CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Lots of active weather is expected from Saturday night through Tuesday morning here in north-central West Virginia.
Because of this, a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for some of the region.
The winter weather alert is out for Randolph, Pocahontas, Hardy, Pendleton, Grant, Garrett, and southeastern Webster counties from Saturday night at 10 p.m. through Sunday night at 10 p.m. This is because of snow and ice accumulation causing difficult travel, reduced visibility, and even possible downed trees and power outages.
The first round of wintry weather will be a burst of snow Saturday night.
This snow will be with us through Sunday morning, and will be plowable for some into the higher elevations. The heaviest snow will be in the early, pre-dawn hours of Sunday.
As the sun rises and temperatures warm, snow will begin to transition into sleet, freezing rain, and rain for the lowlands.
However, because of cold air trapping energy as the moisture tries to go over the mountains, the higher elevations will see more snow and freezing rain Sunday afternoon and evening.
Bands of snow in the high peaks may be heavy and bring along blowing snow thanks to gusty winds up to 30 m.p.h. and reduced visibility. Patches of ice in the mountains may also glaze the roadways and cause traffic to be difficult along Route 219/Seneca Trail as well as Route 33, Corridor H, and I-68.
Moisture is expected to continue overnight Sunday into Monday with a wintry mix – mainly rain along both sides of the I-79 corridor, and mainly snow or sleet/freezing rain into the high peaks and along I-68.
Through Sunday night, expect measurable snow to move through the mountains.
For the mountains, anywhere from three-to-six inches of snow are possible, including melting from ice, freezing rain, and sleet from the progression of the day.
Across the lowlands, anywhere from one-to-three inches of snow with locally higher amounts are possible. However, most of this will likely melt as Sunday goes on due to rounds of showers and spots of potential freezing rain in the lower elevations.
Upwards of a half-inch or more of rain is expected across the lowlands and foothills. This will likely melt snow throughout the day on Sunday, and even could cause a few areas of minor flooding in Braxton, Gilmer, Webster, and Randolph counties. This is in addition to the tenth of an inch or greater of potential ice accumulation which could cause difficult travel, downed tree limbs, as well as isolated power outages.
Monday will see a mix of rain, snow, and sleet, with the precpitation type dependent on elevation, across north-central West Virginia.
As colder air pushes in throughout the afternoon, chances of more snow increase as the system pushes through north-central West Virginia.
This is expected to fade Monday night into Tuesday as upslope snow showers wring out what’s left of the moisture from this system. We will keep you posted as details come in and get fine-tuned in the StormTracker 12 Weather Lab.