Winter appears to be far from over as we in Northeast Ohio were brutally reminded this week.
One hopeful sign that perhaps the worst is behind us: the National Weather Service's Winter Weather Advisory expiration was moved up from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. and forecasters call for the snow to taper off by mid-afternoon.
But that doesn't mean the cold is going anywhere. The high temperature for Wednesday is only 27* and was already reached by noon. Factor in the wind chill and some areas could be hit with what feels like -2*, according to the National Weather Service.
Road conditions progressively got better throughout the morning commute Wednesday, but Brent Kovacs with ODOT tells the Ray Horner Morning Show that trucks will continue to treat the roadways overnight into early Thursday morning to prevent any freezing when temperatures continue to drop.
For those who may not have anywhere to go when the cold bites as it has this week, Haven of Rest Ministries reminds all residents that their doors are open. They have enacted "Code Zero" and are accomodating their facility at 175 E. Market Street.
Ohio Residents unexpectedly are experiencing warmer weather in the months of November and December, but the people at Boston Mills Brandywine are thanking mother nature for the recent drop in temperatures.
Boston Mills Brandywine product manager Ricky McMullen said with the recent cold front; crews have been able to get to work.
"We've made really good progress with the temperatures. We've counted some high humidity. We've been able to work through it and put down some good amount of snow."
McMullen said with the recent cold temperatures, this coming week's warm weather won't affect the business's plan to open soon.
"With the amount of snow that we've been able to produce and what the forecast looks like we are going to be able to produce over the next couple of days, once we get open, we should be able to stay open with the amount of snow that we've created."
McMullen said because of the warmer temperatures the business has had a hard time staying open, opening for only one day. He said customers have still been supportive.
"People were actually pretty positive even though it didn't look like it was going to stick around very long."
Boston Mills Brandywine will make an announcement in a couple of days on when they'll be open, McMullen said.
The winter season officially begins tonight, but the freezing temperatures and snowflakes are nowhere in sight.
"If you like mild temperatures and lots of rain, you're going to like the forecast, " said Meteorologist Richard Lewelling with the Weather Channel.
Temperatures are expected to reach near the 60s on Wednesday and stay above average through the rest of the year.
"In fact, the coolest temperature I see, anywhere in the next 16 days, is a 40 degree low at night," said Lewelling. "So, pretty much, everyday between now and the end of the year we're going to be looking at 40s, 50s and even 60s in the forecast."
Lewelling predicts record-breaking temperatures across the country as the year comes to a close.
"We're going to see a lot of records fall by the wayside. I think you have to go way back in the record books to some of the strongest El Ninos to actually see weather like this, anywhere in the country. In fact, there's really nothing that compares to it."
The ice skating rink at Lock 3 opens today (Friday) -- a week before the official grand opening of this year's winter lineup in Downtown Akron.
New to the winter lineup this year is an indoor/outdoor skating rink, sponsored by the University of Akron, with a polymer surface for beginners 14 and under.
That will open next Friday, November 27, along with many of the traditional events schedule, including the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival.
Below is a list of events/activities scheduled this year, provided by Lock 3:
THE ICE RINK: The Lock 3 ice rink opens Friday, November 20, 2015 through Presidents Day, February 15, 2016. Admission to the ice rink is free to everyone. Skates can be rented for $3. Skate rental closes 1⁄2 hour before rink closes.
ZIPPY'S LITTLE ROO RINK: Presented by The University of Akron, Ohio's Polytechnic University. The 28' x 48' rink designed for beginner skaters, age 14 and under, is an all weather, indoor/outdoor synthetic skating surface and is one of our newest attractions to Lock 3! Zippy's Little Roo Rink will operate during the same hours as the Ice Rink.
AKRON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM POP-UP SITE: Explore the emerging Akron Children's Museum Pop-Up Site, presented by PNC at Lock 3 this winter! Families can explore, create, build, and move through our interactive exhibits designed to inspire the imagination. Admission is $3.Open Wednesday-Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 am –5 pm. Check Akronkids.org for more information.
POLAR PUTT-PUTT: 9 holes of indoor putt-putt golf that winds through festive holiday decor. Fun for all ages. $3 for 9 holes.
