Chances of a white Christmas in Northeast Ohio have all but melted away.
Warm weather, heavy rain, flooding and ice jams are on tap over this weekend.
The topsy turvy world of Northeast Ohio weather has had a bit of everything over the past week or so.
Starting with frigid temperatures and wind chills close to zero over a week ago, the temperature next week will climb into the 40s and upper 50s along with the possibility of up to 5 inches of rain between today and Sunday evening that could lead to widespread flooding.
With more than 20 inches of snow already for the season as measured by the National Weather Service at the Akron-Canton Airport, the snow melt from the more spring-like temperatures through Sunday combined with steady rain could spell trouble for flood-prone areas in the region.
National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Mitchell said the warm wet weather is the result of a strong high pressure system that will send warm air and moisture from the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico to Northeast Ohio.
At this time last year, only a half-inch of snow had fallen. The 20½ inches of snow is nearly a foot more than normal at this time.
The weather service forecast calls for heavy rain tonight through Sunday.
Today, the first day of winter, forecasters are calling for a high of 54 degrees with heavy rain.
On Sunday, more heavy rain is expected with a high of 58 degrees, but winter will return that night with overnight lows dropping to about 29 degrees and rain changing to snow.
Sunday’s anticipated high of 58 degrees would fall short of the record high for that date of 62 degrees in 1949.
There is chance of snow showers Monday with temperatures only hitting daytime high of about 30 degrees.
Christmas Eve is expected to be cloudy with a high of 27 degrees and Christmas day will be cloudy with a high of 34 degrees.
The weather service has issued a Flood Watch to be in effect today through Sunday afternoon and said most of the “snow pack” will melt and that combined with all the rain anticipated on frozen ground conditions “will mean most of this water will drain into area creeks and rivers with rises expected.”
Minor flooding, the weather service said, is expected over a broad area of the region and some area rivers might experience moderate flooding.
Also, ice jams might occur which would complicate flooding issues, the weather service reported.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or email@example.com.