FIRST PERSON | COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The weather here is harder to understand than a bad date. The predictions 12 hours ago called for up to one foot of snow, pelting us until 1 a.m. Thursday. At 10:30 a.m. today, it was calling for three to six inches, but with an overdose of freezing rain, with this mix alternating and lasting until 7 a.m.
A few hours ago, it was raining. Midmorning, it is alternating now between snow and freezing rain. This is trouble. The coat of ice will soon be covered by the snow, but it is the ice that will cause problems on cars, sidewalks and power lines. The temperature is dancing between just over freezing and just under, alternating in a dangerous combination of weather with perhaps a couple coats of ice, by nightfall.
Plans are on hold today. Businesses are sending workers home early. Government offices are closing, too. Only one car has driven down our street, evidence of the paralysis caused by ice. Airlines are canceling flights at Port Columbus. The slosh beneath my boots early this morning has changed to the crunch of heavy snow. Reports of cars sliding off the roads, black ice and deteriorating conditions are coming quickly.
The pictures I have included are of the windshield of my Jeep Wrangler, coated with ice this morning. A later picture of the same angle shows the ice on the windshield, snow on the car and the blizzard in the background. The same two shots of my Honda Civic show the same from a different angle. Officials are asking people to stay inside and off the roads. Several counties in Central Ohio are at Level One snow emergencies and more are moving to Level Two.
Christmas night, I grabbed an extra gallon of milk assuming driving would not be good today. It was the last gallon at the only open store. As we approach noon, the blizzard is starting in earnest. Ice earlier. Snow now. Freezing rain is predicted again later.
The good thing is that this is to be over before dawn tomorrow.
- Natural Phenomena