PARKERSBURG - Winter is expected to bring more snow and further freezing and below temperatures today, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.
"The cold weather we have been experiencing will get colder and snow will begin to fall early (today)," said Andy Roche, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
The system that will bring this latest round of below-freezing temperatures is similar to the polar vortex that hit the nation two weeks ago, but this next round will stay longer.
"The last cold snap lasted a few days, but this will stay through the rest of this week and into next week," Roche said. "Because of the cold fronts, all precipitation will be frozen."
The first snowfall was expected to begin Monday night and have dropped between 1 and 3 inches on the Mid-Ohio Valley by dawn this morning with another 1 to 3 possible throughout the day.
"More snow accumulations are expected farther east and into the mountains, but there is a chance the band of snow bringing this precipitation will release it over the low-lying areas, such as the Mid-Ohio Valley, and that will significantly increase the amount of accumulation seen," Roche said.
This weather pattern is expected to stretch from the Midwest cities of Chicago and Detroit toward the east to also encapsulate Washington, D.C., and New York City as well as south to Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala.
In preparation for the overnight snow, Belpre and Parkersburg city road crews were ready with trucks filled with salt and cinders and employees ready for the phone call, officials said.
"Our vehicles are loaded up and we are monitoring the weather," said Parkersburg Public Works Director Rick Lemley.
Belpre Safety-Service Director Dave Ferguson said that not only are the city trucks ready to go and employees on alert, but the salt and cinder bins are ready to refill the trucks and more product is on order.
"We are ready for whatever is coming our way," Ferguson said.
As of the forecast Monday evening, temperatures today are expected to reach 21 degrees with an overnight low of 1 degree while Wednesday and Thursday will have a high of 16 degrees and Thursday's overnight low will reach negative 1 degree.
"Wind chills are expected to be dangerously low, so even though snow is expected, we are more concerned with the temperatures moving in," Roche said.
Temperatures are expected to reach the low 30s by Saturday and Sunday and be back to 16 degrees by Jan. 27, according to the AccuWeather.com.