Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Dressing warm may be challenge this week


        The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Don't worry if you haven't perfected your technique for dressing warm in frigid weather, because you'll have at least the rest of the week to practice.

        Sub-freezing temperatures — sometimes near zero — continue into the weekend, assuring many opportunities for residents of Greater Cincinnati to work on layering just the right combination of long underwear, woolen socks and heavy coats.

        Below-normal temperatures for the last week have plunged the mercury to or below zero on occasion, and that icy pattern will continue this morning, according to officials at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.

        Weather Service meteorologist Don Hughes said the past week's temperatures, which have ranged from average highs in the upper 20s to lows in single digits or teens, are below the normal average range of 36 degrees to lows around 19.

        “The biggest problem now is that we are stuck between two weather systems,” said Mr. Hughes.

        “There's a high-pressure ridge over the western third of the country, and that is forcing a flow into the eastern half of the country that is bringing cold arctic air into the Ohio Valley.”

        Greater Cincinnati started the work week Monday with the temperature at minus 1 degree at 8:30 a.m. The high Monday reached only 19 degrees.

        Today's weather will also start with a meteorological goose egg and temperatures could be as low as 5 degrees below in some parts of the Tristate.

        The High today will be 15-20 degrees, said Mr. Hughes, with cloudiness increasing this afternoon and snow flurries likely but no accumulation expected.

        The colder it gets, the more sales heat up at hardware stores as customers dash in to pick up seasonal products to help them cope with the coldest spell so far this winter season.

        “We've been really busy the past three or four days,” said Bill Stratton, assistant manager of Hader Hardware in Westwood.

        “We're selling an awful lot of salt ... portable, ceramic heaters, snow shovels and a lot of windshield fluid,” Mr. Stratton said.

        Snowfall so far this January is below the usual average for the month of 7.1 inches, with about 5.5 inches having accumulated so far, said Mr. Hughes.


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