ELYRIA — Come tonight, you might as well consider hanging those car keys by the door and stoking the fireplace.
If weather predictions are on the money, the first real storm of the season is supposed to hit —dumping as much as 6 to 12 inches of snow and about a half-inch of ice on the county this weekend.
The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a winter weather warning for Lorain County and the rest of Ohio, a warning that will stay in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday.
A frigid mass of wet air was expected to pick up power this morning over Texas, with predictions that it will hit southern Ohio by Sunday morning. The front will push snow clouds over the rest of the state by midday, with a mix of sleet and freezing rain expected to arrive first sometime this evening.
It should change back to snow by Sunday morning, but the weather service is warning that high winds later in the day will cause snow to blow and drift. Lake effect snow could bog things down even more Sunday night, forecasters say.
Needless to say, the warning suggests that conditions will be dangerous for drivers, who are being urged to reconsider travel plans.
Lorain County Emergency Management Agency Director Tom Kelley first learned of the storm’s potential danger Thursday afternoon when the weather service held a rare conference call with leaders in about 30 counties.
The last time it took such measures was to warn of the Valentine’s Day storm earlier this year that dropped 11 inches here and shut down nearly everything.
Kelley said Thursday that plans already are in place to ensure that doctors, nurses and other emergency workers can get to work if the roads are impassable by regular traffic.
Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.