Warm, Mainly Dry Today...But Lots Of Rain On The Way
An unseasonably warm December day is dawning across our area. While temperatures are a bit chilly this morning (upper 30s to around 40 in the valleys), we're set up for a big warmup today. Another warm front too our south will pass through the area today, bringing some clouds at times but also a nice southerly breeze that will push temperatures higher. Even ahead of that front we got close to 60 degrees on Tuesday...and with even warmer air in place today that will send temperatures well into the 60s this afternoon. In fact, if we see more sun than I'm anticipating 70 is definitely achievable...but clouds have been tough to break the last few days so we'll see how that plays out. Right now I'm forecasting a high of 68 and that's between 15 to 20 degrees warmer than normal in early December. Most of us will be dry today but a spotty light shower may pop up over eastern Kentucky or southern Ohio as that front lifts north. Not a big issue but don't be surprised if you see a few raindrops this afternoon in the Tri-State...don't let it keep you from enjoying the outdoors though!
Tonight will be quiet and very mild...with valleys falling into the mid 50s and hilltops likely not falling below 60 as winds pick up a bit. A cold front approaching tomorrow will begin to bring rain into our picture...although some of us will wait longer than others. Rain will develop west of Huntington in the morning...but much of West Virginia should be dry for at least the first part of tomorrow. Temperatures in Charleston will reach 70 degrees by early afternoon before rain moves into the Kanawha Valley. Not as nice as today but not terrible...especially for the eastern half of the Mountain State and southern half of Kentucky.
The nasty weather comes Thursday night and Friday as that front slowly pushes through and a wave of low pressure forms along it. That will bring more rain into our area but now on the backside of the front...the cold side. Temperatures will fall into the 40s Friday morning and stay there all day...even falling into the 30s by late afternoon. Rain will be steady and occasionally heavy on Friday, with rainfall totals of 1-2 inches likely areawide. That will lead to some localized street flooding and will swell streams and creeks across our area. While we're wet, folks just north and west of us into Ohio and central Kentucky will be wintry, with wet snow falling. We'll see a transition to the white stuff by Friday evening from west to east but at that point most of the moisture will be tapering down and the flakes will be battling a warm, wet ground. As a result, a light grassy accumulation is possible in northern and western West Virginia, Ohio and northern Kentucky but I think roads locally are probably going to be ok. If you're heading to Wheeling it looks like snow may be falling during the Wayne/Bridgeport game with temperatures in the 30s so dress accordingly....it will feel very raw.
We'll see a break in the action Saturday but clouds will linger and temperatures won't warm much, only reaching a high of 36. Expect a chilly Charleston Christmas parade.
Our break is short...another storm system emerging out of the Southern U.S. will bring more precipitation in here Saturday night. Initially it looks cold enough for it to fall as some sleet and freezing rain but temperatures will begin to climb above freezing Sunday morning and we'll start to make the switch to rain...first in West Virginia and then eventually into northern Kentucky and southern Ohio. Those locations along with far eastern West Virginia are where more significant icing is possible before the switch to rain...but by afternoon all of us will be in liquid form and rain will continue into Monday before tapering off and ending as some snowflakes. My biggest concern is that another 1-2 inches of rain on already swollen creeks and streams could lead to some serious flooding in some spots...and that could translate to rivers by early next week. We'll be watching that potential closely. Very cold air will move in by Tuesday with a high of only 25 degrees! In fact, much of next week will be colder than average so enjoy today!
Storm Team Meteorologist
Updated: Dec. 4, 2013 7:54 AM EST
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