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Cincinnati likely heading for a warmer, wetter January than usual

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 21:27:03-05

CINCINNATI — January is typically the coldest and snowiest month of the year for the Greater Cincinnati region, but warmer forecasts this year point toward a mostly rainy season. That doesn't mean the city couldn't get snow, but there's likely no need to stockpile salt or send the winter weather crews out in full force.

"It's really hard to say in Southern Ohio or Southwest Ohio," said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Transportation's District 8. "We can have a very wet January, but it's that time of year where it kind of hovers, where it is a little bit above freezing and a little bit below freezing."

Meteorologist Matthew Campbell, at the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, said although the current outlook predicts January to be above average for both temperatures and precipitation, it doesn't mean Cincinnati won't get a big snow.

"If you get one or two big storms that happen to take the right track, you can beat that average, or we could also stay below average," said Campbell. "It's really hard to say since it just takes one or two events."

He said typically the region won't exceed anything more than 30 inches all month. Last year, Cincinnati had a little more than 11 inches.

But a quiet winter isn't a terrible thing, in the eyes of ODOT officials.

"When we have a mild winter, we're putting the money for our highway management money and that money can move over to other things," said Fuller.

It's also less money the department will have to spend buying salt. Fans of snow shouldn't fully despair yet, though, thanks to the unpredictability of weather patterns in the region.

"Anything can happen," said Fuller. "We've had blizzards in March and April."