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First day of winter to bring snow to West Virginia

The Free Press WV

A half-foot of snow is possible in a handful of West Virginia’s mountain counties Friday night into Saturday when cold air from the west collides with moisture that’s been soaking the state since Thursday.

The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for parts of Randolph, Pocahontas, Nicholas and Webster counties from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Meteorologist Ross Giarratana said the colder air from the west will cause the rain to change to snow.

“The mountains could pick up to five inches to six inches locally,” Giarratana said.

Friday is the first official day of winter.

Soaking rain was covering many counties late Friday morning. Giarratana said another inch of rain was expected by the time the change takes place. The lowlands will also could pick up some snow, he said.

“Overnight lower elevations will finish off with a coating of snow, maybe a half-inch to an inch or so,” Giarratana said.

The impact of the soaking rain during the day Friday was enough to keep an eye one.

“It’s certainly enough to cause some concerns, at least to keep creeks and streams elevated, but right now we don’t have any flood watches for the lower elevations,” Giarratana said.

The flood watches were posted in the eastern mountains and the eastern panhandle.

~~  Jeff Jenkins ~~

NWS says chances of white Christmas are becoming slim

The Free Press WV

Fans of a White Christmas in the Mountain State could be out of luck this year.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Kistner said the chances are looking slim.

“Even if we do get some snow showers that come through on Saturday morning in areas, we are likely going to warm up in the next couple of days in the afternoon hours. The amounts wouldn’t be significant enough to hang around until Christmas. The chances are very low in the Charleston area and the best chances in the state will be up in the mountains.”

The more common showers the state will be experiencing in the next couple of days and into Christmas will be rain showers. Rain is in the forecast for the majority of the state Thursday evening overnight into Friday, and most of the day Friday into Friday night has led to flood watches being called.

A flood watch has been issued for parts of northeast West Virginia and southeast West Virginia, including the following counties of Pocahontas, Randolph, Webster, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, and Morgan through Friday afternoon.

The watch ends Friday afternoon as low temperatures Friday evening into overnight could dip around the freezing mark, potentially causing some tricky roads.

“After the system starts to pull out tomorrow (Friday) night, what is going to happen is, you are going to get colder air that is going to wrap around behind it and you could see some snow showers as well late Friday night into Saturday morning,” Kistner said. “The bulk of those snow showers are going to be across the mountains but there is even a chance we could see a change over to a few snow showers early Saturday morning in the lower elevations…If that does occur, there is a chance we could have some slick spots on Saturday morning.”

Those lows over the weekend could be the lowest the state sees until 2019. Kistner said the days after Christmas are forecasted to be well above normal.

“Next week, all the forecast guidance is showing high pressure starting to build up again and that warmer air moving back into the area. By the end of next week, you could see some temperatures well above normal, with high s possibly upper 50 and even 60 next week.”

Kistner said the average temperatures for this time of year across the state is about in the mid-40s.

Winter Weather Advisory issued for parts of West Virginia

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the southern coalfields and Greenbrier Valley beginning Tuesday night.

The advisory stretches from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday for Mingo, Logan, Boone, McDowell, Wyoming, Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Mercer, Summers and Greenbrier counties.

According to meteorologists, 1 to 4 inches of snow is expected with isolated 5 inch amounts along the higher elevations in western Greenbrier County.

There will already be less traffic on the state’s highways Wednesday morning. Federal and state holidays in observance of the life of former President George H.W. Bush means all schools will be closed along with federal, state and county offices.

NWS Meterologist says wintry blast temps won’t last into the weekend

The Free Press WV

A wintry blast has hit the state overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, with temperatures falling well below freezing in some parts.

Snow, ice and those temperatures falling caused many schools across the Mountain State to delay classes or even close school.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Maura Casey said some temperatures in the highest ridgelines in the state saw single digits on Wednesday morning.

“We have talking at about 4,500 feet in Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker counties, lows were in the single digits,” Casey said. “Snowshoe got down to seven degrees this morning (Wednesday). Otherwise, down in the lower elevations we were generally in the mid-teens like Barbour and Webster counties, we were in the mid-teens. We were generally right around 20 degrees down through the lowlands and mid-Ohio Valley.”

Temperatures around 20 degrees through the lowlands and the mid-Ohio Valley doesn’t match the staggering single digits seen in the high ridges but they are still temperatures that are below average for this time of year.

“Based on climatology, it is quite a bit below average,” Casey said. “Our average low temp in Charleston is 34 and we didn’t even make it to 34 yesterday (Tuesday). That is a long-standing average and this time of year it is not uncommon to get large swings in the temperature. So while the average low temp is 34 degrees, it is not uncommon to have lows in the 20 or lows in the 50 depending on what side of the weather system we are on.”

According to Casey, one of those swings in temperatures will be seen this upcoming weekend.

“This weekend is looking quite rainy but the good thing is we are going to be on the warm side of this system,” she said. “We have highs in the 40s coming on Thursday, into the 50s on Friday and 60s on Saturday. Even on Sunday, we are going to continue that warm trend with highs that could get up to 70 in the western lowlands.”

For Wednesday, temperatures will continue to be below freezing and roads are expected to be tricky throughout the state. Casey said the swings with rain and then falling below freezing cause problems on the roadways.

“It doesn’t take much in the way of snow accumulation to have an impact on the roads around here,” she said. “If you have any kind of moisture available.” and get freezing temps, that accumulation is going to freeze right onto the roadways.”

~~  Jake Flatley ~~

Winter storm watch issued in parts of West Virginia

The Free Press WV

Parts of West Virginia could see their first dose of wintry precipitation.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from late Wednesday night through Thursday evening. The area ranges from extreme southern West Virginia through the Potomac Highlands and Eastern Panhandle.

The weather service says up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of snow are possible along with some ice accumulations that could cause downed trees and power outages as well as slick road conditions.

Fall temperatures on the way, along with potentially heavy rainfall

The Free Press WV

It’s been an unusual fall so far, but not completely out of the ordinary according to the National Weather Service, but it’s all about to change.

September turned out to be the wettest on record and temperatures returned to summer-like during October according to Weather Service Meteorologist John Sikora.

“They are a little bit above normal and that’s actually causing the leaves not to turn as fast as they normally would,” he explained. “By this time, usually, you’ll see some color in the mountains–but with the warm temperatures we’ve been having it’s been delayed a little bit.”

However, as this week moves along, expect things to take a radical turn. A cold front is headed our way on Thursday which will bring rain to most of West Virginia. Tropical Storm Michael, which is currently gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico, could also latch onto the front and significantly increase the amount of rain we receive. According to Sikora, it’s still unclear how the pattern will play out for West Virginia.

“We’re definitely going to have some rain on Thursday because of the cold front,” he explained. “Michael might latch on and bring a bunch of rain close to us, or it might push out to see on the Carolina Coast, right now it’s too early to tell.”

But Sikora said with the front puling in Thursday, fall-like weather will arrive.

“Temperatures behind this cold front will be quite a bit cooler,” he explained. “We’re definitely going to see more seasonable temperatures toward the weekend.”

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

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