The first substantial snow of the 2013-14 season began late Friday night. The system is expected to bring 5-8 inches of snow to the Van Wert area. (Times Bulletin/Angela Stith)
The first substantial snow of the 2013-14 season began late Friday night. The system is expected to bring 5-8 inches of snow to the Van Wert area. (Times Bulletin/Angela Stith)

BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - Van Wert County and surrounding areas are expecting their first substantial snowfall for the 2013-2014 winter season.

"The National Weather Service currently has the entire Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana areas under a winter storm warning for five to eight inches of snow," said Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy. "There will be some isolated areas that could even see higher amounts."

In meteorological terms, copious amounts of moisture are being pulled up from the south with a low pressure system that will move across Ohio on Saturday. This storm system will be merging with a second system moving out of the north bringing cold temperatures and some additional snow. Together the two will dump accumulating snow across Indiana and Ohio with even higher amounts of up to two feet across New York on Saturday and Sunday.

Snow moved into Van Wert County between 9-10 p.m. Friday night with the heaviest snow expected between midnight and day-break Saturday morning.

"Snowfall should continue into late Saturday afternoon before tapering off," predicted McCoy. "Colder air will again be filtering in behind the storm."

Snowfall from this storm is expected to be heavy and wet. Winds are not expected to be a problem, so blowing and drifting should not become an issue.

"As with all snow events, people should practice caution and give themselves extra time when driving," concluded McCoy. Extended forecast models from the National Weather Service are hinting at another significant storm, possibly affecting the Ohio Valley by Dec. 23, with another big cold wave following. If current predictions hold up, the county can expect a white Christmas in 2014.

Long-term predictions indicate that the month of January will continue to see very cold temperatures and normal to above-normal snowfall. On average, winter snowfall amounts in Van Wert County total 31 inches of snow in a year.