WEST CHESTER — A weekend change in the calendar to March didn’t mean much change in the weather for Ohioans, as a new winter storm blasted across much of the state Sunday with icy rain, snow and treacherous road conditions.
Ice and sleet in the morning triggered warnings of hazardous driving conditions, followed by snow that forecasters expected to total 1 to 6 inches in many areas of central and southern Ohio. Sheriffs across the state issued Level 1 snow emergency warnings for their counties, urging drivers to use caution.
Northern communities and much of the rest of the state faced bone-chilling temperatures late Sunday and early in the coming week, with temperatures in low teens and single digits and wind chills well below zero.
The Ohio Department of Transportation urged drivers to give slow-moving snow plows room to clear off highways. Local officials in many communities were trying to use their road salt supplies strategically, using brine mixes first to treat road.
The state transportation department has been ordering more salt to help communities, but officials say demand has outpaced supply. They say the state could wind up using nearly twice the average winter amount of 630,000 tons of salt by the time this one is over.
The National Weather Service expected lingering layers of ice under the snow to impact travel conditions into Monday.
Among those braving the conditions Sunday was Patty Lee, who drove some 20 miles from Cincinnati to suburban Blue Ash for a job interview with a nonprofit music organization. She joked that her first job test was making through the icy parking lot without falling down.
She said the interview went well, and figured she might get some extra points for just showing up.
She’s lived in Cincinnati for six years, and is a northwest Pennsylvania native. She’s used to winter weather, but not like this winter’s.
“This year is more extreme than normal,” she said. “It’s been harsh.”
An avid bird-watcher, she’s more than ready for spring and getting outside more. Meanwhile, the prospective new job gives her something to look forward to — it would mean a trip to sunny southern California in a few months.
Meg Graf, who lives near Cincinnati in Bellevue, Ky., summarized what she called “a sincere sentiment from a former Florida girl” with this one-line message on Twitter:
“Winter, I hate you.”