The first wintry storm system of the year will begin to affect the Valley Monday and it will bring multiple types of winter weather with it.
The first winter phenomena that will come to the area will be the cold air. A cold front will push through Ohio and Pennsylvania tonight bringing cooler than normal temperatures. Highs on Monday will not get out of the mid 40s °F with a strong southwest wind making it feel like the upper 30s °F.
Colder air will arrive by Monday night bringing the coldest temperatures of the year, so far. Temperatures Monday night will drop into the low 30s °F and there is a chance that some locations could drop into the upper 20s °F. When temperatures drop into the upper 20s °F for an extended period of time this is referred to as a “freeze” and it can be extremely harmful to vegetation.
There is some discrepancy regarding the low temperature for Monday night into the day on Tuesday. During this time there will also be lake effect clouds, showers, and snow showers affecting the area.
These clouds and precipitation could prevent temperature from dropping into the upper 20s especially in Mercer and Trumbull counties where precipitation is more likely. Below are the current forecasted low temperatures for Monday night into Tuesday morning via the Storm Team 27 Future Tracker.
Notice the clouds and precipitation that could prevent the freeze from happening, but also that some locations are forecasted to be below 30 degrees.
However, even if temperatures do not reach the freeze threshold on Monday night. There will be ample opportunity for a freeze this week with the cold airmass. In fact, as of right now, a freeze would be likely Wednesday night into the day on Thursday as clouds move out of the area allowing more radiational cooling. You can see the low temperatures for the next 7 days below.
The best time to plan ahead is now. Make sure to take any vulnerable plants or vegetation indoors before the cold weather strikes.