The first official "winter" weather advisory of the season was posted this week by the National Weather Service. As one alert HCP reader quickly pointed out, winter is still several weeks away.

Maybe the National Weather Service should have announced an autumn weather advisory. But would that get anyone's attention?

This morning, that same government office accurately predicted a record low of 8 degrees – on Nov. 13, putting the previous record of 14 degrees on ice. Thanks a lot.

By the way, that 14-degree record for Nov. 13 happened in 1976. Anyone recall the Ohio winter of 1976-77?

The season's first "winter" weather advisory got me thinking about the Ohio Department of Transportation's little rhyming slogans such as "Ice and Snow, Take it Slow" and "Don't Crowd the Plow," which really does not rhyme.

A friend and I had an exchange about the ODOT slogans this week. It reminded me of a most enjoyable trip a few weeks ago to Gulf Shores, Ala. via Interstate 65.

Interstate 65 is a 366-mile drive through Alabama – and six of the state's 10 largest cities, from Mobile to north of Huntsville. The Alabama Welcome Center and rest area at Huntsville features a Saturn IB rocket as a memorial to Huntsville's contribution to NASA. You can't miss it. A section of I-65 has been designated as the Hank Williams' Memorial Lost Highway.

Alabama's Interstate 65, not unlike Ohio and other states, now has electronic message boards at certain locations of high-volume traffic. Some of the messages are intentionally humorous, like the common "exit to text it."

A billboard along I-65 near Prattville sports a picture of a red devil with the warning: "Go to church or the devil will get you." No kidding.

But back to Ohio and our "winter" weather advisory in early November. Since the Ohio Department of Transportation has been taking submissions for new messages for their digital boards, maybe ODOT would be interested in adding to its inventory of well-intentioned – and mostly pointless – safety slogans.

That said, let's hope the Ohio Department of Transportation will consider these gems to go along with "Ice and Snow, Take it Slow" and "Click it or Ticket."

How about:

Ice and Snow
Take it Slow
And Don't Throw Snow
At Sheryl Crow.


Snow and Ice
Roll The Dice
Just Be Nice
Eat Minute Rice


When Ice Is Black
Use Some Slack
Just Fall Back
Don't Be Wack


Wind and Rain
Don't go Insane
Stay in Your Lane
Or Feel the Pain


Roads are Slick
Don't Be an Alick
Go Slow Like a Tick
Or be up the crick.


Use a Map
Get Your Head
Out of Your App


OK. These most likely won't make the cut. One that did that I appreciate is this: "Camp in Ohio parks, not the left lane." (Even if it doesn't rhyme.)

Get that grit and fly ash ready, ODOT. Looks like it's going to be a long winter this fall.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.