to the intensity of the snow. The strong winds are keeping the snow unorganized and light. I expect a band of heavy snow to develop in the snow belt east of Cleveland this afternoon and into the evening. Some areas could see snowfall rates of up to 2" per hour by sunset. 

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Scattered lake effect snow is likely this morning with light accumulations possible. Morning temperatures are quickly dropping into the mid-20s behind a strong cold front.

A Wind Advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. along the lake. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph this morning. Gusts 30-40 mph are likely in southern counties.

A chance of snow continues this afternoon, but mainly east of Cleveland in the Snowbelt. Lake and Ashtabula Counties may pick up 3-5" of snow where squalls persist. Accumulations under 1" are likely elsewhere, especially in heavier bursts of snow.

Snow is possible tonight in most areas as a band of lake effect snow drifts south. Highest accumulations, up to 6", will be found in the Snowbelt early Friday. A Lake Effect Snow Warning is in effect for Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties until 6 a.m. Saturday. 6 to 12" of snow is possible where squalls persist over the next 48 hours.

A clipper will bring 1-3" of snow across Northeast Ohio Saturday. Another quick-moving system will drop in from the northwest Sunday, followed by a third Monday! The weather pattern will be very active for the next week.

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