THE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL: On Friday November 27th at 7 p.m. the City of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership will light up the night sky over Lock 3. The half hour program hosted by WONE's Jeff Kinzbach will feature North East Ohio native, The Voice's Jacob Rummel and end with the lighting of spectacular displays throughout Lock 3 & a must see pyrotechnics show. It is also tradition for guests to stay after the show and ice skate into the night.
THE WELCOME SANTA PARADE: Saturday November 28th at 11am. This annual family tradition features over 75 units including marching bands, floats, costumed characters, dance groups and area organizations. The parade will end with Santa coming to town! Santa will stop at the main stage for the end of the parade entertainment and then come to Lock 3 to meet everyone. All Lock 3 attractions will be open.
REINDEER RUN: Enjoy 150 feet of downhill fun on our all-season polymer coated slide designed for children 14 and under. Adults may accompany children on the slide. Only sleds provided by Lock 3 may be used and are rented for $3 for 30 minutes. The number of sleds available each half-hour will be limited to ensure maximum fun. Purchase wristband and time slot at Skate Rental Desk.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 12, 13, 19 and 20 from 9:30-11am. Breakfast is $10 and includes pancakes with lots of yummy toppings, sausage, hot chocolate and orange juice. A ticket to ride the Magical Train, access to the Akron Children's Museum Pop-Up location, and your choice of a skate rental, Reindeer Run wristband, or a game of polar putt-putt. Bring your camera for plenty of photos with Santa! Reservations recommended by calling Lock 3 at 330-375-2877.
COUNTOWN TO FIRST NIGHT: A celebration in diversity and the largest community visual arts display in Northeast Ohio is Lock 3's "Countdown to First Night," featuring 40, hand-painted banners from schools, churches, community centers, ethnic organizations and civic groups - each one illustrating an expression of the winter holiday season. Lock 3 unveils a new banner on the State Street Parking Deck façade each evening, between Nov. 27 and First Night.
THE MAGICAL TRAIN: Enjoy a drive through Lock 3 on this trackless train that holds both adults and children. Fare is $3 for adults and children.
THE VINTAGE ONEIL'S WINDOW DISPLAYS: The famous classic department store animated window displays that Akronites remember from the 1960's through the 1980's will be displayed in the windows of the O'neil's and Polsky buildings on Main St. Displays include The 3 Little Pigs, The Wizard of Oz, 3 Men in a Tub, Alice In Wonderland, The Cabbage Patch Kids, Raggedy Ann and more.
CRAFT IN SANTA'S WORKSHOP: December 3, 10, 17 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Santa's Workshop (located inside Polar Putt Putt). Children 3-12 years old. FREE. Looking for a fun evening out with the kiddies? Join Santa and his helpers making crafts inside Santa's workshop! Lots of fun craft projects to choose from. You make it and then take it home with you! Enjoy photo opportunities with Santa and complimentary cookies and punch. Lots of holiday fun!
CRAFTY MART PRESENTS COTTAGE MART: For the first time, Crafty Mart is hosting a holiday pop-up market with a curated collection of our area's finest artists and makers in the outdoor wooden cottages. Enjoy ice skating, the new Children's Museum space, have a cup of hot chocolate, and stroll through the outdoor marketplace. Do your holiday gift shopping for locally-made items by small business makers for one weekend only. Saturday December 5th 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, December 6th 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
AKRON2AKRON HOLIDAY WALKING TOUR: Join us for the Akron2Akron Downtown Christmas History Walking Tour and After Party on Saturday December 12th. The Walking Tour starts at 4pm and is free to the public and is led by Joanna Wilson the author of The Story of Archie the Talking Snowman and Akron's History of Christmas Attractions.
FIRST LOCK 3 JINGLE BELL BASH: To benefit Ronald McDonald House of Akron. December 12th at 6pm inside Lock 3. Admission is $10 and each party goer will receive 2 tickets to a raffle, one drink ticket, and food. There will be coffee, hot chocolate, Thirsty Dog's Christmas Ale, soda, holiday cookies and hor d'oeuvres available. Guests will also have free access to ice skate and play putt putt golf during the event.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Need something to make your winter weekends a little warmer? Stay tuned to the website for more events and activities throughout January and February.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE: The concession stand at Lock 3 offers chili, soups and other hot items to warm skating and sledding enthusiasts. Akron's own Thirsty Dog brews are offered, including Lock 3 Lager. Coca Cola soft drinks and hot chocolate are also available.