The arctic rush is coming

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

Southern Ohio’s good weather luck may have just run out.

Scioto County Emergency Management Agency Director Kim Carver says cold weather is coming. Carver says the National Weather Service forecast is calling for a wintry mix with an arctic blast Wednesday and Thursday with more wintry precipitation possible Friday night into Saturday.

The headline on The Weather Channel says it all – “Arctic Plunge to Usher in Bitter Cold Air Into Midwest and Northeast This Week.”

USA Today carried a story that sounds ominous to those of us who have been waiting for the next cold weather shoe to drop.

“In the Midwest and Northeast, some areas could experience their lowest December temperatures of this century,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

Specifically, the forecast calls for partly cloudy conditions Wednesday night, with a low around 13, accompanied by winds at seven to nine miles per hour. While it is expected to be sunny Thursday, the thermometer is not expected to rise above 20 degrees, and it goes downhill from there, with temperatures expected to plunge to around 10 Thursday night and rising to around 29 on Friday.

Snow is likely Friday night, possibly mixed with sleet before midnight, then snow and freezing rain is likely, possibly mixed with sleet between midnight at 1 a.m., followed by freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet after 1 a.m. Cloudy, with a low around 25 with a 70 percent chance of precipitation.

“With temperatures near 10 and windchill near zero, folks should check on their neighbors, especially the elderly and take measures for their pets who are outside,” Carver said. “Dress in layers and limit outdoor exposure for long periods when real feel temps drop near zero and be mindful of alternate heating devices and take all precautions required for their use.”

Preparation seems to be the order of the day when it comes to the anticipation of frigid temperatures.

“Cold weather can be extremely dangerous,” Debbie Smith, community executive of the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross, said. “If you don’t have to be outside, don’t go. Stay inside instead. If you have to go outside, make sure you’re dressed in layers and take plenty of warm breaks. Cold weather also creates scenarios where home fires can happen. Remember the three feet rule: Keep anything flammable three feet from the heat, such as fireplaces and space heaters.”

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.