Elwell: How will the weather affect holiday travel?

Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 11:56 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks into the weekend forecast.

There is nothing that can ruin a holiday more than when some sort of natural event causes havoc in one’s travel plans.

Just this past weekend, an apparent underground fire at one of Georgia Power and Light’s electrical substations shut down the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. This left thousands of passengers stranded and is expected to impact flights for days as airlines try to get caught up. Needless to say, the timing almost couldn’t have been worse with many already trying to travel for the holidays.

READ MORE: Colder, snowier winter likely in 2017

So, what could be worse? How about a major storm on the weekend before Christmas? It is certainly seeming like it could be possible. Most of the long-range computer models have been forecasting arctic air to return to the eastern half of the country as we head into the holiday weekend. Just how far south and east the cold air will get is still somewhat in question. However, it is clear that the surge of cold air along with an increasingly active storm track across the southern United States will be more than enough to fuel one or more large storm systems.

Just what that means for the weather here in the Miami Valley is still trying to be determined. Models have flip-flopped back and forth on the idea of rain to end this week with a transition over to snow sometime around or just after Christmas. It is a very complicated forecast and one that could have a major impact on travel. The storm system developing to end this week will likely spread rain from Texas into New England. Arctic air attempting to intrude in from the northwest will likely cause precipitation to change over to either an icy mix or snow on the back edge of the precipitation shield. Where exactly that transition sets up is still somewhat unclear.

READ MORE: How will LaNina affect winter in the Miami Valley?

If you do have big – or even small travel plans in or around Christmas, be sure you keep up-to-date with the latest forecast. It is likely one or multiple storm systems will cause some issues throughout the Christmas weekend and week after. Be sure if you are traveling by car that you have a winter safety kit with extra blankets, non-perishable food and some bottled water. Of course, have a car charger for your phone and let friends and family know when and where you are traveling. Also remember, the Storm Center 7 weather team will be updating the forecasts multiple times a day on the WHIO Weather App to keep you ahead of any storm. You can also program any travel city in the US into the App so that you can get up-to-date forecasts and weather alerts for wherever you go.

Most of all, have a safe, fun, and joyous Christmas and New Year. If you have ideas, questions or suggestions for weather related stories in 2018, please email them to me or visit my Facebook and Twitter pages and let me know!

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

WPAFB Friday Forecast: Chilly start, warm-up underway

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 1:06 AM

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TODD JACKSON | STAFF
Staff Writer
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TODD JACKSON | STAFF(Staff Writer)

After another chilly start, temperatures will make it back above freezing this afternoon for the first time in a week with highs in the middle 30s, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

Skies will remain mostly sunny. Dry weather will stick around through the day Saturday with some increase in clouds late in the day and evening. Temperatures are expected to rebound into the middle 40s.

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

The warming trend will continue into Sunday, although you'll have to dust of the umbrellas with the chance for showers arriving by mid-morning.

>> WHIO Weather App

Showers will be even more likely Monday as high temperatures reach 50 degrees before falling late in the day.

Warming trend gets underway

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:34 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:29 AM

Temperatures rise, but rain comes along for the ride.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Blustery, still chilly tonight
  • Temps to head above normal this weekend
  • Showers return to the Valley by Sunday

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

DETAILED FORECAST

>> WHIO Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

Tonight: Skies will be mostly clear. A few clouds will be possible from time to time. Temperatures will fall back into the upper teens by morning.

Friday: Expect mostly sunny skies and more seasonably temperatures climbing into the middle 30s. It will be a bit breezy at times.

>> Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Indiana night sky 

Saturday: Some sunshine will start the day but clouds will be on the increase. It will be milder with temperatures rising into the middle 40s. There will be the chance for a few showers or drizzle late at night with temperatures holding nearly steady.

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

Sunday: Skies will be mostly cloudy with a chance for drizzle or light rain. Temperatures will top out in the upper 40s.

Monday: Cloudy skies are expected with showers likely, especially by late afternoon. It will be windy and mild with highs reaching into the lower 50s. Colder air will usher back in Monday night.

Tuesday: Skies will remain mostly cloudy with a chance for a few snow showers or flurries. It will be colder with blustery conditions and highs in the middle 30s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:06 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:06 PM

Image from a dashcam video provided by Lisle Police Department in Lisle, Ill., shows a meteor as it streaked over Lake Michigan Feb. 6, 2017. The meteor lit up the sky across several states in the Midwest.  Contributed photo
Image from a dashcam video provided by Lisle Police Department in Lisle, Ill., shows a meteor as it streaked over Lake Michigan Feb. 6, 2017. The meteor lit up the sky across several states in the Midwest. Contributed photo

There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE WHIO WEATHER APP TO STAY INFORMED

RELATED: Download our free WHIO weather APP to stay informed 

  • Lyrids: Active April 16-25. Rates are usually 10-15 meteors per hour. A dark sky is expected. This meteor shower is associated with fireballs which are very bright. The shower peaks pre-dawn April 22.
  • Eta Aquariids- This shower peaks May 5 before dawn. There are typically 10-20 meteors per hour.
  • Delta Aquariids- View before July 27-30. The best viewing is before dawn. There are usually 15-20 meteors per hour. This year there will be a full moon.
  • RELATED: Meteors explained: What happens before the flash of light?

    • Perseids- This is a very active shower. August 11,12,13 head outside from the late evening through dawn. The moon this year won’t get in the way.
    • Draconids- This shower peaks October 8. It is better in the evening hours with only a handful of meteors per hour. 
    • Orionids- This shower peaks October 21 before dawn. There are 10-20 meteors per hour. The moon might get in the way.

    RELATED: Follow Live Storm Chasers

    • South Taurids- This shower peaks November 4-5. There are about five meteors per hour. This shower is active overnight and there will be no moonlight. 
    • North Taurids- This shower peaks November 11-12. There are about five meteors per hour. This shower is active overnight. 
    • Leonids- This shower peaks November 17 or 18. Look before dawn on those mornings to see 10-15 meteors per hour.
    • Geminids- This shower peaks December 13-14 with about 50 meteors per hour! It is best in the early morning before dawn. 

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    Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

    Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:14 PM
    Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:14 PM

    • Lyrids: Active April 16-25. Rates are usually 10-15 meteors per hour. A dark sky is expected. This meteor shower is associated with fireballs which are very bright. The shower peaks pre-dawn April 22.
    • Eta Aquariids- This shower peaks May 5 before dawn. There are typically 10-20 meteors per hour.
    • Delta Aquariids- View before July 27-30. The best viewing is before dawn. There are usually 15-20 meteors per hour. This year there will be a full moon.

    RELATED: Meteors explained: What happens before the flash of light?

    • Perseids- This is a very active shower. August 11,12,13 head outside from the late evening through dawn. The moon this year won’t get in the way.
    • Draconids- This shower peaks October 8. It is better in the evening hours with only a handful of meteors per hour. 
    • Orionids- This shower peaks October 21 before dawn. There are 10-20 meteors per hour. The moon might get in the way.

    RELATED: Follow Live Storm Chasers

    • South Taurids- This shower peaks November 4-5. There are about five meteors per hour. This shower is active overnight and there will be no moonlight. 
    • North Taurids- This shower peaks November 11-12. There are about five meteors per hour. This shower is active overnight. 
    • Leonids- This shower peaks November 17 or 18. Look before dawn on those mornings to see 10-15 meteors per hour.
    • Geminids- This shower peaks December 13-14 with about 50 meteors per hour! It is best in the early morning before dawn.   

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