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Another Arctic blast hits area

Scott Seitz • Jan 27, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Someone needs to tell Mother Nature, “Enough already!”

For the past three weeks, Mother Nature has kicked around the Firelands area as if she’s preparing for this summer’s World Cup.

Local residents have been pummeled with Arctic temperatures and more snow than they’ve seen the past two winters combined.

Back on Jan. 6 and 7, the polar vortex even visited this area, stopping by to say hello for the first time in 20 years. The polar vortex didn’t arrive empty-handed, bringing record-low temperatures with it.

Norwalk hit minus-13 degrees on Jan. 6, eclipsing the former mark of minus-10 set in 1924.

On Jan. 17, about 8 inches of “surprise” snow fell in Norwalk in four hours.

On Saturday, 6 more inches of snow hit the ground.

Then on Sunday, just for good measure, 2 inches of snow were recorded.

Don’t forget the wind, which has seemed to blow steadily between 20 and 30 mph for about three weeks. On Friday night, wind gusts reached 40 mph.

Most local schools are either at or have passed the amount of permitted calamity days.

Many counties in northern Ohio on Saturday issued Level 2 snow emergencies, under which authorities discourage nonessential travel.

Huron County was under a Level 3 Saturday morning, meaning motorists are ordered off the roads and can be ticketed if they disobey. Sheriff Dane Howard reduced it to a Level 2 Saturday afternoon. It remained at that level Sunday night.

Snowy, windy weather contributed to widespread traffic accidents across northern Ohio over the weekend. The Huron County Sheriff’s Office alone handled about 19 traffic crashes Friday and Saturday.

Get ready for the next dose of good old-fashion Ohio winter weather.

An Arctic cold front that moved across the area Sunday night is ushering in some of the coldest temperatures of the season. The frigid conditions will last through mid week. The overnight lows Monday night and Tuesday night will be in the minus 10 to minus 15 degree range, with wind chills around minus 30. These will be the coldest temperatures since 1994.

Tuesday’s high temperature is forecasted at 1 degree.

Wednesday could feel like a heat wave to local residents as the high temperature hits a predicted 12 degrees, with a low of 9.

Thursday is calling for snow showers and wind, with a high of 25 and low of 15.

The normal high temperature for this time of year is 33 degrees, with a low of 19.

So far in January, three days have seen the temperature dip below zero, while nine days have shown a recorded temperature of less than 10 degrees.

The 10-day extended forecast is calling for no days warmer than 30 degrees.

Norwalk has received nearly 25 inches of snow in January. However, the city still has a ways to go pass January 1978, when 34 inches of snow were recorded.

Lynn Szabo, a retired Norwalk science teacher, discussed what's causing the local snow and deep freeze.

"Obviously, something has jerked around the jet stream," Szabo said. "That is disrupting that normal weather pattern for this area."

There's been much talk lately about the polar vortex, which recently had a piece break off and head south, causing record-low temperatures and brutal wind chills.

"The polar vortex is really just swirling wind," Szabo said.

Szabo said the jet stream is affecting more areas than just Ohio.

"Things are balmy in Alaska while they are brutal here," he said. "Temperatures have been in the 30s in Alaska."

Szabo said the part of the jet stream has moved up north, taking warmth up with it, while another part has brought cold air down from the north to the United States.

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