Winter Not Finished
After a chilly weekend we're looking to get a taste of Spring again this afternoon as temperatures warm into the 50s. Don't get too used to it. This warmup is ahead of an approaching low pressure system from the Missouri Valley that will eventually reform along the East Coast and become a major snow maker for those States.
We will be on the western fringe of this system, but parts of our area are also looking at some significant snowfall starting tonight.
As that low approaches clouds will thicken this evening and some rain showers will break out initially with temperatures in the 40s. It may take a while for activity on radar to reach the ground given some very dry air at the lower levels. The problem for snow lovers from Charleston north and west is that the southerly flow ahead of that approaching low will keep milder air in place until the coastal low takes over, which won't happen until dawn tomorrow. As a result, it will take some time for areas east of the Ohio River and west of US 19 to change over, which will limit amounts. In fact, many of us may wake up with no accumulation at all tomorrow morning. Right now I expect a dusting to 1" as the rain changes to snow late tonight, with the 1" mark more likely in Ohio where the changeover will happen earlier. Some slick spots are likely up there but overall the morning commute should be ok for the lowlands as of now. Not far east, however, it will be a different story, as the higher elevations change over to wet snow much faster and the precipitation falls harder. This will result in 1 to 3" on the ground near US 19 by dawn....with 3"+ east of there. And with more to come. Not only that, but temperatures in the mountains will fall into the 20s tonight so roads will become slick, particularly from 3,000 feet up.
After a lull in the precipitation tomorrow as that coastal low takes over and heads north, more snow showers look to fill in for the afternoon and evening. Gusty north-northwest winds will set up on the backside of that storm, pulling down Canadian cold air and also picking up some moisture from Lakes Huron and Erie. The setup appears favorable by late Tuesday, especially along the I77 corridor, for some quick hitting squalls that can produce a fast inch of snow and brief whiteout conditions. This will be the best chance for the metro areas along I-64 to pick up some accumulation into Tuesday night. The mountains will see additional snowfall...with the snow late Tuesday being much lighter/fluffier than the morning activity. See the image above for expected totals from tonight to Wednesday. Areas near Route 219 could see a foot or more!
Snow showers will taper down into Wednesday but the story will become the cold air settling in behind that system. Temperatures will fall into the teens in the valleys Wednesday morning and single digits in the mountains...but expect wind chills of 0 to 5 in the lowlands and below zero in the mountains.