Wild & Wooly Winds Prowl Region

The wind huffed and puffed and in some areas blew Christmas decorations down. Tony has the Wicked Wednesday recap.

Wicked Wind Wednesday

Hot shot WSAZ reporter “Broadway” Brad Meyers declared today a Wild & Windy Wednesday on First at 5 in his banter with Carrie and Bill. Since Brad combed the region from Salt Rock to Kenova documenting the mischief imparted by the day long wind storm, his eye witness assessment was a valuable piece of information for me.

Naturally I added my two cents and inserted the word Wicked into the alliteration on set at 5.

As expected, that powerhouse storm that buried parts of the upper Midwest under a mountain of wind-whipped snow drifts did a real number on our region. Wind was indeed the star of the show today.

The tale of the tape included frequent wind gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour. At the Huntington Tri-State airport, the official peak gust mustered a 53 mile per hour bluster.

Several of those freakish gusts damaged the roof of Mark Vanhoose's house in Gallipolis Ferry. " Man did the wind blow and it tore shingles off my roof. Glad it's settling downa bit now", Mark told me.

In Kermit WV, reliable weather spy Michael Webb says, "down power lines and trees here. So if anyone has seen a ventilation pipe that attaches to my hot water tank, I will pick it up later".

From Charlotte’s Douglass International airport to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and from the Derby City of Louisville to Mo-Town, a 15 state area felt the power of those mile per hour gusts.

But one wind measurement really caught my eye. At 3:15 this Wednesday afternoon, the weather observer at Charleston’s Yeager airport reported a gust to 74 miles per hour. That’s hurricane force and while it only lasted a few seconds, it will go down as one of the top weather events of a stormy 2009 when I do my year end review on First at 5 on New Years Day.

You see Yeager airport opened in 1947 and since weather observations have been taken there, today’s wind was one of the top few ever measured. Just last year the strongest wind ever at Yeager hit 85 miles per hour in March.

Left behind tonight are more pedestrian 30 mile per hour gusts as cold arctic air is knifing in. Those night time winds will be accompanied by snow flurries and a heavier snow shower in spots, so a dusting of snow can be expected tonight especially in Ohio, and Central WV north of I-64.

The wildcard in tonight’s snow flurry forecast is the likelihood of black ice. While most roads have dried out, low lying roads along swollen streams still are damp in spots. But with an overnight low of 22 and wind chill of 10 set to greet the kids at the school bus stop, chances are strong some patchy black ice will be around.
That could mean some school delays in the morning, so check with Rob, Melanie and Marina for the latest.

As for Thursday, the powerhouse storm responsible for today’s rude and rowdy carrying-on will be moving away. Behind it, winds will be cold and frisky, but nothing like the ferocious gusts we felt today.

By the way, Thursday’s winds will be out of the frigid Northwest, so despite some sunshine, afternoon highs will fail to beat the 20s and wind chills will hover in the teens all day long! Ouch!

By the way, it appears a harsh period of snow and bitter cold is coming the week leading up to Christmas. If that occurs, our first (or second depending on where you live) White Christmas of the decade may be in the cards!
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