OHIO (WOWK) – Winter weather has officially returned to the Tri-State, and we’re starting off the 2022-2023 season with an arctic front, freezing temperatures, and for some, a White Christmas.

The arctic front that brought a “bomb cyclone” of dangerous wind chills, snow, and wind to the area on Friday, Dec. 23, also put some counties in Ohio on snow emergency levels.

During the severe weather early Friday morning, Gallia County and Scioto County went into a Level 1 snow emergency, Meigs County, Jackson County, Athens County, Pike County, Adams County and Vinton County went into a Level 2 Snow Emergency.

As we continue into the winter season, there is always the possibility we could see Snow Emergency messages appear from county sheriffs’ offices again. So, what do does each level mean for Ohioans?

Authorities and the Ohio Department of Transportation created the Snow Emergency levels, 1 through 3, to let residents know what road conditions are like in their area and if the roadways are safe for travel. The higher the level, the worse the weather and road conditions.

ODOT says, per the Ohio Attorney General, county sheriffs throughout Ohio have the authority to declare snow emergency levels, and close down roadways in their jurisdiction for the safety of travelers and residents.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation:

  • A Level 1 Snow Emergency means the roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and the roads may also be icy. Drivers are urged to use extra caution while driving.
  • For a Level 2 Snow Emergency, The roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and may be “very icy.” ODOT says under a Level 2, only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be on the roads and people are encouraged to contact their employers to see if they should report to work. Drivers should use extreme caution.
  • Under a Level 3 Snow Emergency, all roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. ODOT says no one should drive during these condition unless absolutely necessary or in the case of a personal emergency. Individuals should call their employers to see if they should report to work. ODOT also says that under a Level 3 Snow Emergency, “those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.”

To check on road closures, restriction, and traffic issues in your area when severe weather hits the Buckeye State, visit the the state’s www.ohgo.com website. For more information on Winter Weather Safety, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation website.

Throughout any weather conditions in the Tri-State, WOWK’s StormTracker 13 team will also keep you updated on the weather in your area on air and online.