This weekend, Central Ohio is projected to experience its first significant snowfall this winter, drawing accumulations of one to three inches of snow across the area.
The snow will start falling late Friday afternoon and continue through the night.
“Today, we’re just gonna see a few flurries floating around the area, but we do have a clipper system that is approaching the area,” says National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Hrebenach. “It will spread snow into Central Ohio late this afternoon into early this evening.”
Temperatures next week will drop into single digits as well.
“You’re gonna see a little bit of snow lingering into Saturday morning, but for the most part it will be over by then," Hrebenach says. "Then we’ll just see another arctic blast coming to the area with temperatures dropping... heading into early next week.”
The Ohio Department of Transportation has crews working 24 hours to mitigate weather effects. According to public information officer Nancy Burton, smaller crews stationed throughout the area will ensure roads are passable.
“We are loading up trucks with gas and salt,” Burton says.
She says crews will use beet juice, which helps salt melt ice at lower temperatures.
There will be close to 100 trucks out in Central Ohio. ODOT is cautioning drivers to be extra careful in the slippery conditions.
As a deep freeze sets in across half the country, officials are also urging people to help those most vulnerable, especially the homeless and the elderly. Bitter temperatures and snow squalls have already been blamed for a handful of deaths and are forcing organizers to cancel a long list of New Year's celebrations.
Forecasters are warning people to be wary of hypothermia and frostbite from the arctic blast that's gripping a large swath from the Midwest to the Northeast. The prolonged, dangerous cold weather has sent advocates for the homeless scrambling to get people off the streets and to bring in extra beds for them.
The Ohio Department of Aging says older people are at increased risk from such severe cold, from medication side effects to falling risks. The department is encouraging people to check on family members, friends and neighbors.
Animal advocates are urging people to remember their pets and not to leave them outside.