Wintry Mess on the Way

Weather

A WINTER STORM WARNING GOES INTO EFFECT AT 7PM TONIGHT FOR ALL COUNTIES AND GOES UNTIL 1AM FRIDAY FOR GREENBRIER, MONROE, SUMMERS, MERCER, AND TAZEWELL; UNTIL 5AM FRIDAY FOR WYOMING AND MCDOWELL; UNTIL 10AM FRIDAY FOR POCAHONTAS, RALEIGH AND FAYETTE

As we head through the evening, we will see clouds increase and temperatures begin to fall. Overnight lows will drop into the mid and upper 20s, just as our next storm system moves in. Snow will begin to fall close to the midnight hour and roads will deteriorate quickly after that.

Thursday is going to be a mess. We will start the morning off, before sunrise, with heavy wet snow falling across much of the area. By the time we get into the morning commute, spots west of I 77 will begin to see more rain and sleet, with some freezing rain. Spots along and east of I 77 will be dealing with freezing rain and snow as we continue through the afternoon. We will see lull in the precipitation through the afternoon, but additional snow showers and possibly some additional freezing rain will move in as we get closer to the evening commute. This will add an additional couple of inches of snow in some spots.

Snowfall totals looks to be in the range of 3-6″ for a majority of the area, however higher totals will be likely in our eastern counties, especially north of I 64. Along I 77 from Beckley to Princeton we could see 5 to 8 inches and up to a foot of snow is not out of the question in the high terrain of Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties. Not all of the snow falls in the morning. Most of it does, but additional accumulations through Thursday night into Friday morning will help most reach those totals.

Snow isn’t what you should be worried about with this system though. Ice accumulations are what will cause power outages and bring down trees. Anything over 0.25″ is considered significant icing and there is a high potential that some parts of our area will see at least that much. Right now it looks like the Greenbrier Valley and down the RT 219 corridor into Monroe county will see the most significant icing. A quarter of an inch or even higher will be possible. Other spots along and east of I 77 could see a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch and west of I 77 could pick up a glaze to a tenth of an inch.

Make sure you have a plan in place with your family, both immediate and extended in the event of a power outage. Plan to check in with elderly and disabled neighbors as well, they may need help either staying warm or just in general trying to attend to damage! We recommend having blankets, at least a gallon of water per person per day, some non-perishable food, flashlights, a battery operated radio, and a power brick to charge your phone. If you happen to have a generator, make sure it is in proper working order, you have gasoline, and just remember DO NOT run it in an enclosed space. All generators should be at least 20 feet away from your house.

Friday, colder air settles in behind Thursdays storm. Some lingering moisture will be turned into upslope snow showers throughout the day time and could pose some lasting issues with slick travel. Highs will be in the low 30s.

Saturday we dry out and get another rare chance to breathe with no precipitation in the forecast. A good chance at some sun exists for the first half of the weekend too. Despite all the positives of the day we are really getting a good dose of colder air it looks like so most won’t even break the 20s for highs!

Sunday isn’t looking to bad either with mostly quiet weather still expected. We will likely see clouds begin to thicken up by the second half of the day, but any precipitation will hold off into Monday it looks like. Highs in the 40s are expected.

Monday, we see our next round of weather pop it’s head in. When the rain starts during the day will be fairly key since if it starts early we could deal with some ice first then transition to just rain later in the day, or if it starts later (after we’ve warmed up) we could just be looking at plain rain. For this storm there’s still plenty of time to go so check back often!

In the extended forecast, we’re finally looking a little quieter towards the end of February. For the most part temperatures are trending to be near average as well, so while we have to say this cautiously…it looks like things are looking up!

Be sure to follow the StormTracker 59 team on Facebook and Twitter for updates, and don’t forget to download the StormTracker 59 app which is available on Google Play and the App Store. Also, even though it is winter weather season now, Spring isn’t too far off. Consider starting your severe weather season preparations, including purchasing a NOAA weather radio for your home.

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TONIGHT:
Snow moves in close to midnight. Lows in the 20s.
THURSDAY:
A wintry mess of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. Significant icing possible in some locations. Highs in the 30s.
FRIDAY:
Lingering wintry mix or snow early. Highs in the 30s.
SATURDAY:
Quieter! Highs in the 20s.
SUNDAY:
Looking dry. Highs in the 40s.
MONDAY:
Rain/snow possible. Highs in the 30s.
TUESDAY:
Cloudy, but quieter. Highs in the 40s.
WEDNESDAY:
Looking pleasant. Highs in the 50s.
THURSDAY:
Still dry. Highs in the 50s.
FRIDAY:
Unsettled. Highs in the 50s.
SATURDAY:
Still unsettled. Highs in the 40s.

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