Snow (at least) one more time
Friday, February 28, 2014 12:02 AM
This January file photo shows blowing, drifting snow near the Van Wert Hospital. The harsh winter continues this weekend, with 6 to 10 inches of snow predicted Sunday. (TB File Photo)
VAN WERT — You’ve heard it before this winter, but a familiar warning has been sounded: watch out for a big snow storm this weekend.
Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy issued the news on Thursday.
“The new computer models are out, and it looks like there’s going to be a really big storm system that’s going to produce a lot of severe weather across southern states. The north end of it is going to be an ice and snowmaker across the southern part of the state, and that will extend back to almost Oklahoma. Up here it’s going to be cold enough, it doesn’t look like we are going to see any overrunning warm air which gives you the freezing rain, so it looks like it will be a complete snow event here,” he stated.
The new snowfall this weekend would make this winter the third snowiest in recorded history in Van Wert County.
“With the snow coming in The light snow could begin Saturday evening,” McCoy explained. “The heavier snow won’t start until after midnight and continue at least 24 hours into Sunday night and possibly Monday morning. So with the prolonged period of snow, it looks like up through here everybody should see six inches of snow across the region, and there will be isolated areas of at least 10 inches.”
Although meteorologists are still debating where the heaviest snow totals will fall, the conventional wisdom now puts the heavy stuff coming down south of U.S. 24.
As always, the snow itself is not what is causing concern.
McCoy stated, “We’ve had plenty of snow this year, and we’ve dealt with it. My biggest concern right now is the wind. It’s going to be such a strong system with good deep low pressure so the wind is going to kick up pretty good with this. We’re looking at gusty winds all day Sunday, Sunday night, and even into Monday, so there will be a lot of blowing and drifting.”
So far this winter, Van Wert County has received 60.7 inches of snow. That total ranks as the fifth highest total for the area. This snowfall should put this year’s total past the 63.0 inch totals measured in 1963 and 1974. The largest snowfall in a season was 83 inches in 1978, followed closely by 82 inches total received in 1982.
But McCoy cautioned Van Wert County residents not to assume that the snowfall total will stop growing after this weekend, or that the temperatures will increase significantly.
“There’s no end in sight, unfortunately. We’re going to see another arctic air mass right behind the storm and bring us back down to zero again. The pattern is indicating toward the end of next week another big storm developing in the southern plains, and where that’s going to track is the big question right now. But it’s still going to be a parade of storms coming across the country. But even if we get a brief warmup, I don’t see it staying warm. This may be the story for March.”