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Winter Storm Watch, Wind Chill Watch issued

Winter Storm Watch, Wind Chill Watch issued

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CINCINNATI (WXIX) – A winter storm watch and wind chill watch have been issued for the tri-state as snow, gusty arctic air and sub-zero winds are expected before Christmas.

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect until 5:00 PM Friday for the following Ohio areas: Hamilton County, Butler County, Warren County and Clinton County. In Indiana, Dearborn County, Ripley County, Franklin County and Union County are under the same winter storm watch.

A Wind Chill Watch has been issued for the entire tri-state until 5:00 PM Friday.

FOX19 NOW The first weather advisory days will be in effect from 5:00 PM Thursday through 5:00 PM Christmas Day Sunday.

It all starts as rain on Thursday, which will change to snow on Thursday night.

Most parts of the Tri-State will see 1-3 inches of snow before dawn on Friday. Areas to the west could develop 2-4 inches.

The real concern with this storm will be a rapid drop in overnight temperatures as an Arctic cold front lingers, from the 40s to the 20s to the single digits by 7am

At the same time, strong winds that can gust up to 50 mph will sweep in with that arctic air, bringing subzero wind chills that could drop to -30.

This dangerous combination can cause roads and other surfaces to freeze suddenly.

This will definitely affect travel and could cause damage with downed trees and power lines and power outages. You’ll want to bring any inflatable yard decorations or expect them to blow away.

These extremely cold conditions will result in near-freezing low temperatures and dangerous sub-zero wind chills as Christmas Eve dawns on Saturday morning and again on Sunday morning on Christmas Day.

Thursday through Sunday is first weather warning day. Expect frosty weather throughout the week.(WXIX)

Expect travel delays with slick, icy roads anytime from Thursday night through Christmas Day Sunday.

With snow either in the air or on the ground, visibility could be significantly reduced at times late Thursday night into Christmas Eve morning.

Thursday through Sunday is first weather warning day.  Expect frosty weather throughout…
Thursday through Sunday is first weather warning day. Expect frosty weather throughout the week.(WXIX)

As a result of the approaching weather, Decatur County is under a Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning.

This could eventually be expanded to include more than the three countries.

Thursday through Sunday is first weather warning day.  Expect frosty weather throughout…
Thursday through Sunday is a first weather warning day. Expect frosty weather throughout the week.(WXIX)
Thursday through Sunday is first weather warning day.  Expect frosty weather throughout…
Thursday through Sunday is first weather warning day. Expect frosty weather throughout the week.(WXIX)

There is a threat of wind-driven power outages from Friday through Christmas Eve.

This arctic air mass will bring unseasonably cold conditions to the Tri-State, so now is a good time to double-check your furnace or other heating systems.

The cold air lingers until the days after Christmas.

Forecasts are that the three countries will experience the coldest air in nearly four years.  friday and...
Forecasts are that the three countries will experience the coldest air in nearly four years. Friday and Saturday will be dangerously cold.(WXIX)

Cold temperatures can also cause problems for road crews and drivers.

Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning says that while crews can’t put anything on the roads ahead of time, they will be positioned along the highway, ready to begin processing as soon as the snow starts to fall.

When temperatures drop below 20 degrees, salt becomes less effective on the road.

ODOT can add other chemicals or even beet juice to the salt mix, but it makes melting that ice and snow even more difficult.

Given what we know now, Bruning and other crews say it’s important to plan ahead … and prepare for slick roads and low visibility.

Use your blinkers and leave plenty of space between other cars and especially snowplows.

“The best thing is to plan ahead,” Bruning said. “Allow extra time, lots of extra time. You will see these dangerous conditions there, you will have to slow down, you will have to give yourself a lot of extra time to reach your destination. Just plan ahead and we think if you do, you’ll get to your destination safely.”

Road crews prepare for winter storms

FOX19 First Alert Weather App

Keep watching FOX19 NOW for the latest from our meteorological team and don’t forget to download our free weather app.

You can customize it to get the latest weather alerts in your area.

Hold your phone's camera up to this logo and you'll be able to download the FOX19 NOW weather forecast...
Hold your phone’s camera up to this logo and you’ll be able to download the FOX19 NOW weather app to your phone.(WXIX)

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