PDT Staff Writer
This is Severe Weather Awareness Week, and weather officials are tracking a complex winter storm headed toward Ohio.
“This week last year was when we had the tornado outbreak in Ohio and Kentucky and this year we’re looking at having a complex winter storm system move through,” Carver said.
Kim Carver, director of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency, said last year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week was marked by deadly tornadoes. In March a destructive tornado hit the Otway area, toppling the Otway Fire Department Storage building. As a result the department decided to relocate and build a new fire station.
At the time, the National Weather Service confirmed that the storm was an F0 tornado. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, an F0 tornado has winds between 40-72 mph and causes light damage.
Carver said the tornado came down the hill next to the covered bridge, ripping its roof off. It hit the fire department storage building next, lifted the roof off the gym at the community center then damaged two nearby homes before dissipating.
For this week, Carver said the heavier snows will begin in the afternoon today and continue into this evening mainly north of I-70. The period of heaviest snow rate (approaching 1 inch per hour) will be late this afternoon and this evening.
Across southern Ohio, northern Kentucky and parts of Indiana this is not currently expected to be a significant event, with rain (or mixed snow/rain) transitioning to light snow tonight with light accumulations expected. Least probability of snow accumulation will be across northern Kentucky and along the Ohio River.
The greatest focus for impact (6 inches snow or more…possibly up to 9 inches) is north of I-70 in western/central Ohio where a winter storm watch is currently in effect.
Snow will be heavy/wet as temperatures remain in the lower 30s. Winds are not expected to exceed 25 mph - so drifting snow is not expected to be widespread nor significant in the heavy snow area.
Wednesday at 9:50 a.m., area schools will be doing their tornado shelter drills.
Carver said, “Both last year and this year March has roared in like a Lion and hopefully will go out like a lamb with early spring warmth. Last year was one of the warmest springs on record.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.