Weather

Spring-like storm brings thunder, rain & high winds to county

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A strong spring-like storm system will move into the Great Lakes this weekend bringing brief warm temperatures, rain, thunder, and a lot of wind.  Fortunately, the severe thunderstorm threat has moved well south of Ohio in the forecast models.  Rain, and some thunderstorms (non-severe), will move into the area Saturday afternoon.  The heaviest rain and best chance of thunder will be in the early evening hours.  As the storm system moves to our northeast, very strong sustained winds and gusts will move into the area for Sunday.  The NWS has issued a High Wind WATCH for Wood County from 4:00am Sunday until 1:00am Monday.  Winds will initially be from the east and then switch to come from the south as winds increase.  After the passage of a cold front, the winds will come from the west at 30-45 mph with gusts around 60 mph Sunday afternoon.  With gusts this strong, minor damage can start to occur and scattered power outages will be possible. 

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Dangerous cold temps and winds headed toward region

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The kind of cold headed this way busts pipes, closes schools, and makes exposed skin unbearable. Wind chills are expected to dip to -40 overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning – bringing bitter cold that can freeze flesh in less than 10 minutes. The National Weather Service has reported to the Wood County Emergency Management Agency that a wind chill warning is likely to be issued Tuesday night through Friday morning. Gusty winds will make matters worse, creating dangerous wind chills of -25 on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. The coldest period will be overnight Wednesday into Thursday, when wind chills could dip to -40. Those temperatures are not only uncomfortable – but also dangerous. The frigid cold for this period of time will also start to impact infrastructure, so the EMA is suggesting that local residents plan for potential loss of infrastructure and services. The frigid cold can lead to burst pipes, frozen paws, frostbitten fingers and car problems. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci has decided that the risk to kids is too great – so the schools will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a two-hour delay on Friday. “Obviously, we have to be concerned about kids at the bus stops, or kids walking to school,” he said. “It’s not an exact science,” but Scruci consults the National Weather Services’ table for dangerously cold conditions. “We have to make sure that they’re safe.” In addition to concerns about students, Scruci is also worried about the fleet of school buses starting up in the cold. “Will we be able to get our buses started,” since diesel fuel tends to gel in the cold. Precautions are being taken, but again, it’s not an exact science. If schools are closed due to the cold, the district will announce the closures on Facebook, Twitter, the district webpage, and through mass phone calls. On Tuesday afternoon, Bowling Green State University announced classes on Wednesday would be canceled, but all office would be open. The women’s basketball game has been postponed (updated) until Feb. 20. Other events…


Dangerous wind chill forecast from Tuesday night through Friday morning

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: EMA just completed a conference call with the NWS Cleveland office concerning the incoming polar/arctic air starting Tuesday night.  The following is the latest information for planning purposes. A Wind Chill WATCH is currently in effect.  This will be changed to a Wind Chill WARNING (for Tuesday night through Friday morning) sometime overnight tonight as the storm system pulls away from the area.  As it pulls away, a cold  front will move through in the early hours of Tuesday and temperatures will drop the entire day.  Winds will also be very gusty through the period which will create the dangerous wind chills.  The wind chill should reach the -25 degree F around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.  Wind chills on Wednesday will average around -25 to -30 degrees F.  The coldest period in this time frame will be in the overnight hours Wednesday night into Thursday morning when wind chills could approach -40 degrees F.  Temperatures and wind chill values will begin to moderate on Friday.  High temperatures by Sunday will be nearing the upper 40s. Please note that these are dangerous conditions (Tuesday night through Friday morning).  At these low wind chill values, flesh can freeze in less than 10 minutes if exposed.  Please plan accordingly and use extra caution if you have to be outside for anything during this period.  These conditions for this period of time will also start to impact infrastructure, so plan for potential loss of infrastructure and services. FOR THOSE ALONG THE PORTAGE AND MAUMEE RIVERS: A secondary concern is developing for ice jams.  Ice jams are already being observed on the Maumee River from Rossford back through to almost the Waterville area.  The incoming temperatures will lock a lot of ice jam ice in place and will allow for rapid freezing of open water.  With temperatures returning to relatively warm values this weekend along with a chance of rain, ice jams and flooding may become an issue.  Please report any ice jam situations directly to the NWS Cleveland office or the…


Looking ahead to snow, wintry mix, & a bone-chilling freeze

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: Per the latest forecast models and a brief conversation with the NWS Cleveland office, I am sending you the latest update of information concerning the winter storm for Monday and conditions for this weekend. A Flood WARNING continues for MINOR flooding along the Portage River at this time.  The river should go below flood stage Saturday morning. Tonight’s light snow chance now appears to be very very light if any at all.  A small disturbance will be moving through the area this evening, but there is not a lot of moisture with it.  Snow showers are possible on Saturday as well as Sunday.  Sunday (especially afternoon and evening) could see a light accumulation (less than 1”).  On Monday, snow could begin in the early morning hours which could accumulate a couple of inches of snow.  The hard part of the forecast at this time is snow could transition over to a wintry mix (snow/sleet, freezing rain, rain) in the afternoon especially if the warmer air aloft gets this far north (now forecasted to be in the Findlay/Lima area).  If it changes to a wintry mix, snow totals will stay somewhat low, but slippery conditions will likely continue.  Snow would return in the evening hours as the warmer air moves east.  If it doesn’t change to a wintry mix, total accumulations for the storm could be in the 4” range with heavier snow north and west of the Maumee River.  Again, it is early and this is preliminary information.  EMA will be updating forecast information on its Facebook page through the weekend. Dangerous recorded setting cold air will start moving into the area Tuesday afternoon.  Wednesday will be the coldest day with actual high temperatures struggling to reach 0 degrees F.  Overnight wind chill temperatures will be near -40 degrees F.  This is very dangerous cold air, so please start preparing this weekend for conditions we have not seen in a long time (at least for a couple of days). FUN FACT:  Today is the 41st anniversary of…


