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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 multi-hazard winter storm with strong winds, very cold temperatures, snow and blowing snow. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 6 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.

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.

Warmer tomorrow with a few clouds and few sprinkles through the day. We will start to see impacts from our winter system by late Thursday, starting off as rain, 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/snow 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 will happen rapidly. A 30° drop from midnight to 5AM! By noon we’ll be in the single digits (not factoring in the wind chill).

Snow develops Friday with DRIER AIR from time to time later in the day.

Here’s the latest snowfall forecast Thursday night through Friday. *THIS DOES NOT INCLUDED ADDITIONAL LAKE EFFECT OVER THE WEEKEND*

Wrap-around lake effect Saturday/Sunday.

Winds will gust to 40-50+ mph by Friday/Saturday AM.

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

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)

Check the latest 8-Day Forecast above.