Winter storm, frigid temps could hamper Christmas
Many people want to have a white Christmas — but the potential for cold and hazardous weather could spell extreme caution as the area heads towards Christmas this Sunday.
The National Weather Service has announced a Hazardous Weather Warning for Switzerland County and the surrounding areas.
• Tonight (Thursday) is a chance for accumulating snow into tomorrow (Friday). That snow, combined with gusty winds, could lead to reduced visibility and causing the possibility of impacting holiday travel.
• The real concern comes tomorrow (Friday), when the National Weather Service is forecasting a combination of very cold temperatures and strong wind will produce dangerously cold wind chills tomorrow (Friday) through Sunday. Wind chills could produce temperatures from -10 to -25.
Wind gusts could reach 40- to 50-miles per hour tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.
What the National Weather Service says the area could see:
• Today (Thursday): Rain, mainly after 7 a.m. High near 45. Southeast wind around seven mph. Chance of precipitation is 80-percent. New precipitation amounts between one-tenth and one-quarter of an inch is possible.
• Tonight: Rain before 11 p.m., then rain and snow between 11 p.m. and Midnight, then snow after Midnight. Low around 4-degrees. Chance of precipitation is 100-percent.
New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible..
• Tomorrow (Friday): A chance of snow showers before 1 p.m. Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 8-degrees. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 40-percent.
• Tomorrow night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1-degree. Breezy.
• Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 12-degrees.
• Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3-degrees.
• Christmas Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 16-degrees.
• Christmas Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 8-degrees.
• Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27-degrees.
Because of the snow and the extremely cold temperatures and wind gusts, it is highly recommended that everyone stay in and not travel — especially tomorrow (Friday).
For those who must travel, take safety measures before starting on the roads; including: blankets, food items, and phone chargers in case an emergency call needs to be made.
Everyone is also urged to check on and stay in contact with elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors; as well as taking safety measures with regard to pets and other animals.