WEST VIRGINIA (WVNS) — Find the latest updates to the forecast at wvnstv.com/weather this article is now out of date as of 5 am Friday 01/14/2022.


WEST VIRGINIA (WVNS) —

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is there a snow map in this post? How much am I going to get in _______ town?
A: There is no snow map. Not yet. But we are getting closer to narrowing down the details.
Q: When is this going to happen?
A: Sunday Afternoon into Monday.
Q: What should I expect?
A: See below ↓

A weekend storm? Yes, it’s gonna happen. But there still is quite a bit up in the air as we head into this morning. Right now, it’s down to two classic scenarios. Either it stays west before shifting offshore, or it stays out to the east and heads right up the coast. Both bring wintry weather and plenty of wind, but in different ways.

TRACK #1:
Our initial low takes the interior path. This will lead to the potential of the dreaded “warm wedge” as it’s known. Where warm air infiltrates the storm a few thousand feet above our heads and brings sleet and freezing rain into play. This looks like it would set up along and west of I-77. This would be a major cut down on potential snowfall totals, and would likely be in some aspects the higher impact event. When ice is in the forecast the risk of power outages and downed trees rises significantly, which will hinder cleanup and leave some in the dark.

TRACK #2:
In this scenario we see the low pushed out further east where it just rides up the coast and doesn’t shift its energy from one place to another. With it being further east, it also has to pull the cold air further east meaning no “warm wedge” and we essentially see snow from start to finish. Debatably, this is the better of the two scenarios. With colder air in place, we see fluffy snow similar to our last storm which means we see less of a risk of downed powerlines and branches breaking. It’s also easier to move. You can plow/shovel snow. Ice doesn’t move as easily.

Where do we stand on the forecast? Right now, we have a slight lean towards Track #2. Here’s why: The overall trend in the models was swinging this storm really far west and moving it inland similar to Track #1. Through the years we’ve noticed that there tend to be overcorrections in one direction in scenarios like this and eventually we see them drift towards the middle of the two extremes. The other reason why we are leaning more towards #2 comes from the models within the models, known as ensembles. These are showing much colder solutions and have been more consistent in showing that scenario versus the overall model usually shown online/on-air.

An example of the GFS ensemble known as the GEFS this is from the 6z (1 am) run of the model.
Image Courtesy: Tomer Burg – https://arctic.som.ou.edu/tburg/products/realtime/gefs_panel/