Seeing snow in October isn’t uncommon in our part of the country. Getting that snow to stick to the ground can be a challenge though. The first snowflakes of the season are expected next week. Temperatures will drop well below average and will be borderline for accumulation to occur.
When will the Youngstown area have the chance to see snow?
It is looking like the first flakes will fly Monday night. Scattered showers are expected as colder air pours into the region. As temperatures drop overnight, it will turn cold enough for snow to mix in with rain. We will have the potential for a changeover to all snow in spots after midnight Monday night into Tuesday morning.
Scattered showers will continue Tuesday and may mix with snow at times, especially during the colder parts of the day. We will continue monitoring for lake effect showers Tuesday night with another decent chance for a mix of rain and snow or a changeover to all snow in spots.
The chance for some snow showers, mixing with rain, continues Wednesday. The lake effect will start shutting down Wednesday night.
Is accumulating snow possible in the Youngstown area next week?
While a lot of what falls melts, slushy coatings of snow will be possible in the area early in the week. We will be monitoring for that Monday night into Tuesday morning and Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Two of our models are showing some accumulating snow in the region between Monday evening and Wednesday evening. The GFS is more aggressive than the ECMWF (Euro), but both put a little accumulation downwind from Lake Erie, especially in the primary snowbelt. This will be a lake effect setup which means precipitation may set up in narrow bands and not every neighborhood may see flakes reaching the ground, but everyone will have the chance to see snowflakes falling.
Remember that the freezing mark is 32°. The earliest we’d see temperatures drop to or slightly below freezing would be Monday night into Tuesday. This means all surfaces will be unfrozen and won’t have much time to freeze. This will cause a lot of the snow to melt. Below is a slideshow of areas where temperatures are expected to reach or drop below the freezing mark next week. Notice the blue showing across our area Tuesday morning.
It will be a close call on whether or not we can reach or dip below freezing. Temps will be hovering around 32° for overnight lows. However, snow falling at a heavy enough rate may be able to overcome the lack of freezing temperatures overnight and stick to traditionally colder surfaces. With low temperatures close to freezing Tuesday and Wednesday morning, we will likely have some slushy coatings in the Valley.
When is the best chance to see snow stick in the Youngstown area and on what surfaces?
As it stands now, troublesome snow causing travel issues is looking very unlikely. We will need to monitor temperatures at night and keep an eye on bridges and overpasses for a slippery spot should temps reach or drop below 32°. But the majority of what falls is likely to melt on paved surfaces with temps near to above freezing.
There are, however, two distinct windows where accumulation on some traditionally colder surfaces is likely. Overnight Monday into Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning will be the best window for snowflakes to fall and stick. Snow accumulating on cold surfaces would be more likely in areas that experience a full changeover to snow or spots where snow falls at a more moderate to heavy rate. Areas to watch for slushy accumulations will be elevated locations, grassy surfaces and piles of leaves, car windshields, and wooden patios. Some rooftops or valleys that are shielded from sunlight may also see slushy coatings.
At this time, it is still too early to outline potential totals. You will want to keep updated with the latest forecast through the weekend and early next week. Should accumulation chances climb, Storm Team 27 will be updating the accumulation outlook regularly. You can check the latest details in the Youngstown Area 7-day Forecast.