CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Yet another winter storm is on its way to north-central West Virginia heading into late this week.
Frigid Arctic air is in place for your Tuesday night through Wednesday morning as temperatures will be falling into the teens and single digits. Cold air will stick around into your Wednesday evening ahead of our next system.
For this next system, there is still a lot up in the air but there is starting to be a consensus among the weather models. A Winter Storm Watch will is in place for the threat of heavy wintry mixed precipitation Wednesday evening through Friday morning.
What we know:
– Precipitation will start as snow late Wednesday night
– A transition to rain is expected for SOME Thursday
– Back to light snow Friday morning
What we don’t know yet:
– How much of a factor the “warm wedge” will be
– Exact precip types; sleet could greatly impact snow totals
Heading into late Wednesday night into Thursday morning will be when the outer edge of the system will work into north-central West Virginia. This is expected to be all snow, with heavier snow rates possible into the early morning hours Thursday.
Later Thursday morning is where the forecast comes a bit tricky. Models are suggesting an emergence of warmer air (warm wedge) turning some of the snowfall to rain or a rain/snow mix. Freezing rain could become an issue during this time into the higher elevations. Ice accumulation aren’t expected to be severe but are still possible and could cause some concerns. Sleet is also possible along the rain/snow line, which will be a mess but it will also impact exactly how much snow that we will see.
A brief break is expected in some of the precipitation later Thursday before cold air filters in behind the system turning all precipitation back to snow for Friday morning.
The question everyone wants to know the answer to is, “how much snow will we see?”. There are several factors that will play roles in how much we end up with my Friday morning. The biggest factor is the warm wedge. If this wedge stays further south and doesn’t travel northward we could see higher amounts upwards of 6″+ for much of north-central West Virginia. But as we have already seen several times so far this winter, the wedge has traveled further north than originally anticipated. If this were to happen, totals would be much closer to 2-4″ for the majority of the lowlands – with higher amounts of 6-8″+ possible in the mountains.
Regardless of the exact final numbers, travel is expected to be impacted from early Thursday morning through Friday. Be careful on the roadways and be sure to have your emergency kit handy in your vehicle if you are traveling. Also, have a full tank of gas in case you are to become stuck. Here are tips to stay safe during winter travel.
Stick with the StormTracker 12 Weather Team all day Wednesday for updates.