Icy mess possible early Friday morning - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

West Virginians deal with icy mess

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8:00am Update

Wintry mix is moving through the area with the main concern being freezing rain. We have some warm air aloft of the entire area and a lot of places with below freezing temps at the surface. This means that most areas east of the I-77 corridor will see precipitation fall as rain and freeze on contact. This will make for slick travel throughout the early morning hours, especially on untreated back roads, bridges, overpasses and any elevated surfaces where the air can pass under the road.

A Winter Advisory remains in effect for the morning hours for all counties in the 59 News viewing area except for Wyoming and McDowell counties. We'll start to see there advisories dropping off after lunch as warmer air moves into the area. Some mountain locations could still see a mix as we go into the afternoon as temps remain cooler. Most places below 3,500' will see temps rising to above freezing with lower elevations seeing temps climbing into the 40s.

By the afternoon all precipitation will switch to spotty showers with things really calming down by late this afternoon. We could see a few spotty showers as we go into the overnight but by late Saturday morning the sun will try to break through as temps continue to warm to around 50 degrees.

StormTracker 59 Meteorologists are closely monitoring our next storm system which will bring freezing rain, sleet and some snow to the Two Virginias beginning late Thursday night and continuing through midday Friday.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for most of the 59News viewing area beginning around 10 p.m. Thursday night and expiring after noon on Friday.

Cold air that is locked in place overhead is colliding with warm air moving up from the southwest. The clash of these two air masses will cause a messy situation across the area, especially early Friday morning. Because of the warm air pushing in, the precipitation will fall as sleet or freezing rain with some light snow possible in the higher terrain of Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties.

Temperatures during the duration of the ice will be very close to freezing, but will gradually warm as we head throughout the day, causing the sleet and freezing rain to eventually change over to plain rain by late afternoon.

The time frame for ice will generally be from 10 p.m. Thursday night until 2 p.m. Friday for all of the counties in the 59News viewing area, with the exception of Greenbrier, Monroe and Pocahontas Counties, where the ice and snow will linger into the evening hours. Ice accumulations will generally range from a tenth to a quarter of an inch on cold surfaces. Roads that receive treatment should respond to salt however, bridges and overpasses tend to remain icy. Again, a major problem for drivers will be the rain falling on a layer of ice which only looks wet. Treat anything that looks wet as slick.

Precipitation will taper off late Friday night into Saturday morning and your weekend will feature much drier and warmer temperatures.

We will continue to keep you updated on this changing weather situation. Stay with 59News for the most up-to-date information.