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Winter Storm Harper blog: Alerts, advisories and other info

• Updated Jan 22, 2019 at 10:17 PM

(UPDATED at 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019)

Some area schools are closed today, including the Norwalk district, while others began the day after a two-hour delay.

Also closed are Bellevue, New London, South Central and Willard.

Edison and EHOVE Career Center are among those that went with a two-hour delay.

For a list of local closings delays, visit the Fox 8 list.

Huron County and Erie County are under a Level 1 winter weather road condition advisory.

The wind chill advisory has ended.

Today’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with a high near 33. There will be a south wind blowing around 14 mph, creating wind chill values as low as minus 3.

Tonight will bring rain, mainly after 2 a.m., with temperature rising to around 39 by 5 a.m. It also will be breezy, with 15- to 22-mph south winds

There will be more rain on Wednesday, mainly after 5 p.m., and the high will be near 41. It will be breezy again, with a south wind of 15 to 21 mph. 

On Wednesday night, rain and snow, possibly mixed with freezing drizzle, will happen before 7 p.m., then a chance of snow and freezing drizzle between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. The low will be around 24. 

Another cold snap arrives Thursday evening, when the low will be round 10. Friday will see a high of 13 and a low of 4. There is a chance of snow showers both days.

* * *

(UPDATED at 7:56 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2019)

A wind chill advisory is in effect for Huron County and the surrounding areas until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Norwalk City Schools is among the area school districts that have announced a two-hour delay for Tuesday.

Others include Bellevue City Schools and South Central Schools, according to the Fox 8 school closings list.

The National Weather Service reported an Arctic high pressure remains over the region. Temperatures likely will reach their lowest levels midway through the night, then slowly warm through sunrise as winds increase after midnight. This will potentially lead to the coldest wind chill values from shortly after sunset through mid-morning on Tuesday. A wind chill advisory means that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.

Huron County and Erie County are under a Level 1 winter weather road condition advisory.

* * *

(UPDATED at 2:02 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2019)

Huron County is now under a Level 1 winter weather road condition advisory. The change was made shortly after noon.

Erie County continues to be under a Level 1.

Willard lifted its citywide parking ban at 2 p.m.

There are no weather advisories for our area at this time.

* * *

(UPDATED at 10:22 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2019)

The citywide parking ban for Norwalk has been lifted

Huron County is under a Level 2 winter weather road condition advisory.

Erie County is under a Level 1.

A wind chill advisory remains in effect until noon today.

Today’s Norwalk-area forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a mostly sunny skies with a chance of flurries before 4 p.m. and a high near 13. Wind chill values as low as minus 23 are predicted.

Tonight’s forecast calls for increasing clouds, with a low around zero and wind chill values as low as minus 12. There will be a southwest wind blowing at 5 to 10 mph before becoming southeast after midnight.

Tuesday will be party sunny with a high near 32 and wind chill values as low as minus 8. There will be a south wind blowing 13 to 18 mph. Rain and snow are likely before 1 a.m., then rain. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. The low will be around 32. It also will be breezy, with a south wind of 20 to 23 mph. 

Rain is likely Wednesday before 4 p.m., then snow is likely in the evening. The daytime high will be near 42 and the nighttime low will be around 25.

* * *

(UPDATED at 8:32 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2019)

A wind chill advisory remains in effect until noon today.

Erie County is now under a Level 1 winter weather road condition advisory.

Huron County remains under a Level 2 winter weather road condition advisory.

A citywide parking ban remains in force in Norwalk and Willard.

* * *

(UPDATED at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019)

A wind chill advisory remains in effect until noon Monday.

Arctic high pressure will build into the region tonight with the clear to partly cloudy skies across portions of the region. Even where clouds remain the winds will strong enough to produce dangerous wind chill temperatures.

Huron County and Erie County remain under a Level 2 winter weather road condition advisory.

A citywide parking ban remains in force in Norwalk and Willard.

* * *

(UPDATED at 12:14 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019)

Huron County and Erie County are now under a Level 2 winter weather road condition advisory. They had been under a Level 3 since last evening.

A citywide parking ban remains in force in Norwalk and Willard.

A wind chill advisory will go into effect at 6 p.m. today.

This afternoon’s forecast calls for a slight chance of snow showers before 4 p.m. and widespread blowing snow before 3 p.m. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as minus 6. It also will be blustery, with a north wind 17 to 20 mph.

Tonight’s forecast will be mostly cloudy, with a low around minus 2 and wind chill values as low as minus 17. Northwest wind 11 to 15 mph.

