DARKE COUNTY — The talk around the county this week is guessing just how much snow we are going to get in the area Friday into Saturday. Predictions have ranged from 1 to 18 inches of snowfall, but only Mother Nature truly knows how much snow, ice and cold temperatures she’ll bring.
According to Weather Channel Winter Weather Expect Tom Niziol, Ohio will be hit by phase three of what they are calling “Winter Storm Hunter” this weekend.
“Hunter is a multi-phase, high impact winter storm that will produce snow, ice, wind, as well as an extreme temperature drop as it moves across the Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northern Interior New England through Saturday,” said Niziol.
“Phase three of the storm ramps up across the Midwest on Friday, and moves rapidly north and east through the Ohio Valley to Western New York on Saturday. The same scenario will play out with a changeover from rain to a wintry mix, and then extreme temperature drops with snowfall. Significant icing is possible in a swath from Western Tennessee and Kentucky through Southern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Northwest Pennsylvania, and Southwestern New York. Finally, the East Coast may be spared wintry precipitation but mild conditions and copious rainfall on frozen ground could produce some flooding woes in New England.”
According to Accuweather, Thursday will be the last of the 50 degree weather for a while as temperatures will drop to below freezing causing ice Friday morning that will change to snow and accumulate 3-6 inches before ending late Friday night. Saturday’s temperatures will drop even more with a low of 5 degrees and a high of 20. Sunday into Monday’s weather could produce even more snow in the area.
As the weather gets nasty so do the roads we drive. AAA offers winter driving tips for safety and recommends the following for driving in the snow:
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
- The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
- Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
- Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.