Wheeling, W. VA (WTRF) – A complex weather system is expected to bring a mixed bag of precipitation into the Ohio Valley Thursday into Friday.
Along with rain, brief freezing rain, and light snow, we also need to account for the Arctic air and wind chill values approaching below zero.
As the center of low pressure starts to clear out, our winds will shift and blow from the west. This westerly wind will allow the colder air to funnel into our region.
Temperatures into the holiday weekend will struggle to get out of the teens for daytime highs. Morning temperatures will be of most concern, likely in the single digits. This does not account for the winds.
Winds will also start to increase behind the front as well. Gusts of 40-45 mph are possible within sustained winds of 20-25 mph. The windy conditions will be present Friday into the day on Saturday. These winds will lead to dangerous wind chill values Friday afternoon through Christmas Day.
With wind chills this low, frost bite could set in within 30 minutes to exposed skin. Do not leave pets outdoors for extended periods of time. If it is too cold for you, it is too cold for them even with fur.
Potential impacts with the Arctic air and breezy winds:
Frozen pipes and pipes bursting are possible with the extreme cold settling in. In pipes that may be closed off due to seasonal use, have a heated light over them or have a slow, constant water drip running.
Wind gusts as high as 40+ mph could lead to downed trees and power lines. This is especially concerning with how could it is expected to get. Have a backup plan in terms of places to stay or a backup generator in case of power outages.
If you are planning to travel, have an emergency kit in case you get stuck or break down. This should include: food, water, hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, jackets, and warm clothing.
Check tire pressure before the cold sets in.