After a deceptively pleasant start to the week Monday we returned to more typical January weather on this Tuesday thanks to a morning cold front passage. This was accompanied by some snow but coming off a 50+ degree day some of us saw those flakes melt on contact. However, temperatures did turn sharply colder, falling into the 20s all day. Gusty winds made it feel like the teens.
This was just the appetizer, however. The main course of arctic air is arriving late tonight with an arctic front that is currently crossing Louisville and Cincinnati. This front is producing a burst of snow over those cities and it's heading this way. It will arrive overnight and bring a burst of snow to most of our area as well...but this time with a much colder ground in place. That means an expecting dusting to 1" can quickly stick to roads. In addition, this will be a fluffy kind of snow that will be blown around by increasing winds. Temperatures will fall to the teens by dawn in much of West Virginia but into the single digits in Ohio. Cold enough...but temperatures will keep dropping through the rest of the morning. Many of us will level off between 5 to 10 degrees by midday...and with the strongest winds (40-45 mph gusts in the valleys and 50+ in the mountains) around then, I think the most brutal part of the day will be late morning into the early afternoon. It's not surprising that many schools have decided not just to delay but close for the day Wednesday given that conditions will be worse later in the day.
To sum up - Wednesday features: Strong Winds
Sub-zero Wind Chill
Morning snow streaks that can make roads slick
Winds will drop a bit Wednesday night but so will temps...and many areas north and east of I-64 will drop well below zero. Milder river temperatures may keep nearby communities closer to zero and some increasing clouds in the Coalfields may keep readings there in the single digits above zero. Temperatures will only make it to around 20 Thursday afternoon but with much less wind than Wednesday it will likely feel much more tolerable. We'll still have to watch for a clipper system on the back edge of this retreating airmass to produce a burst of snow Friday followed by a change to rain.
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