Another weekend storm means heavy rain and some backside snow


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    Another weekend is upon us and so is another storm. This one tracked out of California into Oklahoma and will then move east into Tennessee and right over top of us on Saturday. Like last weekend's system, that puts us mostly on the "warm" side of the system, with the heaviest swath of snow (6-12") up north closer to I-70.

    We'll see rain for much of Saturday, although it may begin briefly as a wintry mix in parts of SE Ohio before changing to rain there. Many of us will start dry Saturday with rain increasing toward Noon and really picking up by mid-late afternoon. Mountaineer fans should generally be ok getting up to Morgantown although a light wintry mix may be falling up in far northern WV around midday before changing to rain. Heavier rain will be falling when the game ends so your travel back south will be a bigger challenge with ponding and spray. Herd fans can expect heavy rain around tipoff and even when the game ends, although any wintry weather should hold off until midnight or later there in Huntington.

    Rainfall totals will vary across the region due to gusty southeast wind on the ridges...but that usually places the highest totals (in this case 1.5"-2") along the Ohio River. Those counties have been placed under a Flood Watch as road closures in some of those flood-prone low lying roads are likely, especially in Southeast Ohio.

    As that storm passes to our northeast winds will turn from the southeast into the northwest, ushering in the coldest air so far this Winter Saturday night. Temperatures may be sitting near 50 before midnight in Central West Virginia, but parts of Southeast Ohio will already be changing over to sleet and snow by then. That rain to snow changeover will cross through West Virginia around midnight near the Ohio River and 2-3 A.M. in the Kanawha Valley. Snow will last for a few hours, melting initially before sticking as temperatures fall into the low to mid 20s by dawn.

    Snow totals with this burst of snow appear to be modest for most, generally around 1" Sunday morning. Southeast Ohio and northern Kentucky may see 1 to 3" along with the West Virginia mountains. Regardless of the amount of snow, the concern is all the moisture on the ground combined with the sharp temperature drop. That means a quick ice-up by Sunday morning for untreated surfaces.

    Snow may take a break for a time Sunday but I'm noticing an impressive northerly fetch of wind across Lake Huron and Erie, which have still relatively mild waters thanks to a lack of cold so far this Winter. I wouldn't be surprised to see a decent band of snow set up from Cleveland south down along I-77 by late Sunday....but so far the computer models aren't suggesting it. They are suggesting some clouds may remains Sunday night which would help keep our temperatures from dropping into the single digits. Either way it will be a cold Sunday night and Monday morning although with school out of session for Martin Luther King Jr Day that should alleviate traffic issues to start next week.


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