Snow, ice, and sleet for the Wednesday morning commute

A winter storm system will bring impacts to the Tuscarawas Valley area beginning with the Wednesday morning commute. Hazardous driving conditions are expected from accumulating snow and ice from freezing rain. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 1:00 AM to 12:00 PM Wednesday for snow accumulation of 1″ to 3″ and up one-tenth (0.10″) of an inch of ice.

This update will focus primarily on the latest forecast adjustments regarding tomorrow’s (Wednesday) storm. Most of what I posted yesterday afternoon is still good, but I’ll include just a few tweaks to the timing and precipitation amounts here.

WHAT
A storm system will travel out of the southern Plains today and continue northeast into the Mid Ohio Valley on Wednesday. The system will spread a variety of precipitation types into east-central Ohio that will impact the entire day in one way or another. Confidence in the forecast is fairly high and it is very likely this will impact your day.

TIMING
Temperatures aloft and at the surface will be cold enough to support snow showers early (pre-dawn) Wednesday morning. The morning guidance suggests snow showers will start moving into the southern part of the Valley around 3:00 to 5:00 AM. Snow – at a fairly heavy rate at times – will spread southwest to northeast and will likely to affect Wednesday morning commuters. As a warm front approaches the region, freezing rain and sleet will be possible mid-morning through around noon. As warmer air moves in after lunchtime, snow, sleet, and freezing rain will transition to all rain. Rain showers will then continue into Wednesday night.

This storm will travel from south to north, so places like Newcomerstown, Gnadenhutton, Port Washington will see everything move in first. Strasburg, Bolivar, Zoar, Mineral City will come under fire an hour or so later.

FutureCast radar through 5:00 AM Wednesday:

LOCAL IMPACTS
While this will not be a major storm, the timing and the potential for ice will bring big problems – especially during the morning commute. MORNING SNOWFALL MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES. Bridges and overpasses will be the first to ice up.

While ODOT and local crews will be out, they can’t be everywhere at once. Expect snow and ice to impact even the main highways. Ice will also likely impact sidewalks, outdoor stairs, decks, etc.

PRECIP TYPES AND ACCUMULATION
The storm will bring a variety of hazardous winter precipitation types to the Valley including accumulating snow, ice, rain, and sleet. While snow will be enough to shovel, the potential for up to a tenth of an inch of ice will bring the biggest travel hazard. Ice accretion on trees and power lines will also raise the prospects of power outages. Sleet will also mix in from time to time mostly during the mid/late afternoon period. This is a signal that warmer air is mixing in aloft and frozen precipitation is beginning the changeover to rain.

Heavy rain during the afternoon and evening are also something you’ll need to watch for. The Tusky and area streams are still running high from last week’s rain. The heavy rain of 1″ to 2″ will only add to the problem. A Flood Watch is also in effect for portions of our area including Muskingum, Guernsey, Belmont, and Noble counties.

UPDATES
For the latest updates regarding timing and precip types for our area, check the 7-Day Forecast Page. This page automatically updates whenever new info becomes available. It’s focused on New Philadelphia. We also supply two radars to track the storm through your neighborhood: The Home Page Radar is a simple reflectivity radar output. The Interactive Map allows you to track a number of weather-related readings locally as well as satellite and radar.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
I’ll keep just a slight chance of light rain showers in the forecast through early Thursday morning, but drier air will be moving in as our storm system pushes off to the northeast. A general clearing trend will allow for spotty afternoon/evening sunshine on Thursday. By Friday, high pressure will bring much more sun than clouds. Temperatures on Thursday will nudge up a couple of degrees above average. With the added sunshine on Friday, temperatures should get to around 46°.

WEEKEND OUTLOOK
The next weather system arrives over the weekend with low odds for snow showers Friday night as the system approaches. Precipitation in the form of rain becomes likely by Saturday afternoon. Rain showers chances will remain elevated through Sunday before the system moves off Sunday night into Monday.

Temperatures through the weekend will be downright mild. Expect afternoon highs around 52°/54° on Saturday warming to near 60° on Sunday. Temperatures will drop back to the 40s by Monday.


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