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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Winter Storm Warnings and Watches have been issued for most of Northeast Ohio beginning late Thursday night and early Friday morning.

The warning has been issued beginning Friday at 1 a.m. for the following counties: Ashtabula (inland and lakeshore), Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Ottawa, Portage, Sandusky, Summit and Trumbull Counties.

The watch is in affect for Ashland, Crawford, Holmes, Mahoning, Richland, Stark and Wayne Counties starting at 10 p.m. Thursday.

According to the National Weather Service, this watch is in effect for a multihazard winter storm with strong winds, cold temperatures, snow and blowing snow. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are possible with wind gusts as high as 60 MPH. Wind chill values could be as low as 30 below zero.

These weather conditions could cause slippery road conditions and reduced visibility. It could also severely impact the Friday morning commute and holiday travel.

A Wind Chill Watch is also in effect for Carroll, Coshocton and Tuscarawas counties from Thursday night through Saturday afternoon.

Strong winds, cold temperatures, snow and blowing snow are possible with total snow accumulations in excess of four inches possible. Winds could gust as high as 60 MPH and wind chill values could be as low as 25 below zero.

According to the National Weather Service, travel could be very difficult to impossible.

Quiet tonight and not as cold with temperatures falling into the 30s and upper 20s tonight. Clouds continue to build all ahead of our winter system. If you could do any traveling tonight or even tomorrow, that would be the best bet.

We will start to see impacts from our winter system by late Thursday, starting off as rain, and transitioning into snow by Friday with arctic air behind it. Lake effect snow with frigid conditions will continue into the weekend.

Friday will be the worst of the travels days with the potential of ice in the morning and heavier snow in the evening with blizzard-like conditions in spots.

Here is how it begins:

Rain Thursday (mix in spots), starts off spotty, becoming more widespread late Thursday night with temperatures in the upper 30s, near 40s. A better chance for a wintry mix, south of the region for those traveling.

Friday’s temperature drop

Snow develops Friday with DRIER AIR from time to time later in the day. Wrap-around lake effect Saturday/Sunday.

Sharp drop in temps Friday into the teens with wind chills well below zero by the end of the day. Winds will gust to 40-50+ mph by Friday/Saturday AM.

Colder temps showing up per our extended outlook (from November 21). Bundle up!

Snowfall forecast for FRIDAY ONLY!

Christmas weather history:

Temps in the teens with subzero wind chills likely. Stay warm!

  • Overall this will be the coldest Christmas Day (for the US) since 2000
  • Coldest Christmas Day years under 20 degrees (high temperature)
  • 1983: 1°
  • 1985: 11°
  • 1980: 13°
  • 2004, 2000, 1968: 18°
  • Coldest Christmas Day minimum temperature: -10° (1983)
  • Last Christmas with wind chill under -10° was 2004 (-14)

Here’s the latest 8-Day Forecast:

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