CIRCLEVILLE — The National Weather Service is warning drivers that their morning commute could be impacted by a snow event Sunday night into Monday morning.
A winter storm watch for parts of Southern Ohio has been issued from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning due to the potential of three to five inches of snow.
Pickaway County is expected to receive “some snow accumulations” and the National Weather Service is continuing to monitor the situation.
“Uncertainty remains with regards to the strength and exact track of the system, which will affect snowfall amounts,” the National Weather Service said of the hazardous weather outlook advisory Friday morning.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol also is reminding people ahead of the storm to follow safe driving practices and be prepared for inclement weather.
Last winter, there were 14,724 crashes on snow, ice or slush-covered roads in Ohio. These crashes resulted in 26 fatal crashes, which killed 33 people. Unsafe speed by the at-fault driver was the reported cause of 24 percent of the crashes on snow, ice or slush covered roads.
For crashes involving fatalities, going left of center was a contributing circumstance 26 percent of the time.
“Allowing for extra time to get to your destination could make the difference in the safety of your loved ones and others traveling on the roads this winter,” said Governor Mike DeWine.
“You can help mitigate the winter weather hazards when you plan ahead, are patient and are prepared.”
OSHP advises that before traveling in winter weather, clear the snow and ice from your windows, headlights and taillights of your vehicle. Also, allow defrosters time to work so you can see. Once you begin driving, go slow and increase following distances; bridges, ramps and overpasses will freeze first.
Ohio law requires headlights to be on at any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use. If your vehicle becomes stuck in snow, clear the tailpipe free of all snow and debris to decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“When driving conditions worsen, motorists need to drive carefully, be vigilant, aware and patient,” said Lieutenant Michael Akers, Columbus Post Commander.
“Slow down and give yourself extra time and space to brake and turn. If you are stranded, remain calm.”
If your vehicle breaks down or you are involved in a crash, turn on your hazard lights, move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, remain in the vehicle, and call #677.
The patrol reminds drivers to stock their vehicles with a winter car kit that includes an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, warning devices, blankets, cell phone charger, first-aid kit, tow rope, water, and food for longer trips.
It is also important to ensure your tires have plenty of tread, check your battery, and keep your windshield washer reservoir full.
If you must travel in winter weather, visit https://www.ohgo.com for real-time traffic conditions from the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The patrol’s winter driving traffic safety bulletin can be found at https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/Winter_Driving_Bulletin_2022.pdf.