StormTracker59 (WVNS) — Normally our forecast discussions cover 10 days which you can find here, however, for the impending winter weather, we want to take a more extensive look at the next 48 hours to better help prepare us for dangerous conditions moving in.
Watches and Warnings for the region
- Winter Weather Advisory: eastern Nicholas, eastern Fayette, eastern Raleigh, western and northern Pocahontas, and western Greenbrier counties.
- Wind Advisory: Nicholas and central Pocahontas counties.
- High Wind Warning: northwest and northern Pocahontas County.
- Wind Chill Warning: Entire region – Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, Wyoming, McDowell, Tazewell, Bland, Giles, Monroe, Summers and Fayette counties – most expire Saturday afternoon.
Dangerous Wind Chill Values
This is a dangerous mix with temps dropping fast and roads becoming impassible if you rely solely on electric for heat. Outside, high winds and low temps means wind-chills are expected to drop to NEGATIVE 20-30 degrees or more! Frostbite can occur within minutes of exposure. This is why we recommend having alternative heating sources at home ready to go so you won’t be forced to go outside when power goes out. Stay ahead of the storm with our StormTracker59 Power Outage Maps which are updated automatically every 5 minutes.
The combination of extremely cold air temperatures and gusty wind will make for dangerous wind chill values that continue through the weekend.
Current Power Outages
By this time, snow showers will have shifted to the ridgelines in Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties. Passing flurries elsewhere will eventually stop by Saturday. Winds will have let up some but still blustery at 20-30mph. Temps will be dangerously cold with overnight lows at or below 0 with wind chills NEGATIVE 20. This continues for Saturday as daytime temps only warm into the low teens. Wind chills will be a major factor all day Saturday. By this time road crews will have cleared major roads but again, rock salt isn’t all that effective in these cold temps so icy spots will be a safe bet. Folks will begin to travel as it is a holiday weekend and for those that choose to do so, pack that emergency kit just in case and take it SLOW. Wind chills of negative 20 degrees can cause frostbite in under 30 minutes so getting stuck and walking is not ideal. Remember, we’re still dealing with blowing snow and snow drifts.
Temps once again drop back near 0 with winds calming a bit more with gusts of 20-25mph. Wind chills will be around NEGATIVE 10-15 degrees. Still not great, but improving. Aside from some mountain flurries, snow should have come to an end by this point. Watch for blowing snow still making some slick spots but again, by this time travel will be possible if you take it slow. Folks heading to midnight mass for Christmas services should be ok considering. Overnight lows drop back into the single digits and winds still pushing 15-25mph making wind chills still in the negative 10-15 range by then. Icy spots on roads, blowing snow, just take it slow out there!
Christmas Day Sunday
Early morning services will deal with icy spots, bitterly cold temps, wind chills NEGATIVE 10 to 0 degrees. Sunshine at least returns which will help us “warm up” into the upper teens and 20s. Winds still 15-20mph so wind chills will make it feel near zero all day. This will be one of, if not the coldest Christmas’ on record. Outside time should be limited and travel should be taken slowly with lots of extra time. From here out, we’ll start to warm up back to season averages for the rest of the week.
As for a more lighthearted moment in this winter storm, our White Christmas chances have taken a hit. Thanks to an earlier arrival of our arctic front, it doesn’t look like we’ll get the official “White Christmas” despite having snow on the ground for it. To be official, 1 inch of freshly fallen snow on Christmas day has to occur. So, on a technicality, our official White Christmas chance is low outside of the higher elevations through Pocahontas County who may still see some upsloping snow flurries.
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