Light precipitation in the form of drizzle affected much of the Miami Valley yesterday… and it was on and off for most of the day. Believe it or not, it didn’t amount to much at all in the rain gauge, with the airport only reporting a trace of additional accumulation. Overnight, as colder air moved in, the NWS in Wilmington issued a Freezing Rain Advisory–you might have noticed the alert on Channel 2 yesterday evening. The concern here, was that icy conditions would develop as temperatures dropped. Early this morning, they cancelled the advisory a little early, as ground temperatures remained above freezing in many locations… and colder air aloft was moving in, changing the drizzle to some light snow. Parts of the Miami Valley picked up a dusting of snow–mainly on objects–as one of our engineers reported having to brush off his car this morning. It was a wet slushy snow! We are still seeing a few flurries out there, even as of 8am… but this should taper off later this morning.
Lots of clouds linger into the lunch hour. But later today, we are expecting to see some sunshine! That will certainly be nice. Both last week and this week started very gray, but the sun will soon lift our moods Despite the brighter conditions, afternoons will still be chilly as we finish the week. Both today and tomorrow will feature highs in the upper 30s. On Friday, a cold front will drop in… increasing clouds again, and it is still looking like we could see a few snow showers with this system:
Right now, accumulations look light… maybe a dusting or so in spots. We will continue to watch it. Expect another push of COLD air behind this front, which may bring in the coldest air of the season just in time for the weekend. We will likely be in the upper teens by Saturday morning, which would be the first time we’ve seen teens this season. If you have something to do Saturday morning, it will be frigid… so prepare accordingly! Saturday afternoon we may not even get above the freezing mark, but by Sunday afternoon we will be back near-normal temperatures.
A handful of FLOOD WARNINGS continue today… here’s the info:
…FLOODING NOW EXPECTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL THIS AFTERNOON…
THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE GREAT MIAMI RIVER BELOW MIAMISBURG * UNTIL THIS AFTERNOON.
* AT 2 AM THE STAGE WAS 17.2 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 17 FEET.
* THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE TO FALL TO BELOW FLOOD STAGE AFTER SUNRISE THIS MORNING.
* AT STAGES NEAR 17.0 FEET, LOWLAND FLOODING OCCURS FROM SOUTH OF MIAMISBURG TO FRANKLIN…CARLISLE…TRENTON AND NEW MIAMI. WATER BEGINS TO SPILL ONTO LOW LYING ROADWAYS…MAINLY ALONG PORTIONS OF DAYTON OXFORD ROAD.
…A FLOOD WARNING FOR THE LITTLE MIAMI RIVER IN NORTHEASTERN WARREN AND SOUTHWESTERN GREENE COUNTIES REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 430 PM EST WEDNESDAY…
AT 813 PM EST…THE RIVER GAGE NEAR SPRING VALLEY INDICATED THAT FLOODING CONTINUED TO OCCUR ALONG THE LITTLE MIAMI RIVER. THE RIVER HAS CRESTED AND SHOULD FALL SLOWLY INTO WEDNESDAY.
HIGH WATER WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT LOW LYING AREAS CLOSE TO THE RIVER NEAR SPRING VALLEY…ROXANNA AND EAST OF WAYNESVILLE. WATER WILL APPROACH LOW AREAS OF CORWIN ROAD…AS WELL AS WAYNESVILLE AND MIDDLETOWN ROADS.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the National Weather Service Media/EMA Seminar put on by the folks in Wilmington. They do this every year… normally it’s down in their neck of the woods, but this year they held it in Dayton. It was nice to include the Emergency Managers from counties all around the Miami Valley, and we were able to talk weather, share info, and discuss emergency procedures. One of the big things we talked about was outdoor warning sirens–who sets them off, and what are the criteria used to make that decision? Many counties said the sirens are under city control, and it was determined that each city has their own plan as to when or if the sirens will be sounded in a severe weather situation. Discussion followed about the potential for uniform criteria to be put in place, so not as to confuse the public when one town is sounding the warning siren… and a neighboring city is not. This discussion will continue over the coming months, and the hope is to get everyone on the same page.
It was so nice to see the meteorologists from the NWS… some we know, others we met for the first time. We got to hear about some of the stuff they’re working on… one of the most exciting projects is the upgrade of their radar to Dual Polarization. Right now, the radar sends out a horizontal beam only… Dual Pol will allow the radar to send a horizontal beam and a vertical beam. This will significantly enhance our ability to detect areas of different precip–rain, sleet, snow, etc. And will be extremely helpful in getting a better idea of hail size. I’ve seen many case-studies about the success of Dual Pol, and I think it’s an understatement to say that the entire weather community is geeking out about this Wilmington’s radar is scheduled to be upgraded in September of next year.
Last, we had an open discussion about warning practices… how to best get the info out to the public… and how to convey to people when the situation is more serious. This has increasingly become a concern because of the record-breaking tornado year this has been… and the high number of deaths. It’s come to light that a lot of people don’t heed the first warning they hear… they actually want to go to a few other sources to confirm, or to get more information. One scenario might be that someone hears a tornado siren outdoors… but before they get into their safe place, they might check the info on their cell phone or laptop… and then maybe check out their local meteorologists on not one, but a couple TV stations. It is interesting–as our Meteorologist Tara Hastings reminded us at the meeting–that some people are MORE sensitive to warnings, and they DO act right away. Channel 2 recently ran video of a meeting in Xenia, when the tornado sirens sounded during that meeting, participants did not hesitate… got right up and headed for the shelter. We all know Xenia has a history of strong tornadoes… and residents there do not take warnings lightly. But if this same thing happened, say in Montgomery County… do you think the actions would be as fast? Or would people hesitate… looking around at each other for confirmation? In several big tornado cases this year–Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Joplin–there were numerous tornado warnings during the severe weather event. People may have reacted to the first couple, but when nothing too horrible occurred… perhaps they stopped acting when the 3rd or 4th warning was issued. We all know what happened to these communities… so it is important to heed each and every warning. Act immediately–you can take your cell phone or laptop TO your safe place and check on additional info once there. A battery powered radio is also a good idea to have on-hand for this purpose.
As I mentioned, the discussion will continue as we try to determine the best way to reach, educate and warn. I feel so fortunate to work in a community where meteorologists have such a strong passion for their jobs! And thanks to everyone who came up from Wilmington for making it all possible!