Count your wintry blessings if north central Ohio gets a few inches of snow tonight and into Monday.
It could be worse. A lot worse. And it will be for our neighbors to the south and east.
A major storm, dubbed Winter Storm Izzy by The Weather Channel, is thumping the South with snow, ice and wind. Later today, it will turn its attention to the northeast, causing issues from Arkansas to Maine — and eastern Ohio.
A mixed bag of watches and warnings today stretch from Jackson, Miss., to Burlington, Vt. This winter storm is huge and it has a bad attitude, dropping snow, ice and rain and then whipping it all together with strong winds.
In Richland and Ashland counties, the National Weather Service office in Cleveland issued a hazardous weather outlook, calling for two to four inches of snow, starting tonight and rolling into Monday.
“We will, more than likely, be seeing some snow from this system,” said Richland County EMA Director Joseph Petrycki. “The NWS has also forecast gusty winds up to 30 to 35 MPH on Monday, which can cause some drifting of snow and problems on the roadway.
“Please plan accordingly for this evening and into the day tomorrow,” Petrycki said.
According to the NWS, snow will continue from parts of Mississippi and Alabama into Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and across the Appalachians peaks, also spreading into parts of southern and eastern Ohio. In some of these areas, snow will be heavy at times.
The only thing the South hates more than the Big 10 is snow and ice. Simply put, the south is never ready for bad winter weather. Not enough equipment or materials. Drivers who have little or no experience operating in it. Power outages will likely abound.
The NWS is calling for sleet and freezing rain from northern Georgia to northern South Carolina and much of North Carolina into parts of Virginia. Significant impacts are expected in that area.
Snow, possibly mixed with sleet and freezing rain, will move into the mid-Atlantic states Sunday, then into much of the rest of the Northeast Sunday night. This snow will become heavy in some areas.
The whole mess will continue to move up the Northeast, leaving good times behind it in the form of all kinds of precipitation — snow, rain, freezing rain, etc.