STEUBENVILLE - Enjoy today's weather because the snow is coming.
According to Meteorologist Mike Kennedy of the National Weather Service in Moon Township, the Steubenville and Weirton metropolitan area, "is in the heart of the sweet spot for the most significant snow of the storm."
"Not too much is going to happen Saturday with the daytime high around 40 degrees. The snow showers will be starting late Saturday night and there is a possibility of some sleet mixing in with the snow Saturday night. The snow will be starting to develop Saturday night but the real accumulation won't start until Sunday afternoon. That's when the heavier snow will start," said Kennedy.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch until 6 p.m. Monday.
"The good news for that area is it can't get any worse. It may get a little better if the snow shifts to the south. But right now the Jefferson, Brooke and Hancock area is expected to get 10 inches of snow Sunday night through Monday evening," declared Kennedy.
The National Weather Service forecast for next week is calling for partly sunny skies Tuesday through Friday and slowly rising temperatures with a high of 40 degrees by Friday.
Public Works Director John Brown said the weekend supervisor will determine when street crews are needed for today.
"But starting Sunday I have scheduled the crews on 12-hour shifts to deal with the snow and ice. I am asking people to park off the street if at all possible. And if they must park on the street to please park as close to the curb as they can," said Brown.
"Don't park near an intersection so our plows can properly clear those streets. We will be addressing the emergency routes first and then the secondary streets. And if you are traveling during the snow storm please maintain at least a 50 foot space between your vehicle and the snow plow in front of you. And please don't shovel snow into the street. Throw it in your yard so we can get the streets cleaned. We will be working hard to clear the streets in a safe and efficient manner," declared Brown.
Jefferson County Engineer Jim Branagan said his department has enough salt for the pending storm, "but we are still trying to get more salt supplies when we can. We are getting deliveries here and there. We will be ready for the storm when it hits."
Steubenville City Manager Tim Boland said city crews are prepared for the snow and ice forecast.
"We will be monitoring the weather forecasts throughout the weekend and all of our city departments are prepared for the storm. We will be watching as the weather conditions unfold and will react accordingly," said Boland.
"Anything citizens can do to facilitate our snow removal will be greatly appreciated," added Boland.
"We will have crews scheduled around the clock starting Sunday and into Monday. We have 12 assigned plow routes but we will watch the storm and can assign an additional two or three plow trucks to the major four lane routes if it is necessary," said Ohio Department of Transportation Manager Hugh Sutherin.
"We have a good supply of salt and liquid calcium and are ready for what the weather brings us," Sutherin said.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)