Some snow & frigid Arctic temps headed this way

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: Forecast models are showing a very active week next week.  For everyone’s planning purposes, I want to get some preliminary information out to everyone. From this evening through the weekend, snow showers (low percentage) with little or no accumulation will be possible each day.  The best chance of snow will be Friday evening and that will likely be ½” or less.  Cold temperatures move back into the area tonight as well. Another storm system will be developing that will track through the lower Great Lakes late Sunday night and into Monday.  It is still too early for definitive snowfall forecasts, but for planning purposes this early, 3” – 5” of snowfall should be considered.  Indicators at this time show that southern lower Michigan and extreme northern Indiana and Ohio will be in the moderate snowfall range.  Again, the exact track of the storm is critical to the snowfall forecast, and that is not known yet so adjustments are possible from the planning purposes estimate at this time. The other significant issue for next week is a polar/arctic air mass that will  move into the Great Lakes area on Wednesday and Thursday.  This will be dangerously cold air that we have not seen in years or even more than a decade.  Indicators are that high temperatures will struggle to get back to zero with overnight lows well below zero.  At this time, we do not know to what extent the wind will play a factor in this cold air.  If the air mass is association with breezy to windy conditions, the situation will obviously be more dangerous than just the arctic cold with no wind. EMA will update this information tomorrow and again on Monday.  Monday storm updates will also be posted on the EMA Facebook page over the weekend.  Again, this is advanced notice for planning purposes especially for the dangerous polar/arctic air in the middle of next week.  On hopefully an encouraging note, this week and next week are the traditionally/average coldest two weeks of…


BG council hears praise for storm response; sets goals for 2019

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The response of Bowling Green Public Works Division and other city workers to this past weekend’s storm drew praise at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The expressions of gratitude started at the top of the meeting with resident Nathan Eberly saying he appreciated how well the roads were maintained. The crews did “a great job… especially considering it was a holiday weekend.” Mayor Dick Edwards said he appreciated that Brian Craft, the director of Public Works, and Joe Fawcett, assistant municipal administrator, were on duty throughout the weekend keeping him abreast of conditions. Edwards said that the Fire Division was also busy assisting people who had fallen because of the slippery conditions. Fawcett said that the decision to declare a snow emergency at 9 a.m. Saturday came before the requisite two inches had fallen. Officials knew from the forecast the more snow was on the way.  That would ordinarily mean residents had two hours, until 11 a.m., to move their vehicles off snow streets. But city crews started by clearing the roads along the perimeter of the city, so police didn’t start enforcing the parking ban until 3 p.m. Fawcett praised residents’ response to the declaration.He said that six vehicles had to be towed, and 20 tickets were issued.  He made a distinction between the county’s snow emergency levels and the city’s that only address parking both for the safety and efficiency of city plowing crews. The Police Department responded to 19 calls for immobile vehicles, he reported. Fawcett said that he and Craft got together as soon as they saw the forecast to come up with a game plan, and that forethought paid off. Craft said he hadn’t planned on giving a report at the meeting, but spoke to acknowledge the praise voiced by others.  He also thanked the citizens for providing the funding for the equipment his workers use to clear the snow. Also at the meeting, Council president Mike Aspacher presented the council’s four goals for the coming year. The goals were developed following discussions at the council’s annual strategic planning session…


Sheriff defends decision to rely on citizens’ common sense – not issue snow emergency

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is getting a flurry of complaints from local residents for not declaring any type of snow emergency after seven inches of snow covered the region on Saturday. Huron, Wyandot and Ottawa counties declared Level 2 snow emergencies. Lucas, Henry, Seneca, Williams, Hancock, Putnam, Fulton, Sandusky, Erie and Defiance counties declared Level 1 snow emergencies. In the regional map of counties, Wood County stood out as the only with no cautionary measures issued by the sheriff. The sheriff’s office has been fielding complaints about the issue the last two days. “There have been so many phone calls,” Wasylyshyn said. “I have a rule in my office – to put calls through to my extension.” So the sheriff got to hear many of the complaints personally. “I realize I’m not going to please everybody. Some want the roads closed if we get one inch of snow. Some don’t want the government to tell them when they can go out.” Wasylyshyn said his frequent communications with road deputies and county snowplow crews over the weekend led him to the decision that there was no need to declare any level of snow emergency. “We did have high winds, but we didn’t have the whiteout conditions,” he said. There were no large drifts on major roadways, he added. And as the sheriff drove Ohio 25 between Bowling Green and Perrysburg, traffic was slow but steady. “Do I close down the road when people are able to drive 45 mph?” But why was Wood County the only in the region to not have a snow emergency declared? Wasylyshyn said other counties had other problems that contributed to their road issues. For example, Port Clinton had flooding conditions that contributed to problems. And Wyandot County’s snowplows shut down at midnight, he said. “We’re lucky in Wood County,” the sheriff said. The county has 15 snowplows that work round the clock during bad weather. But the bottom line for Wasylyshyn is that people need to use their own common sense before venturing outside in winter conditions….