While the snow has stopped around southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia, temperatures are expected to remain below the freezing mark.
Residents are advised to stay off the roads unless they need to go out. Officials said that black ice could continue to be a problem, and the cold temperatures may prevent road crews from getting to clear secondary roads.
A quick scan of snow totals by the StormTracker meteorologists reported via the National Weather Service shows 3 inches of snow near Hinton, 2 inches of snow near Athens, WV, an inch near Princeton, an inch to a trace around Beckley. Roads are still icy and treacherous in spots. Temperatures have actually risen in Beckley and Bluefield a few degrees and should remain in the upper 20s overnight.
The Storm tracker 59 HD Dual Live Doppler Radar shows the snow has really died down in most areas except Fayette. However, roads will be very treacherous in the next few hours as cars drive over snow melting it, with a very rapid re-freeze of the snow, turning it into surface ice. We welcome your photos and snow total amount reports to email@example.com.
Accidents began to be reported from Mercer County to Fayette County on Friday afternoon. Emergency dispatchers in Fayette County said there was a solid sheet of ice on Route 19 in the Oak Hill area. Two accidents around 1 p.m. lead to the southbound lanes of Route 19 being closed for a short time.
Meanwhile, a driver from Canada was in an accident in the southbound lanes of the West Virginia Turnpike. That also happened around 1 p.m.
Emergency responders advise drivers to slow down and watch for slick roads. As always, they said to stay off the roads unless to have to go out.
Photos from viewers show a solid inch of snow in many areas. Salt is working as an effective treatment. Secondary roads are snow and ice covered. The Interstates are only temporarily covered with light snow when snow is present, but again, thanks to salt treatments and higher traffic volume, those roads improve quickly. Most schools have either closed or have been releasing students early. A complete list is seen here on our website. The StormTracker meteorologists say the heaviest snow should taper off before the evening commute, but snow will persist in the high terrain areas overnight. Travel is slow on areas roads and drivers are encouraged to plan extra time in their travels and leave extra space between cars.
A frontal boundary moves through the area today bringing snow showers, heavy at times, mixed with some sleet down in the south west, lasting throughout the day and into the overnight. Heaviest snow should fall between noon and 6pm with snow showers lasting until early Saturday morning. At this point it looks like we could see 2"-5" of accumulation with higher amounts in the higher terrain (6"+) due to the fact that temps will remain well below freezing. Winter Weather Advisory for the entire area runs from 8am - 7pm. Travel in the afternoon and overnight is not advised due to slick roads, heavy snow and poor visibilities.
Temperatures have fallen to single digits, meaning the snow should stick due to cold ground temperatures on Friday afternoon. The StormTracker 59 meteorologists say the snow could mix with freezing drizzle in areas south of Bluefield which could cut the total amounts, however they do not want any viewers to let their guard down while driving as any moisture mixed with snow makes roads even more slippery.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the entire StormTracker 59 viewing area starting at 8am and concluding at 7pm for the Fayette, Raleigh, Wyoming, and McDowell counties and will conclude for the rest of the area at midnight Saturday. The official National Weather Service statement calls for roughly 2 to 5 inches of snow. The StormTracker meteorologists say the light snow that carries across the night should bring an extra inch of snow for a total range of 3 to 6 inches of snow by Saturday morning. Driving should be slow and roads should be slick from just before lunch time on through the evening.
UPDATE 2 p.m.
The StormTracker59 weather teams said that it appears that we will see some nice day time snow for Friday, Jan. 25. That means the drive home could be pretty rough.
Our meteorologists will continue to watch the weather models and what they put out in terms of snow, but overall Chief Meteorologist Spencer Adkins said is has a 3 to 6 inch kind of feeling for southern West Virginia. The snow is expected to continue overnight into Saturday especially on the high slopes, so that could tack on a few extra inches.
Again this really picks up throughout the middle portion of the day into the evening commute.
Don't forget to send in pictures and video of what is happening in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org, as always we will post your pictures here and on Facebook.
Winter Weather Advisory until 10am for Pocahontas County. Could see 3"-5" of accumulation, especially for NW facing slopes and snow showers move to the SE. The rest of the area could see up to 2" before the snow tapers off around noon, then some late day clearing. Temperatures will remain cold, topping out in the low to mid 20s.
Friday will start off calm as clouds build with snow showers starting around midday. Snow could get heavy at times, especially into Friday evening. As of now, snow amounts still look to be around 2"-5" in some of the lowlands with 6+ in the higher terrain. We're expecting the National Weather Service to issue some Winter Weather Advisories later today as the forecast confidence gets a little higher. Temperatures will remain below freezing all the way through Saturday so all that falls will stick!
Light snow will linger in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties until 3-4am. 1-2 inches of accumulation will be seen. Friday's forecasted storm is coming into sharper focus. Models are projecting a little more snow now than before. The StormTracker 59 meteorologists say they have models showcasing 3 to 6 inches of snow mainly Friday until late Friday night for our viewing area. Numbers will continue to be adjusted, but drivers should plan on snow, slick conditions and slow driving conditions Friday in the afternoon until Saturday morning. A warm up is seen next week.
Band of snow is drifting north of most of the viewing area for Wed night. Still could see 1-2 inches of snow in the western and northern portions of Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties. Most of the snow bands should stay on a northerly trajectory leaving most of our viewing area relatively quiet but still cold with lows in the teens. Friday snow still possible. Far less accumulation than last Thursday's storm.
A "streamer band" of snow has developed across Ohio and has moved into WV. Some light snow and flurries have been reported by our viewers. This is a narrow band of snow and could deposit 1-2 inches of fresh, fluffy snow on area roads, in particular, north of Interstate 64 overnight between Beckley and Lewisburg. This could make driving very slick again. Also, when snow is falling overnight, visibility could be reduced. Temps should not be "as" cold with lows in the mid teens.
