Presidential Snow Recap
It’s the President’s Day holiday and that means I am spotlighting “weather savvy” chief executives in tonight’s blog. From Washington to Truman, these guys have proven they are indeed number one in my book. If you want my vote in November, you had better know your isobaric theory! More on these wise-guys later.
But first a recap of the weekend snow, or “no snow” as it turned out.
Sunday’s snow really had no BIG surprises. Clearly a close call was to be in the cards on who received snow and who would not. I-64 was identified as a sort of imaginary boundary. The fact that the snow set up shop 20-25 miles south of Ashland-Huntington was of little consolation to the snow starved of the River Cities. Snow did make it into Kanawha County for a few melting hours, but that’s because I-64 dips south a few miles as you drive into Charleston.
But when push came to shove, the snow could not penetrate into a dry air seam that had made it along the Ohio River by way of Evansville, Cincy and Huntington. That dry air acted as a stone wall keeping the moist southern air at bay. So from musky king Crash Mullins’ stomping grounds at Cave Run Lake to Virginia Point in Kenova to the Pumpkin Park in Milton nary a flake fell.
The key to the forecast all along was pinpointing that dry air seam.
In defense of my forecast, I also expected areas north to be mainly snow free and areas through the Coalfields to get in on the “storm of the winter”. Both those predictions proved to have merit. In fact, power outs were predicted as early as Thursday and with the likelihood of school closings mentioned on my Friday shows. I also mentioned how travel along I-77 should be complete by Sunday morning to avoid the snow. That made a trifecta of good forecasts. But if you live in the I-64 corridor, your forecast simply did not pan out. Mea Culpa!
Look for the leftover snow to melt away under a “Chinook” type wind on Tuesday. Chinook is a Sioux Indian term for “Snow eater” and refers to a wind running down the mountains and warming as it does. While Tuesday’s winds won’t be a classic Chinook, they will run downhill from the Southern Appalachians and will certainly bring warmer air in to melt the snow away.
Finally, on this Presidents Day I salute “weather warrior” chief executives like Thomas Jefferson who kept a weather diary at Monticello and Harry Truman who began every day as president with a personal briefing of the climate from a member of the National Weather Service before tackling domestic and international politics. That NWS was signed into law by the stroke of the pen from US Grant in the late 1870s. Then there was George Washington who led his troops through the harsh winters of the mid 1770s at Valley Forge.
My kind of chief executives!