Northeast Ohio residents are in for a winter weather roller coaster ride.
The National Weather Service is predicting today’s high will be 13 degrees. But Saturday promises to be almost balmy with partly sunny skies and a high in the upper 20s. Next week, however, it’s back in the deep freeze — with a vengeance.
Snow is predicted for Sunday with temperatures plunging to near zero overnight.
Monday will see colder weather, with a high of 5 to 10 degrees and an overnight low of 10 below.
Tuesday is predicted to be even colder, with a high of about zero and a low of 5 below to 10 below.
The Weather Channel is predicting even lower temperatures for the Medina area Tuesday, with a high several degrees below zero.
Jim Kosarik, meteorologist at the Cleveland office of the National Weather Service, said the last time Northeast Ohio had a high below zero was in 1994.
“It’s pretty common to get below zero in the winter, but not to stay that way all day,” he said.
On Thursday, small crashes were reported throughout the county as icy roads and nonstop snow made dangerous driving conditions.
In Hinckley Township, Center Road was closed for a few hours in the morning because the hill near the center of the township was impassable, with cars getting stuck and sliding back down.
Hinckley police also reported pulling a number of cars out of ditches at the side of township roads, but said there were no major accidents or injuries.
In Brunswick, a parking ban is in effect until at least midday today, but light traffic and school being closed for the holiday break kept traffic incidents to a minimum, Brunswick police spokesman Nick Solar said.
“It’s tough to keep up with plowing when the snowfall is so heavy,” Solar said. “We asked people to be patient, especially in the neighborhoods, because the main streets are very important and crews hit those first.”
Medina doesn’t have a parking ban, but city Service Director Nino Piccoli said drivers should be extra careful on snowy roads by keeping their distance and traveling slowly.
Piccoli said road salt becomes less effective below 20 degrees. He said the city deals with this by mixing anti-skid material, like cinder, with the salt. Also, he said, two city trucks use calcium chloride, which “pre-wets the salt, making it more effective.”
Christina Fozio, director of the Medina County Emergency Management Agency, urged residents to have a car safety kit handy in case they get stranded, with protein bars, flares and a blanket.
She also recommended keeping gas tanks filled and cell phones charged.
During snowy conditions, “stay home if you don’t have to go out is obviously the No. 1 thing,” she said.
Inside the home, Fozio said a heater that produces exhaust should never be used.
“Don’t leave candles unattended. Don’t use your oven as a heat source,” she said.
Fozio also recommended that residents look out for elderly neighbors who may need help clearing their sidewalks or getting the mail.
Reporter Loren Genson contributed to this story. Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.