* * *

(UPDATED at 8:52 a.m. Saunday, Jan. 20, 2019)

Huron County and Erie County remain under a Level 3 winter weather road condition advisory.

A citywide parking ban remains in force in Norwalk and Willard.

The area remains under a winter storm warning until 10 a.m. today.

Then, a wind chill advisory will be in effect from 6 p.m. today until noon Monday.

* * *

(UPDATED at 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019)

Huron County and Erie County are now under a Level 3 winter weather road condition advisory until further notice.

* * *

(UPDATED at 4:04 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019)

Huron County and Erie County are now under a Level 2 winter weather road condition advisory until further notice.

Willard has issued a citywide parking ban until further notice.

* * *

(UPDATED at 1:24 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019)

Huron County and the surrounding areas remain under a winter storm warning until 10 a.m. Sunday.

Huron and Erie counties also are under a Level 1 winter road condition advisory until further notice.

Also, the Norwalk Police Department has issued a parking ban on all city streets, effective at noon today. Snow plows will plow the streets.

At 10:32 a.m. today, the National Weather Service issued this hazardous weather statement:

“A winter storm will bring heavy snow and strong winds to the area today and tonight followed lake effect snow on Sunday. Low pressure will track from the southern Plains through the lower Ohio Valley today bringing a swath of heavy snow to portions of northern Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania. Snow will be heavy at times Saturday afternoon and evening. This system will quickly depart to the East Coast by Sunday and will be followed by lake effect snow later Sunday and Sunday night across the snow belt.

“In addition to the heavy snow, northeast winds will gust to between 30 and 40 mph with the strongest winds across Northwest Ohio and near Lake Erie. Blowing and drifting of snow is expected and will contribute to reduced visibilities.

“Much colder air will arrive behind this system on Sunday with wet surfaces freezing and becoming slick. Wind chill values will fall to between zero and 20 below on Sunday night.”

The weather service predicted Norwalk would receive snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches with winds gusting as high as 35 mph this weekend.

Inclement weather has forced the cancelation of various events and closing of certain businesses and other facilities.

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums will be closed today and Sunday. Because the HPLM also is closed on Mondays in January, February and March, the facility won’t reopen until Tuesday.

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 3 office released the following statement:

“District 3 is working to ensure that Ohioans keep moving safely, even when snow and ice blankets our state. A winter storm warning is in effect from midnight tonight to 10 am Sunday. Heavy snow is expected with the heaviest snowfall predicted during late morning, early evening Saturday, January 19.

“Our dedicated drivers set the standard for snow and ice control. We work hard to clear the roadways as quickly as possible. Our goal is to have the speeds on primary routes back to normal within two hours of a storm. Last winter, we hit that goal 97% of the time.Why is that important? We want to ensure each trip is as safe as possible.

“District 3 will be fully staffed, with more than 110 crews maintaining routes in all eight of our counties. Drivers will work 12 hour shifts around the clock until the storm has ended and the roads are clear. Road conditions and visibility can change quickly, so be sure to pay close attention and slow down when conditions change. Give our crews plenty of space. Plows typically travel at slower speeds and can make sudden stops and turns. They often create a "snow cloud" which can reduce visibility when driving too closely.

“Remember, in ice and snow, take it slow! Be extra alert, especially when snow is still falling. While we have more than 1,600 plow trucks on the road statewide, we can't be everywhere all the time. Heavy snow is difficult to keep up with, so plan ahead and allow for extra travel time during and immediately after snow events.”

* * *

(UPDATED at 12:03 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

The National Weather Service in Cleveland issued a winter storm warning for Huron County.

The warning will be in effect from midnight tonight to 10 a.m. Sunday. Additional details appear below.

The storm will impact northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Low pressure will track from the southern Plains through thelower Ohio Valley on Saturday bringing a swath of heavy snow to portions of northern Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania. Snow will be heavy at times Saturday afternoon and evening. This system will quickly depart to the East Coast by Sunday and will be followed by lake effect snow later Sunday and Sunday night across the snow belt.

In addition to the potential for heavy snow, northeast winds will gust to between 30 and 40 mph with the strongest winds across Northwest Ohio and near Lake Erie. Blowing and drifting of snow is expected by Saturday night.

Much colder air will arrive behind this system on Sunday with wind chill values falling to between zero and 15 below on Sunday night.

Here is more information from the weather service:

* WHAT: Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 9 inches expected. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph.

* WHERE: Huron, Erie, Richland, Ashland and Wayne counties, including the cities of Norwalk, Sandusky, Mansfield, Ashland and Wooster

* WHEN: From midnight tonight to 10 a.m. Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Travel could be very difficult. The cold wind chills as low as 15 below zero could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken. Blowing and drifting snow will develop during Saturday afternoon.

* PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: A winter storm warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

The latest road conditions can be obtained from the Department of Transportation web site.

* * *

(UPDATED at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

A winter storm watch will be in effect from 4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 until 4 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21.

During that time, a snowstorm will move through the region, bringing significant accumulation and winds with gusts as high as 38.

Arctic air will arrive behind the departing storm system with wind chill values of zero to 15 below expected Sunday night. The plunging temperatures will cause wet surfaces to freeze with slick conditions developing.

Here is the Norwalk-area forecast from the National Weather Service:

Today - Cloudy, with a high near 35. West wind around 6 mph becoming north in the afternoon.

Tonight - A chance of snow, mainly after 2 a.m. Cloudy, with a low around 26. Light northeast wind becoming east 6 to 11 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Saturday - Snow. High near 30. Blustery, with a northeast wind 14 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Saturday night - Snow, mainly before 1 a.m. Low around 16. Blustery, with a north wind 23 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Sunday - A slight chance of snow before 9 a.m., then a chance of snow showers after 9 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 17. Blustery, with a north wind 15 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Sunday night - A slight chance of snow showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around minus 1. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Mostly sunny, with a high near 12.

Monday night - Partly cloudy, with a low around 5.

Tuesday - Snow likely after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Tuesday night - Rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 30. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Wednesday - A chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 35. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Wednesday night - A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Thursday - Partly sunny, with a high near 27.

 

* * *

(UPDATED at 2:20 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a winter storm watch that will be in effect from Friday night through late Sunday night.

A winter storm is on track for northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania.

Deep low pressure will move through the Ohio Valley Saturday evening and reach the east coast Sunday morning.

Snow will move into the region from the west towards morning Saturday and should quickly spread east and become heavy through the late morning and early afternoon.

Snow will continue heavy at times into Saturday night, tapering in the west by midnight. Lake effect snow is expected to develop on Sunday in cold northerly winds behind the system, with lake effect snow possibly lasting into Sunday night.

* WHAT: Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 10 to 15 inches possible. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.

* WHERE: North central and northeast Ohio and portions of northwest Pennsylvania.

* WHEN: From late Friday night through late Sunday night. Counties affected include: Erie-Lorain-Cuyahoga-Lake-Geauga-Ashtabula Inland-Huron-Medina-Summit-Portage-Trumbull-Richland-Ashland-Wayne-Ashtabula Lakeshore-Northern Erie-Southern Erie-Crawford Including the cities of Sandusky, Lorain, Cleveland, Mentor, Chardon, Jefferson, Norwalk, Medina, Akron, Ravenna, Warren, Mansfield, Ashland, Wooster, Ashtabula, Erie, Edinboro, and Meadville

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Travel could be very difficult to impossible. The cold wind chills as low as 20 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

A winter storm watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. 

* * *

(ORIGINAL post at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

The National Weather Service in Cleveland today issued the following hazardous weather outlook is for north central Ohio:

Light snowfall of around an inch is expected this afternoon and evening.

A strong low pressure system will move through the southern Ohio Valley over the weekend bringing the potential for heavy snow to portions of the area.

Adjustments to the storm track are still likely, which will have an effect on where the heaviest snow will fall Saturday into Sunday.

At this time, 6 inches or more of snow accumulation look likely along and east of a line from Upper Sandusky to Lorain. Strong winds gusting to between 30 and 40 mph are also expected and will contribute to areas of blowing and drifting snow, especially near Lake Erie.

Periods of lake effect snow will follow Sunday night into Monday.

Impacts to travel are likely over the weekend. 

Then, an Arctic blast with dangerous wind chills will move into the area Sunday through early next week. Potential wind chills could drop to -10 to -25 degrees Sunday night into Monday morning.

Here is the weather service’s seven-day forecast for the Norwalk area:

This afternoon - Snow likely, mainly after 1 p.m. Cloudy, with a high near 33. Southeast wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Tonight - Snow, mainly before 10 p.m. Low around 30. South wind 6 to 9 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Friday - Cloudy, with a high near 33. West wind 6 to 8 mph.

Friday night - Snow likely, mainly after 5 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Saturday - Snow. High near 28. Blustery, with an east wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Saturday night - Snow. Low around 14. Blustery. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Sunday - A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16. Blustery. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

Sunday night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around -1.

M.L.King Day - Partly sunny, with a high near 11.

Monday night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5.

Tuesday - A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Tuesday night - A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 24. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

Wednesday - A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

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