White Christmas in the forecast?


Snow could be on the ground on Christmas if an upcoming weather forecast is accurate. Matthew Campbell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Wilmington, said that Thursday night into Friday morning will be the time that the area gets its accumulation of snow.

“So, we have a pretty strong low-pressure system that’ll be moving towards the area this weekend, or I should say the end of this week, and that system should start to bring us some rain starting Thursday afternoon and eventually Thursday evening, into Thursday night, the rain should transition over to a little bit of snow, and as that’s happening, temperatures are expected to drop pretty rapidly overnight on Thursday and Friday morning,” Campbell said. “And temperatures on Friday behind that front look like they top out in the single digits during the day. Wind chills below zero during the day on Friday.”

Campbell said that any snow that falls in that time period, or any lingering snow later on Friday, will stick to the ground and be around on Christmas, but it’s just a matter of the amount.

“We’re not forecasting a whole lot of snow down in Hillsboro or Highland County/Clinton County, that area,” Campbell said. “Right now, we have about an inch forecast. That is still subject to change, though, and a lot of it will probably get blown around by the wind pretty good, so it just depends on the exact location. We’ll have to see how much snow falls after we transition from rain to snow on Thursday night.”

Campbell also said that because of the upcoming storm, the NWS is also expecting temperatures to have highs of close to 10 on Saturday and in the teens on Christmas Day. He also said that the wind chills will “probably” still be below zero for a chunk of the weekend.

“Just have your winter weather kit ready, you know, during normal winter weather driving,” Campbell said. “Just be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions, visibility and whatnot. And also, check the weather forecast for if you’re traveling somewhere else, have the forecast for where you’re going. This system won’t just impact Ohio. It’s impacting the entire region, this whole section of the country, so check what the weather forecast is for where you’re going and then also just have your winter weather kit prepared in the car just in case.”

Another problem with temperatures as low as those forecasted are freezing pipes. They can burst and create a potentially catastrophic situation for homeowners. The following are tips provided by the National Weather Service to avoid the problem:

To keep pipes from freezing on an outside wall:

* Let hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet.

* Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to uninsulated pipes under a sink or near an outer wall.

* Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.

* If you plan to be away: Have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).

If pipes freeze:

* Make sure you and your family know where the water shut off valve is, in case pipes burst. Most often, it is near the wall where the water service enters the house. Sometimes, it may be in a utility room.

* Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. Use of a flame can result in the building catching fire. Use a hair dryer instead.

* Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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