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News & Press: OTF News

January Outlook

Tuesday, January 5, 2016  
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Written by Jay Hobgood, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, The Ohio State University
Department of Geography (Atmospheric Sciences)

January 2016 Outlook for Ohio

Seasonably cold with near normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Most precipitation will likely be rain instead of snow.


After a December in which several locations in Ohio reported their warmest Decembers on record the weather pattern has returned to a more typical winter pattern. Large masses of cooler, drier air will move out of western Canada toward Ohio in January. Those air masses will bring temperatures near normal for this time of year. Some locations, especially in the southern half of the state could experience brief warmer periods as southerly winds bring milder air northward. The drier air should keep precipitation below normal. Occasional storms will bring precipitation to Ohio, but much of that will fall as rain instead of snow. With surface water temperatures in the lower 40s in Lake Erie and the upper 30s in southern Lake Michigan, the potential will exist for lake effect snowfall events if persistent north or northwesterly wind flow sets up during the month.

The above normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean known as El Niño continue. The El Niño pattern contributed to the unusually warm December. It is possible that the El Niño could cause our weather pattern to shift back later this winter to warmer and wetter than normal.

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