Winter Weather Eases Into The Weekend But Wind Doesn't
Many of us in the lowlands got our first dose of true snow of the season this morning, although if you're a snow lover you were probably left wanting more. Brief but intense snow squalls passed through Huntington and Charleston, leaving a quick half to 1" as they passed but with temperatures hovering near freezing and a fairly mild ground a lot of what fell melted off once the snow stopped falling. A more persistent band of heavy snow produced 1 to 3" south of I-64 down US 119, and also northeast of Charleston and over in the mountains. In fact, it still looks like areas east of US 19 will end up with over 6 inches of blowing and drifting snow when all is said and done. For most of us, the snow is done as of Noon...or at least any snow of consequence. A few flurries are still around but drier air is moving in and clouds are starting to break for sun. Even so, it will remain cold with temps in the 30s and breezy northwest winds putting our wind chills in the 20s for the rest of today. In the mountains wind chills will hold in the teens as snow squalls continue up high.
Those flakes in the mountains will taper down tonight as the rest of us clear out. Temps will fall to around 20 to 25 degrees, with the colder readings in the sheltered valleys where winds drop off. Saturday will dawn with sunshine but our next system, a cold front, will quickly approach from the west. This front is weak, but it's associated with a strong low level jetstream that will slide across the Ohio Valley. This setup has me concerned that we will mix down some pretty stout winds by midday/afternoon. In fact, gusts of 40 to 45 mph are possible for a time, maybe higher on some ridges. The wind will be coming out of the southwest, though...not the northwest...and that means a warmup, at least technically. We'll reach about 50 in the afternoon as clouds thicken and some rain showers start to develop. 50 with clouds and good breezes won't feel terribly mild...and as the rain picks up temps will drop again into the mid 30s by evening. As winds continue to remain blustery Saturday night it will feel like 20s...and that's a damp 25 degree chill so bundle up if you're heading out. I do expect, locally, that roads will just be damp even if some snow mixes in with the rain at times. However, east of US 19 it will be cold enough for a wintry mix and some icy spots.
2017 will dawn with low clouds and drizzle. Temperatures will hold in the 40s for the afternoon with some light rain possible. Dreary but quiet. We'll break into the 60s early next week as a storm develops to our northwest...but this warm spell appears short lived and we may be contending with more cold and possibly snow by the end of next week. Welcome to Winter!