Flurries are likely early Thursday with some sun by Thursday afternoon. Friday the weather models are still not in agreement on snow amounts but generally 2 to 4 inches are possible during the daytime for much of the 59 News viewing area.
UPDATE @ 7:30am
Cold temperatures continue throughout the region as morning lows remain in the single digits with wind chills dropping to -5 to -15. Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for Summers, Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties until 10am for wind chill values as low as -10/-15. Bundle up in layers if heading out this early morning, making sure the outer layer is wind proof. Temps will be a little warmer than yesterday, topping out in the mid 20s...still 15 degrees below average.
Snow moves into the area later this evening thanks to a cold front. Temperatures will drop to the mid teens overnight and snow could be heavy at times, especially in the higher terrain. Accumulations of 1" to 2" are expected across the area before the snowfall tapers off by lunchtime on Thursday. Temperatures will drop a few degrees on Thursday, topping out in the low to mid 20s. Skies will gradually clear as we go into the afternoon but another system is on its way.
A second cold front will push snow into the area mid morning on Friday and last throughout the entire day. Temperatures will remain below freezing so there will be little to no melting as the snow falls. Snow will continue throughout the overnight and into mid morning on Saturday. Temps will drop a few degrees on Saturday, topping out in the mid 20s. As of right now, we are expecting 2"-4" of accumulations in the lowlands with a possible 4"-6" in the higher terrain. These numbers can and likely will change so we will continue to update you as we get closer to Friday.
Here are some of the coldest locations we've seen across the region this morning. More cold air is on the way tonight. Thanks to the Charleston NWS for the compiled list!
-5 Snowshoe and Canaan Heights
-3 Canaan Valley
1 Glady and Terra Alta
2 Bartow and Frost
4 Valley Head, Elkins and Rock Dave
UPDATE @ 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2013
Frigid temps are here to stay, at least for the next 4-5 days. Wind chills will be in the negative range throughout the entire day as highs only reach the mid teens. Wind gusts could be as high as 30mph with wind chills staying in the -5 to -15 range in some of the higher elevations. We could see snow quickly move through the area Wednesday night into Thursday morning but the best shot for snow will come on Friday.
Temperatures will not climb above freezing for the entire week, setting us up for the maximum amount of accumulation out of this next storm system. A frontal boundary will pass through the area early on Friday so we could see snow starting to fall in the early to mid morning hours. The cold ground temperatures means the snow will start to stick early with little to no melting on contact. As of now it looks like we could see 2"-4" in the lowlands with 6"+ in the higher terrain.
UPDATE @ 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2013
Mostly sunny skies and FRIGID COLD with continued breezy conditions, winds W 12-18 Gusts +28mph. High: 16 wind chills -7
Frigid air hold strong as temperatures drop to single digits once again with winds NW 10-12 Gusts +20, dropping wind chills to -5 to -10. Low 6
Partly sunny and still cold with a chance for flurries moving into the area in the late afternoon. High: 23
Early morning snow showers possible with some late day clearing, still cold. High: 29
Frontal boundary moves through bringing snow showers mixed with some sleet lasting throughout the day and into the overnight. At this point it looks like we could see 2"-4" of accumulation with higher amounts in the higher terrain due to the fact that temps will remain below freezing all week up to Friday. High: 32
James Hopkins here with an Arctic Weather Update:
We're tracking some light lunchtime snow showers that are moving through Portsmouth, Athens and Parkersburg. While the bulk of the snow flurries will stick to our north we may see a few flakes throughout the day, this chance increasing a little overnight. The big story is still the bitter cold. Lows tonight will be in the single digits with some of the higher terrain possibly dropping to 0. Wind chills will range from -5 for the lowlands to -15 in the higher elevations with the possibility of some peaks plummeting to -25. Winds will be gusty, out of the West 15-20 with gusts up to 30 overnight. The gusty winds and the wind chills will continue throughout Tuesday. Highs will range from single digits in the higher terrain to upper teens in the lowlands with wind chill values from -8 to -10.
WIND CHILL ADVISORIES have been issued for parts of our area. This means: WIND CHILL READINGS...10 TO 15 BELOW. AS LOW AS 25 BELOW CAN BE EXPECTED ON THE HIGHEST RIDGETOPS IN THE MOUNTAINOUS COUNTIES.
Bryan Hughes here with an ARCTIC OUTBREAK UPDATE:
I cannot even begin to prepare myself for this COLD air. It's just going to be painful for a few days. This is going to be arctic air that invades the region, at least, for a 48 hour period. During this time, we'll see temps well below normal but no records are expected to be broken.
TEMPERATURES: I've got 17 as the high temp on Tuesday. The higher in elevation you go, the colder it gets with highs on Tuesday only reaching the single digits in some spots. How about Snowshoe you say? ZERO for their high on Tuesday. Wednesday morning will still be cold with lows around 5 to 7 degrees. We'll warm up enough on Thursday afternoon and night to see some mixed precipitation but it gets cold again going into this weekend. Same type of arctic air.
PRECIPITATION: We'll see a quick shot at some snow Monday afternoon and into the evening/overnight hours. This is not going to accumulate much, in fact, the mountains might be lucky to get 1 or two inches of snow. The rest of us, a dusting. Thursday evening/night will warm up briefly and we'll see some rain trying to mix into the region, this will change back over to snow on Friday morning and then that's when we get to see the next storm system move into the region.
More updates as we get new information that might alter the forecast. We've been talking about this air for more than 2 weeks!