By Frank Lewis
Those sub-freezing temperatures are not going away any time soon. The National Weather Service is calling for arctic air to return to the region by the middle of the week, and Gov. John Kasich has issued a state of emergency for energy purposes.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until 11 a.m. Tuesday. Snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with locally higher amounts is expected. Snow is expected to overspread the region very early Tuesday, tapering off by late Tuesday morning. Accumulations of an inch or two are expected, combined with winds and falling temperatures. Those factors could lead to hazardous conditions for this morning’s commute.
“It looks like we’re going to be on the fringe of the coldest weather,” Scioto County Emergency Management Agency Director Kim Carver said. “Not as bad or as severe or extreme a cold weather as we had earlier, but the lows overnight will be in the single digits for this coming week.”
Arctic air will move into the region by the middle of the week. Very cold wind chill readings are expected at times from Wednesday morning through Friday morning, with values below zero degrees.
“We could expect some wind chills perhaps to dip a little below zero,” Carver said. “But it’s nothing as brutal as we experienced during the last outbreak.”
Meanwhile, the governor has declared a state of emergency for all 88 counties for energy purposes. The proclamation was made in an effort to expedite the transportation of propane and heating oil into the state of Ohio. The proclamation waives regulations relating to motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil only. No other petroleum products are covered by the exemption and suspension under the proclamation. The emergency proclamation will remain in full force and effect until the energy emergency no longer exists, but not more than thirty days.
The proclamation closes with, “Motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil to address transportation issues arising from the severe weather, heavy snowfall, and difficult driving conditions in Ohio, are exempt from compliance with Rule 4901:2-5-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code and 49 CFR Part 395 - any such provision of a state statute, order, or rule pertaining to the hours-of-service is suspended.”
Carver said some some areas in Ohio have been harder hit than others.
“This is about ensuring that the supply chain can be replenished before additional harsh weather occurs. I have really not had any calls of any shortages in Scioto County. I have not heard of any heating oil or propane entities in Scioto County that have reported shortages or inability to get product,” she said.
Carver said if any customer has had trouble getting heating oil or propane from their vendor, they should have already been talking with local government entities about working with the state of Ohio to try to get the supply line opened back up to make sure that the deliveries are able to be made.
Wind chills may drop to 10 degrees below zero near and north of Interstate 70 on Wednesday morning.
Weather spotters are being encouraged to report snow accumulations to the NWS.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.