Wintry weather expected Wednesday, possibly Sunday


    After peaking at 70 on Sunday it's been a downhill trend ever since. We maxed out in the 40s on Monday and 30s today. Wednesday will be even colder, especially with a breeze making it feel like the 20s. With the cold air deepening in our area and a strong jetstream disturbance moving east through western Kentucky toward's a recipe for some ground-coating snow overnight tonight into Wednesday.

    A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from Charleston south/east through 7 p.m. Wednesday...although everyone will see some snow at times. The Advisory area may see higher amounts and more frequent snow showers. Temperatures overnight will drop to around 30 which means roads, which up to this point have been wet, will trend icy, especially where heavier bursts of snow occur. Bridges and overpasses need to be watched carefully.

    Schools and government offices being out should help the morning commute in West Virginia a bit but Kentucky and Ohio folks will want to keep an eye out for school delays by Wednesday morning. The snow chances will continues into the afternoon before ending from west to east late in the day. My concern is the air is somewhat unstable aloft, which makes for an excellent recipe for snow squalls...quick hitting bursts of snow that can produce a fast half to 1" in 30 minutes, significantly reduce visibility and quickly coat roads that were previously cleared. Some of our biggest accident issues come not from big all-day snows but from snow squalls. As a result, you'll want to be vigilant heading out on Wednesday.

    We get a break most of Thursday to Saturday, with the exception of Thursday night when a cold front brings a small band of rain that changes to snow showers. Aside from that we're dry into Saturday albeit chilly with high temperatures between 35 to 40. Saturday parades should go off without any problems but it will be cold so bundle up.

    That cold is courtesy of a sprawling high pressure system setting up over the Midwest and Ohio Valley. At the same time an area of low pressure will develop in the Gulf states. That much is clear. What isn't clear is how far north the moisture from the southern system makes it...and how deep the cold air is around here if it does. The models continue to battle it out with a lot of variation, which leads to low confidence. It does appear that the greatest impact in terms of wintry weather would likely be around the Beckley area south and east...but that doesn't mean Charleston and Huntington are out of the woods. Complicating matters is what is likely to be a sharp northern cutoff to the precipitation, so it's conceivable in this setup that Charleston gets no snow while Beckley and Bluefield are digging out. Again, lots to keep an eye on but also plenty of time to prepare. For now, just be aware that Saturday looks fine...any potential problems from that system will begin early Sunday morning and last into Sunday night.

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