Travelers Alert for Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Travel Update

Early this Christmas eve morning I have been watching closely the temperature-dew point trace for the region. Air temperatures dipped to near 32 just after midnight bringing to mind the risk of a touch of freezing rain at first light Monday.

With a weak southerly breeze to glide over the cold air and cold ground overnight, clouds will be getting thicker with light rain likely by dawn. That could spell some slick conditions until the temperature manages to rise safely above 32.

The concern for a brief period of freezing rain increases as one heads north through Southern Ohio and Central WV. Still bridges in the Charleston, Huntington, Ashland, Ironton area are not exempt from the risk. The Cheylan and Ironton-Russell Bridges come to mind as well as the Silver Memorial Bridge farther north.

My suggestion is to keep a close eye on the temperature at dawn. Roads may be briefly slick until the temperature can rise into the 35-40 degree range after say 9 a.m.

In cases like this I like to use the windshield test. If any above ground object (windshield, mailbox, tree limb) is dripping wet from the rain, then you will have a wet but not icy trip to work.

But if the windshield is icy and you have to scrape or if the water has clung to the mailbox/tree limbs, then you are looking at some slick roads/bridges and crews may need to treat roads with salt.

The vast majority of the day will be damp and chilly with misty rain and fog slowing travel and reducing vision but not making roads icy.

Safe Travels.


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