Ohio Snow Forecast: What Are the Different Emergency Levels?

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect for parts of northern Ohio, including Cleveland—which sits at the southern shore of Lake Erie, along the border with Canada—and its surrounding areas.

In a tweet on January 16 from 7.55p.m. local time, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned: "The winter weather advisory has been expanded further west including much of the Cincinnati Tri-State. Hazardous travel conditions are already occurring. If you don't have to travel this evening or overnight, you should stay off the roads."

Snowfall of around four to seven inches was expected in the warning area, while around one to four inches was forecast in the area falling under the advisory, the NWS said.

Shorebirds flying over a frozen Lake Erie.
Shorebirds seen flying over Lake Erie in January 2014, which was frozen after a winter storm hit Cleveland, Ohio. Winter storm warnings and advisories have been issued for Cleveland and some of its surrounding areas. Angelo Merendino/Corbis via Getty Images

In a January 17 report, NWS Weather Prediction Center said: "A strong storm over the Northeast will move into Southeastern Canada by Tuesday. On Monday, the system will produce heavy snow over parts of the Lower Great Lakes, Central Appalachians, and the Northeast."

Snow emergencies have been declared in several Ohio counties.

What Are the Different Snow Emergency Levels in Ohio?

Snow emergencies are usually issued by county sheriff departments. They determine both the level and the duration of the snow emergency.

There are three snow emergency levels, as outlined below by the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness:

Level 1

This level indicates roadways are hazardous, with blowing or drifting snow, and roads may also be icy. Motorists are warned to "drive very cautiously."

Level 2

The second level indicates roads are very icy, in addition to blowing and drifting wind conditions. Only necessary travel is recommended under a level 2 snow emergency. Drivers are advised to ask their employers if they should report to work and those who must are warned to use extreme caution.

Level 3

All roads are closed to non-emergency personnel during a level 3 snow emergency. No one should be driving during this emergency level except for personal emergencies or "absolutely necessary" travel. Those out driving may be subject to arrest, according to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather website.

Workers are advised to contact their employers to confirm whether they need to report to work.

A car on an icy Ohio road.
A car navigating down an icy road in December 2005 in Toledo, Ohio. Snow emergencies have been declared in several Ohio counties. J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Snow Emergencies Issued in Ohio Counties

According to the latest tweets on January 16 from the Ohio Weather Network, and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Ready Nation Ambassador, the latest Ohio snow emergencies issued include the following:

Level 2

  • Adams
  • Franklin

Level 1

  • Ashland
  • Athens
  • Belmont
  • Brown
  • Delaware
  • Erie
  • Gallia
  • Guernsey
  • Hocking
  • Huron
  • Jackson
  • Lawrence
  • Licking
  • Meigs
  • Muskingum
  • Noble
  • Perry
  • Pickaway
  • Pike
  • Richland
  • Ross
  • Scioto
  • Summit
  • Vinton
  • Washington