Forecast: Winter Storm Warning Friday, up to 12 inches of snow possible in snowbelt

CLEVELAND -  LATEST WARNINGS:

WINTER STORM WARNING in effect for Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, & Ashtabula Counties from 4am Friday through Saturday afternoon. Expect a general 3-5 inches of snow across the warning area with between 6 & 12 inches where heavier snow squalls persist. Wind gusts above 30 mph will cause blowing and drifting snow.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY in effect for all of Northern Ohio (except the Winter Storm Warned Counties) from 4am Friday morning through Saturday 1pm. Scattered snow showers will accumulate between 2 & 5 inches with extensive blowing and drifting snow.

6:30 pm Update: Scattered rain showers will continue to shift east across our area through 11pm tonight. The cold front itself will move by between 8 and 10 pm. Once the front moves thru, colder air will change the scattered rains showers to scattered snow showers. Accumulations by dawn will range between a dusting to as much as 1 inch. Wind gusts tonight could exceed 40 mph at times.

Scattered snow showers will continue Friday morning. Winds will gust above 30 mph at times. Lake effect snows will develop once the winds shift around to the northwest. That should happen during the afternoon. Lake effect snow showers will increase in coverage and intensity during the afternoon and evening. Snow totals for the day will fall in the 1 to 3 inch range with some higher amounts to 5". High temperatures will hang in the lower and middle 30s, with wind chills in the teens!

Heavy lake effect snow squalls will continue Friday night, especially in the Warning Area  Where squalls persist, expect an additional 4-7" inches of snow with extensive blowing and drifting. Outside of the snow squalls, expect an additional trace to 2 inches of snowfall by dawn. Low temperatures will fall into the middle 20s. Winds will gust above 35 mph at times.

Snow showers should end quickly during the morning or early afternoon on Saturday. It will stay mainly cloudy and breezy through the day with highs in the lower and middle 30s. Sunday looks dry and cold, a high near 36 degrees. Stay tuned!

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3:05 p.m.: A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect at 4 a.m. Friday through 7 p.m. Saturday for northeast Ohio.

The National Weather Service in Cleveland expects 6-12 inches of snow to fall across northeast Ohio, with the snowbelt getting up to 15 inches.

Winds will also be a concern, with gusts up to 55 mph, creating drifts and treacherous driving for motorists.

Winter Weather Advisory in effect for the Erie, Huron, Richland, Ashland and Holmes Counties tonight. Expect gusty winds along with snowfall amounts of up to 3" before sunrise Friday.

Winter Storm Watch in effect for Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties for Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. Lake Effect snow bands will likely set up and where squalls persist, we could see snow accumulations up to 8"
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12:33 pm update: Rain is pushing east through northern Ohio this afternoon and will continue into the evening commute. Expect widespread moderate to at some times heavy rain. That means you'll need to use your windshield wipers when driving around and add extra time so you can take it easy on the roads. Winds are already gusting to 35mph, expect gusts as high as 40mph before sunset.

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A strong storm system will move into Ohio today and impact our weather until late Saturday. The first thing we'll notice today is the wind and rain. Winds will gust as high as 45mph this afternoon along with scattered rain. Despite the wind and rain though, temps will still warm into the middle 40s. 

Temperatures will hold in the middle 40s through sunset this evening. That will keep rain in the forecast and not snow. Overnight though, temps drop into the lower 30s gradually changing our rain over to snow. The counties under the Winter Weather advisory will likely wake up to a couple inches. East of 71 will have to wait until later in the day to get snow.

On the back side of this storm system, winds will shift out of the northwest as colder air rushes into Ohio. This will spark up a few Lake Effect Snow bands. Where squalls persist, accumulations could build up to as much as 6-8" through Saturday morning. 

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