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.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Clearing skies through the day, fog could redevelop tonight

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 3:31 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

A pleasant finish to the day after a gloomy start.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Clearing skies this afternoon
  • Patchy fog possible again tonight
  • Chance for a few showers late Friday

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today:  Skies will slowly clear through the afternoon with highs reaching around 60 degrees, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs. 

Skies will continue to stay mostly clear tonight with areas of fog possibly developing tonight. Overnight lows will fall into the lower 40s.

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

Thursday: It will be a quiet morning. Sunshine will return for the afternoon with highs in the low 60s.

Friday: It will remain dry early with sunshine. Clouds will increase with highs in the mid-60s as it becomes breezy. A passing evening shower can’t be ruled out.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Saturday: The weekend will kick off with a beautiful start with some sun. Highs will be in the low 60s and it will be dry.

>>County-by-County Weather

Sunday: It will be another great day with sunny skies and highs in the low 60s.

WHIO Weather App

Trending - Most Read Stories

WPAFB Tuesday Weather: Showers continue for the day 

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 12:31 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—Another soggy day is in the forecast with on and off showers expected, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

It will be breezy at times with temperatures still a bit below normal, hovering in the upper 50s by late afternoon. Showers will gradually taper off late tonight with temperatures dropping back into the upper 40s by morning.

RELATED: County-by-County Weather

The region will dry out on Wednesday but it may take much of the day for the clouds to break. Highs will rebound to near 60 degrees and then climb into the lower 60s Thursday as sunshine returns.

Trending - Most Read Stories

WPAFB Monday Weather: Showers to move in late morning, early afternoon

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A dry morning commute is expected today, but grab the umbrella as you head out as rain is expected to move in, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar.
RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

The best chance for this rain will come in the afternoon, but we may see that rain as early as the late morning hours.

Showers are expected this afternoon and this early evening, which means your drive home will likely be a wet one and you’ll want to give yourself some extra time. A few lingering showers are expected later this evening, but more dry time is expected after sunset.

RELATED: County-by-County Weather 

Highs today will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Tree pollen staying high this weekend 

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 5:50 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 4:50 PM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about the pollen counts this weekend.

This time of year if you notice your allergy symptoms, it is likely because of a toss-up between tree pollen or the mold spores, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

WHIO Weather App

Tree pollen is what typically spikes in April and May. Mold spores, during a wet time of year, also can be high. This time of year we can get low amounts of grass pollen in the air as well.

This weekend, sunshine and warm, breezy conditions will allow the tree pollen to climb quickly, while dry weather will allow the mold spores to drop. 

If you suffer from spring allergies, you likely will notice your symptoms this weekend.

Trending - Most Read Stories