This person in the downtown area bundled up to shovel snow during the last storm on Jan. 6, including a full face mask. While the temperatures are not expected to dip quite as low this week more Arctic weather is on its way to Van Wert County. (TB file photo)
VAN WERT - Extreme, cold temperatures will be re-entering our area the next few days with a chance for repeat conditions next week as well.
“Two more arctic outbreaks are heading our way, one this week and one next week,” said Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy. “These events are not expected to be as intense as the one that swept through Ohio and others areas of the country during the first week of January, but we will still be seeing temperatures at least 20 degrees below normal for this time of year.”
The recent cold wave that struck the area during the first week of January produced two days that measured negative 15 degrees, a cold-spell that now ranks in the top 17 coldest days in Van Wert County history since recording began in 1924. The coldest days ever recorded in the county were Jan. 17,1982, and Jan. 20, 1985, when temperatures fell to negative 22 degrees.
This week, temperatures will reach a high in the teens during the day and will drop to single digits and below zero at night. The National Weather Service is predicting periodic clippers coming out of the Northwest that are expected to bring an inch or two of snow, but no big snow events are yet on the horizon.
“Wind chills will again be an issue throughout this week at zero to 20 degrees below zero,” noted McCoy. “But, it is still too early to tell how strong of an arctic plunge we will see next week.”
McCoy reminded readers that households will again need to let their faucets drip so pipes do not freeze during the cold snap. The local director also highlighted the importance of taking precautions against frostbite while outdoors, checking on neighbors and the elderly, and taking steps to keep animals and pets safe from the extreme temperatures.
According to an old wives’ tale, whatever date receives the first measurable snowfall equals the amount of days during the winter season that will receive measurable snowfall. During the 2013-2014 winter season, the first snow occurred on Oct. 24, meaning 24 snows this winter. To date, Van Wert County has received 17 measurable snowfalls this winter season.
During these 17 snowfalls, the county has received 33.0 inches of snow, and with the rest of January and all of February and March to come, the snowfall tally will continue to climb. Last year, Van Wert received 33.05 inches of snow the entire winter season, a number that was nearly reached this year by mid-January.
The average snowfall for Van Wert County is 31 inches. Some of the biggest snow events in Van Wert County since 1924 included 1964 and 1974 when 63 inches of snow were received, 1982 when 82 inches were received, and 1978 when 83 inches of snow fell.