Snow expected to start around noon - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Winter Storm Warning: roads covered, accidents reported

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Early Evening Update Thursday:

Several inches of snow have fallen especially in the southern portion of the 59 News viewing area, making roads treacherous.  Traffic has been snarled on several area roadways due to everything from spinouts to jackknifed rigs in various locations.

A team of Stormtracker meteorologists has been tracking this storm all day and has been sharing photos and reports here on wvnstv.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins says even though this storm is fast moving, it has been impressive in the heavy snowfall rate, at times putting out over two inches of snow in one hour in southern counties.  He also stresses the importance of the re-freeze of wet snow overnight even as the system moves away, urging drivers who do not need to drive to wait until road crews can clear more miles of highway through Friday morning.

The storm is expected to move east of the region well before sunrise but it will leave as much as a foot of snow on certain peaks in SW VA, with a good 4" to 8" of snow in many other areas such as the Greenbrier Valley and from the Flat Top Mountain range area to the south, with slightly less to the north, and barely any snow at all sticking once you reach the southern edge of Kanawha County driving north.

Our team of reporters and photographers as well as meteorologists will be working for you through the storm, and appreciate your input.   Photos can be placed on Stormtracker 59 sites on Facebook and Twitter or emailed to weather@wvnstv.com. 
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A winter storm warning went in to effect on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 5 a.m., but the morning hours were mostly dry.

Meteorologist Bryan Hughes has been analyzing the latest data and indicates that the storm system is evolving as we go through the afternoon.  The moderate rain and mixed precipitation will transition to a HEAVY SNOW over the higher terrain.  It will become increasingly widespread during this afternoon with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour expected across the Bluefield to Lewisburg line.

Meteorologist Kristin Ketchell said a stubborn front is slowly sliding to the southeast.  The front has been persistent over the past couple of days in bringing moderate and sometimes heavy rain.  A deepening low pressure center over Georgia and the Carolinas is tracking north and east and cold air is currently in place across the region.  The highest snowfall will occur during the daytime hours Thursday before the snow tapers off during the early evening.

Snowfall totals will generally range from 4-8" with locally higher amounts in higher elevations. A ridge of high pressure builds into the area Friday, bringing a return of sunshine and near-average temperatures through the weekend.

Here is a look at the extended forecast as of Thursday, at 10 a.m.

THURSDAY

Snow showers beginning early Thursday morning and continuing into the afternoon. Accumulations of 4-8" is possible in counties under the Winter Storm Warning and 2-4" in counties under the Winter Weather Advisory. Some localized higher amounts are possible on the highest peaks around the area. Watch for reduced visibilities and slick roads throughout the day Thursday. High: 34

THURSDAY NIGHT

Snow showers taper off before midnight with clearing. Low: 18

FRIDAY

Mostly sunny and cool. High: 35

SATURDAY

Sunny skies and mild temps. High: 45

SUNDAY

A mix of sun and clouds with some light snow flurries for some higher elevations to the east as a cold front moves through the area. High: 36