After the first significant snowfall hit Highland County on Wednesday morning and closed schools before tapering off in the afternoon, forecasters seemed to agree Wednesday that Highland County would likely escape the worst of a snowstorm passing through the region on Friday – or maybe it wouldn’t.
Either way, observers were keeping an eye on a system making its way eastward.
Wednesday afternoon, most forecasters were predicting that a winter storm moving eastward would likely stay slightly south of the southern Ohio region.
WLWT Channel 5 forecasters said Wednesday, “Things are looking interesting for Friday afternoon. There is the potential for a more significant winter storm. At this time the storm is just moving through the Pacific Northwest… right now Cincinnati is on the fringe of the track, so any shift and we could see a lot of snow, or we could get not much at all. There is nothing certain yet except there is a high likelihood of a significant snowfall somewhere in the Ohio Valley Region.”
WCPO Channel 9 forecasters said, “At this point, this could be 2-4 inches of snowfall around Greater Cincinnati, to 4-6 inches in the southern portion of our Northern Kentucky viewing area.”
As of late Wednesday, a winter storm watch had been issued for Friday in northern Kentucky, as well as Brown and Adams counties in Ohio.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington predicted snow for the Highland County region on Friday, mainly after noon, with a high near 29. The NWS put the chance of precipitation at 80 percent Friday afternoon, with new snow accumulation at 1 to 2 inches Friday afternoon and evening.
AccuWeather forecasters, meanwhile, were predicting snowfall locally in the range of 1-3 inches Friday.
The Associated Press reported that as a “nor’easter” eyes the eastern United States, the National Weather Service warned of a “potentially paralyzing winter storm” at the end of the week for parts of the mid-Atlantic region, including the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas, where a blizzard watch has been issued.
Three likely scenarios:
— The NWS Weather Prediction Center says the most likely track brings the heaviest snowfall to eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, western Virginia, northern Maryland and southeast Pennsylvania, with 1 to 2 feet of snow.
Significant icing is likely in parts of Kentucky, North Carolina and southern Virginia with possible ice accumulations around a half inch. New York and southern New England may see snow but the amount could vary greatly, even over small distances. Coastal flooding is possible during high tide along Long Island, New Jersey, the Delmarva peninsula and western shore of the Chesapeake Bay on Friday night and Saturday.
— If the storm moves more slowly and shifts to the south, areas such as New York City could be spared the heaviest snowfall totals.
— If the storm stays further west, there could be more sleet and maybe even rain in the Delmarva peninsula and southern New Jersey.