“Relentless” Winter of 2011
If you asked me to describe the weather this winter (starting December), the word RELENTLESS comes to mind. You see it is rare that a weather pattern establishes and maintains itself for so long. Such is the nature of the winter of 2011.
Remarkably, the next 7-10 days show no end to this constant barrage of cold and snowy blusters!
Take Tuesday, when a fast moving snow clipper will race in from the west. That will bring a rare southerly wind “wet” snow to our region. I say rare since the south wind is renowned for warmer air and rain not snow. But not this winter as a wet, slushy clump of snow will lay down area-wide on Tuesday.
Southern Ohio seems to be in line for the steadiest and sloppiest accumulation (2 or 3 daytime inches from the Roy Rogers Esplanade in Portsmouth to Apple-town Jackson and the Convo Center in Athens). Travel will be slickest there.
Along and south of I-64, snow will recoat rooftops and fill in the gaps left behind from melting of Saturday’s snow. But this is a south wind snow, so we should expect higher daytime temperatures to crest slightly above freezing. That should render roads wet and slushy mid day into the afternoon.
Still, the damp and slushy snows will be short-lived as arctic blusters return at night accompanied by several squalls of new snow. Polar winds spiced with falling temperatures and reduced vision through the snow will once again give the region the look and feel of the Klondike.
Sunrise Wednesday will dawn with a fresh mantle of white powdery snow, likely 1 to 3 new inches.
Wednesday and Thursday will then feature off and on snow showers much as we saw this past Saturday with localized new accumulations assured.
Since the pattern shows no signs of waning, it appears it is just a matter of when and where a major storm affects our part of Appalachia. By that I mean a storm capable of producing a foot of snow. After all, if this is to go down as a truly historic winter, a blockbuster event of some sort must occur. That brings to mind the winters of 2003, 1996 and 1994 to name a few winters of fame.
For those old enough to remember the great winters of the late 1970s, ‘77,’78 and ‘79 provided some of the greatest snow theatrics of the 20th century.