SNOW SQUALLS: Dangerous winter driving conditions

Published: Friday, December 09, 2016 @ 4:29 PM

Be prepared this winter to know what to do if you find yourself driving in a Snow Squall this Winter.

We see snow squalls in the Miami Valley nearly every winter season, even though they are most common in lake effect snow areas. 

WHAT IS A SNOW SQUALL?

StormCenter7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini describes a snow squall as a burst of snow that quickly drops visibility levels to zero. They are usually accompanied by gusty winds which only make visibility worse as snow blows and falls simultaneously. 

WHY ARE SNOW SQUALLS DANGEROUS? 

Snow squalls are very localized. Driving conditions and roadways can look clear and safe one minute, and a minute later, you can't see. Drivers are caught in the whiteout as they are traveling at fair weather speeds which can result in chain reaction rear-end crashes like the incidents below.  

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December 8, 2016, Ashtabula County, Ohio I-90 pile up: 

Heavy snow squalls and icy conditions led to a 75 car pile up on I-90 in Ashtabula County, Ohio.  

75 cars collided on I-90 in Ashtabula County, Ohio, December 8, 2016.

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March 24, 2015, Shelby County, Ohio I-75 pile up: 

More than 20 cars collided during a snow squall in Shelby County on I-75 between SR 274 and 119.  

A snow squall caused white out conditions on I-75 in Shelby County, Ohio, March 24, 2015. 

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January 21, 2013, Butler County, Ohio I-75 pile up: 

More than 50 cars were involved in a pile up on I-75 between Middletown and Monroe on January 21, 2013. 

No one was killed but the highway was shutdown for hours as emergency crews rescued drivers trapped in their cars and cleared the highway of debris.

Snow squalls caused 52 cars to collide on I-75 in Butler County, Ohio, January 21, 2013. 
52 cars collided on I-75 in Butler County, Ohio, near Middletown during a snow squall on January 21, 2013.

Stay weather aware this winter no matter where you are.

DOWNLOAD the free WHIO Weather App that will send you audible weather alerts even when you're not in the app. You'll have access to live radar to see where snow is moving in to your area, as well as hour by hour forecasts. 

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Heavy rain, low visibility possible for morning commute; Flood Watch in effect

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:04 AM

A look at how rain will impact you today and this weekend.

Flood Watch is in effect for Montgomery, Preble, Clark, Greene, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties until Sunday morning.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • More rain pushes in for the morning
  • Heavy showers and some thunderstorms possible Saturday
  • Dry start to next week

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today: There will be mist and fog early before heavy rain continues to spread northeast through the early morning, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A rumble of thunder can’t be ruled out. Drivers should take their time this morning as roads remain wet and visibility could be low. It will be mild today, and highs will reach around 60. Showers could be less widespread for the afternoon and evening, but may continue in the southern half of the Miami Valley.

>> County-by-County Weather

Saturday: More widespread rain will push back in by the early morning. Rivers, creeks and streams will continue to see some minor flooding. Roads will stay soaked. Highs will be in the low to mid 50s during the day. It will be breezy at times for the afternoon. At night, a cold front will move into the Miami Valley. Downpours and thunderstorms will be possible overnight. Strong wind gusts will also develop, which could lead to tree damage. Temperatures will climb after midnight.

>> Flooding: Know your risks

Sunday: Morning showers and storms will move east quickly before sunrise. Temperatures will drop back into the 40s as some sunshine returns for the afternoon. Highs will push to the mid to upper 50s. Winds will stay gusty all day between 30 and 40 MPH. Winds, combined with a saturated ground, could lead to tree damage. It will be dry at night.

Monday: It will be a nice start to the week. There will be sunshine for the afternoon with temperatures warmer than normal in the low 50s.

Tuesday: It will be another nice day and a chance for rivers, creeks and streams to recede. Highs will be in the mid-50s with sun and clouds.

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WPAFB Friday Weather: Flood watch through Sunday; rain to continue 

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:02 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday with waves of rain expected to move through, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: Rain totals: soggy mid-week, more rain coming

The rain may be heavy at times, especially this morning. Temperatures will be mild despite the rain, rising to near 60 degrees. 

Showers will taper off briefly in the evening before redeveloping late tonight through Saturday. The rain may get heavy again Saturday evening. Rainfall amounts will range from 2 to 4 inches through Saturday night.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

The rain will taper off early Sunday with clearing skies and slightly cooler temperatures, generally in the lower 50s to end the weekend.

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 Three things to look forward to this spring

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:25 PM

It has been a very wet week in the Miami Valley, but it is also a turning point. We are now less than a month from the astronomical start to spring. On March 20 the vernal equinox will take place, transitioning us to the new season. 

Days of rain getting underway

  1. Daylight: The days will get longer. Daylight Saving Time begins March 11, which will help increase the amount of daylight but naturally the days get longer during the transition from the winter solstice to the summer solstice. From Feb. 20 to March 20 we will see an increase of a little more than an hour of daylight.                                      Latest weather video: Watch our five day forecast
  2. Low Snow: The chance for snow drops off. On average, the latest we see an inch of snow in Dayton is March 10. That doesn’t mean we won’t get snow in March, just statistically speaking it becomes less likely. There will be a greater chance though for spring storms as severe weather season kicks in.  
  3. Warmer: It will gradually get warmer. The average afternoon high towards the end of February is around 40 degrees but by the first day of spring it warms up to 51 degrees. The angle of the sun and the length of day helps to increase our average high. 

Keep up with the rain this week by using the WHIO weather App. 

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WPAFB Thursday Weather: Rain showers continue through weekend 

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:41 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A soggy morning is expected although rain will move out fairly quickly, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

Temperatures will start out the day in the middle 30s and make it back into the middle 40s during the afternoon with lingering clouds. After some brief dry time tonight, rain will return to the area Friday morning with on and off rain likely to continue through Saturday. The rain may be heavy at times with a few thunderstorms possible.

RELATED: County-by-County Weather

Rainfall amounts will range from 2 to 4 inches through Sunday morning. Despite the rain, temperatures will rebound to near 60 degrees for highs both Friday and Saturday before cooling into the lower 50s to end the weekend.

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