PARKERSBURG - Two to five inches of snow forecast for the Parkersburg area through this afternoon prompted a Winter Weather Advisory, officials said.
Portions of Ohio, extreme northeast Kentucky, and 22 counties in West Virginia are under a Winter Weather Advisory, said meteorologist David Marsalek with the National Weather Service.
The Winter Weather Advisory lasts from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m. today, during which time the bulk of snowfall is expected to occur, Marsalek said.
For residents of Pahlhurst Plaza in Lubeck, this evening’s expected snowfall might make driving conditions worse. Compacted ice lined the length of the road, creating hazardous driving conditions on Friday. (Photo by Gretchen Richards)
Multiple cold fronts will assault the Mid-Ohio Valley over the coming week, keeping temperatures low and blanketing the area in snow, said Marsalek.
To start the week-long wintry weather, the cold front that crossed the region overnight and into today was expected to dump the bulk of its snow on an already white landscape over a 10-hour period, said Marsalek.
The speed of this system will be the saving factor for the Mid-Ohio Valley, Marsalek said. This system was progressing rapidly over the area and expected to dump its snow and leave the area, he said Friday night.
Early this morning through the afternoon will bring the bulk of the accumulation with this system, Marsalek said. After this window, flurries will persist throughout the afternoon and into the evening, he said.
A brief blast of "warmer" air will follow this evening and into Sunday. Temperatures will rise into the upper 20s this afternoon.
"It depends on how you look at it," Marsalek said. "In mid-October, the upper 20s is really cold. But after the past few weeks we've had, it will seem downright warm," he said.
Then, the pattern of cold fronts will step into play, Marsalek said.
A second cold front is expected to cross the Mid-Ohio Valley Sunday evening, adding a sprinkling of snow and dropping temperatures again. After that, temperatures are going to drop into the negatives, with single digits as daytime highs, Marsalek said.
Temperatures are expected to remain frigid until a third cold front arrives later in the week, and temporarily warms things up again, Marsalek said.
Wind chills will remain a factor during this event, with gusts of up to 28 mph predicted, said the National Weather Service forecast.
Scott Miller, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager, urged those using natural gas to heat their homes to turn back the thermostat during the coming week.
All customers of Dominion East Ohio were asked to voluntarily turn down their water heater settings and reduce the temperatures in their homes by a few degrees, to keep natural gas supplies flowing to Dominion customers and keep individual bills lower, Miller said.
Businesses using Dominion East Ohio were asked to reduce the use of natural gas for manufacturing and processing as well, Miller said.
"Dominion anticipates being able to provide reliable service again for the upcoming cold weather, but we also ask customers to conserve where they can do so safely," Miller said.
Dominion reminded customers that if an odor of gas is detected inside a structure, that structure should be evacuated immediately, Miller said. Use a neighbor's phone to call Dominon's 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-542-2630.
Some roads in the area still are not cleared from the snowfall last weekend. Roads remain slick, in places caked with ice that makes driving treacherous.
Fort Boreman Park remained closed on Friday, with construction barrels standing in front of the closed park gates. The road beyond had been touched only by brave walkers and wild animals.