Update - Large "winter" storm in late April affects the WV mountains, with vast impacts north and east

Our storm is in gear today, so we finally get to see what is actu.0ally happening compared to what is forecast. There should be updates today, so feel free to check back frequently. A look to the week ahead is coming as well.

Updates Below  - (most recent 4:00pm)

Monday ... Time to get back to work!

For those of you reading this east of US-19 and I-79, I hope you've given yourself a little extra time to get where you're going. I don't envy anyone traveling across the mountains today. You can follow along with the progression of this system by looking at the tracking maps below, but just for sport, I'll put one up right here that has the whole mid-Atlantic and Northeast in it:

If you want to get a gander at how we got to this point (if you're just joining us or otherwise, have a gander at yesterdays blog post-- and perhaps the few before that). If there are any changes to the scenario, I'll try to update it here. We're actually at the event now, so we can see everything play out in real time.

Here's what my snowfall prediction was/is that I put up from yesterday:

Snowfall Forecast

I suppose I should have taken my right of being able to update this image to reflect a 'final hour' forecast before the first flake falls, but I guess I didn't. Perhaps I'm overconfident with my 24hour+ old map (I'll certainly post changes if need-be...I'm not going to leave anyone hanging).

This storm is not going to be much of a weather maker West of Charleston, outside of some chilly showers and breezy winds. Afternoon highs will be MUCH cooler than normal, even if the morning temperatures are eerily manageable. Expect to start in the upper 30s and struggle to get back to 50 today. The mountains however, will start in the low 30s and upper 20s, and just stay there for much of the day-- that Sun doesn't have a chance to much heating through those clouds and with that wind. In fact, blizzard conditions will be seen at times in the Northern WV mountains east of Kingwood and Parsons-- not too pretty when everyone is out of winter mode. The good news up there is that the fallen snow will ease the threat of freeze conditions (so long as the snow is coating everything and insulating plants from sub-32° temperatures).

The storm should be winding down locally and heading out later tonight:

WRF - Tuesday 2am GFS - Tuesday 2am

As is typical with large systems like this, in its life cycle there will often/always be an entrainment of dry air that will attempt to feed right into the core of the system (this is called a 'dry slot'). It appears that there's hope to give the New England states a little breather from the flooding rain that has been annoying that area.

Looking ahead, the colder temperatures will hang around a little bit, particularly in the mountains where any remaining snowpack will force highs to stay in the 30s. The greatest threat for freeze conditions for the plants will be after the storm departs, clouds part, and the winds die down. There may be a frost/freeze watch ahead, but the National Weather Service will tackle that in due time. Warmer weather will come eventually, and we'll all be back to the 50s and 60s (upper 60s) later in the week. As far as it being dry-- well, that may be a little iffy.

GFS - Thursday AM
GFS - Friday AM GFS - Saturday AM

Wednesday may be our only break in the action, well, unless you don't count Tuesday afternoon if this storm gets out of here. By Thursday a conga-line of showers approaches (in meteorology we call this a 'stationary front' or a 'deformation zone' instead... but we can go with 'conga line' :-) This zone will be wobbling up and down, in and out of our region. Depending on your priorities (your backyard grill or your backyard grass), you're going to want one or the other. Hopefully by the end of this week we'll be a little closer to being back on track for more 'normal' weather and a healthier soil situation.

Here are the maps for today. You can view the temperatures, the radars, the warnings, and the radar is interactive when you click on it (meaning, you can zoom into your house or a random one that's getting snowed on in the mountains-- cool beans!)

Update 7:30am - Snow is flying across parts of the area, primarily east of Charleston on into the mountains as expected. We're very thankful for your reports and pictures. Feel free to leave some in the comments section as well. From Cabin Creek to Summersville to Mt. Nebo, to Snowshoe, how about this snow for late April?

I also wanted to update the blog with the 'final model output" snowfall forecast. Here's the last rendition before the first flake fell:

City NAM - Snowfall GFS - Snowfall
Huntington, WV 0.0" 0.0"
Charleston, WV 0.0" 1.6"
Beckley, WV 1.5" 1.7"
Elkins, WV 7.1" 4.7"
Davis, WV 6.4" 8.4"

So the models have come way down on their snowfall totals (it's about time), and for some places (Charleston/Elkins) they still will probably end up a tad too heavy. I still think my snowfall forecast map is good, so I'll leave it as is for now.

The back edge of one main wave of moisture has just rotated through Huntington, and the next wave to the north may not make as far of a progression westward. I wonder if folks in the River-Cities area has seen the last of steady (chilly) rain for the day?

Update 8:30am - Feel free to post pictures and weather reports in the comments section below if you like. I put one there myself to try it out ;-) ... Here's another picture, this one taken in Clay county this morning. I bet the flowers just love it...

Update 10:30am - Though the good folks in the mountains may not see it for a while, the skies are already brightening by the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers. A welcome treat that was slightly unexpected. The skies shouldn't completely clear until later tonight, but just slipping in a little sun will help places like Portsmouth and Paintsville make a run across the 50-degree mark. However, I doubt that the mountains enjoy such a happenstance; the breezes will keep lifting up the elevations and creating more clouds, rather than the breaking skies we're seeing to the west. If skies fully clear out even more quickly, we could end up seeing freeze watches go up tonight for some of us.

Update: 4:00pm - Sometimes it is difficult to get snowfall accumulation totals after 7-9am (when the observers go out once per day)... It's even more difficult when it's for locations primarily outside of our area. As of this morning, a 2"- 5" snowfall blanket was reported in the higher mountains in the east (e.g., Richwood, WV, Snowshoe, WV, etc.) I've tried to add to this total here (below), and if you have heard or seen others, please feel free to post them in the comments. Again, most locations under 2000' will have the snow melting too quickly to matter given the warm ground.

Acme, MD (Westmoreland County) - as of 10:30am - 9.0"
Oakland, MD (Allegheney County) - as of 12:00pm - 8.0"
Aurora, WV (Preston County) - as of 1:00pm - 5.0"
Davis, WV (Tucker County) - as of 1:00pm - 5.0"

Those are some of the bigger totals that I've seen so far, and the snow is still coming down in those areas. I had said earlier that I thought these areas would be getting the brunt of the accumulations from this event. Given numbers that high, I wonder how long those newly leafed trees can hold out before snapping under what must be some serious weight.

Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking

Accuweather Radar

Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active Warnings
Current Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active NWS Warnings
Click For Larger Click For Interactive Radar Click For Larger Click For Larger

Have a great day everyone!

-B

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