The National Weather Service (NWS) in Wilmington has issued a winter weather advisory in effect 10 p.m., Tuesday to 10 a.m., Wednesday.
According to the weather service, a mix of wintry precipitation is expected. Light snow accumulations of one to two inches are predicted along with a light glaze of ice on top. The areas affected include South-Central and Southwest Ohio as well as northern Kentucky. Residents in the advisory area are told to plan on slippery road conditions.
Essentially, a winter weather advisory means periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery roads and limited visibility. NWS advises drivers to use caution behind the wheel.
Even as wintry weather at least temporarily returns to the Portsmouth area, the weather service announced a flood watch for Scioto and several surrounding counties. The flood watch runs through Thursday morning. Mixed precipitation was expected to transition to rain overnight Tuesday through Wednesday morning, with rain continuing into the day on Wednesday. Rainfall amounts of one to two inches will be possible through Wednesday night. NWS warns with the ground already saturated, this additional rainfall likely will lead to flooding.
The NWS states people in the watch area, especially those living in areas prone to flooding, should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Monitor the latest forecast and be alert for possible flood warnings.
While the NWS put a flood watch in place, neither the Scioto nor Ohio river are as of this writing Tuesday afternoon nowhere near flood stages according to the NWS website. The Scioto River at Piketon which has been at or near flood stage for much of last week, was predicted to be sitting about 13.4 feet Tuesday afternoon and into Tuesday evening. Flood stage for the Scioto at Piketon is 20 feet. NWS does note the Scioto is expected to rise again with the precipitation arriving late this week with the river peaking at about 19.1 feet Friday afternoon.
Piketon is the nearest spot to Portsmouth at which NWS operates a river level gauge along the Scioto. Closer to home, the Ohio River Portsmouth, as of Tuesday afternoon, also was well below its 50-foot flood stage according to the NWS. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the river sat at 37.2 feet. However, like the Scioto, the Ohio is expected to rise again as precipitation passes through late this week. NWS predicted the Ohio at Portsmouth will crest at 48.9 feet by 3 p.m. Saturday but begin falling again thereafter. The Ohio in Portsmouth surpassed flood stage by about a foot as recently as Friday.
Notices from NWS, often funneled through The Scioto County Emergency Management Agency (SCEMA,) almost always include a notice regarding the possible activation of weather spotters. NWS will hold its next Weather Spotter Class, sponsored by SCEMA, 6 p.m., March 12 at the Valley Township Fire Department.
According to SCEMA, the public is invited to learn more about weather locally at the training classes. Attendees will learn about differing severe weather events and will earn a certificate for attending the two-hour class.
NWS forecasters are looking for citizens to be their eyes and report signs of severe weather by becoming official NWS Weather Spotters. No registration is required for the training class, just head to the intersection of Robert Lucas Road and Lucasville Minford Road in Lucasville and point yourself into the fire department meeting room.
Even if you don’t want to be a spotter and just want to learn about weather, SCEMA and the NWS say you are more than welcome to come out and enjoy the presentation, which always includes special weather videos about weather events right here in Ohio.