Throwback Winter Resumes

It's been 2 weeks since snow laid on the ground. In this harsh winter of 2010, that means we are long overdo. Tony blogs about a new arctic snowfall.

Hello Southern Snowstorm

Calling all Rip Van Winkle’s! In case you have been in a slumber this last week of January, a major southern snow and ice storm has made life in parts of the Sunbelt of America down right miserable.

Want snow? Head to Nashville Tennessee! Looking for ice on trees and sidewalks, then Tulsa Oklahoma and Fayetteville Arkansas are primo spots. Hey Keith Morehouse, those are Conference USA and SEC cities where it is not supposed to snow!

Now Chris Bailey tells me the Vandy Commodores come calling on the top ranked Cats at Rupp on Saturday. Looks like heavy snow will make it to the capital city of the SEC, Lexington Ky. Sure hope Vandy left Music Town USA today, else they are snowed in and the game is called off.

Closer to home, a biting arctic air mass was siphoned into the WSAZ.COM region on Friday on the heels of a stiff Northeast wind. From Canada with love, you might say. Temperatures struggled to get above 20 with a shrill wind adding to the harsh chill.

Now if somehow that southern storm was to run headfirst into the arctic air, well the makings an old fashioned Appalachian snowstorm with near blizzard conditions would result.

Fortunately, the storm’s center is by-passing us through the Carolinas taking its mother-load of moisture into Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. There snowfall will be measured in feet.

In our region, the Coalfields will be ground zero for the heaviest snow Saturday morning with 8 or 10 inches on the ground by midday. The tallest hills near Pikeville (Peach Orchard Mt), Williamson an in Boone County (Whitesville) may well exceed a foot!

Our Kallie Cart reported on how the WV turnpike has prepared for the deep snow after the December storm. This go round, the snow will fall light and fluffy, easy to plow, but just as easy to blow. Travel from Charleston to Beckley to Wytheville to Charlotte on I-77 is not recommended on Saturday.

In fact, I expect the Douglas International airport to be closed in Charlotte. Air traffic in and out of Yeager and Tri-State airport too will be impacted as plowing and de-icing go on.

Here’s a link to the FAA’s airport closures in case you are flying. Flights in and out of Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cincinnati will be unaffected by the storm, save for a dusting of snow possible in the Queen City.

Since the heaviest snow will fall over the steepest terrain of the Coalfields, this may well classify as a crippling snow event along the Tug, Levisa and Coal River Valleys.

Farther north, the snows will be more moderate but still potent. The dry, arctic nature of the snow suggests we will fluff up a general 4 to 6 inches along I-64 from Olive Hill to Kenova to Charleston with 8 inches likely from Louisa to Madison in the northern end of the Coalfields.

Since the snow will have a sharp cut-off, amounts will drop off markedly north of Huntington-Charleston by as much as 1 inch for every 10 miles. So 50 miles north of Charleston and Huntington as the crow flies, snow may only measure an inch OR LESS from McArthur to Parkersburg to Clarksburg.

So here’s hoping for an early spring when we start the festival season off in Pikeville for Hillbilly Days where odds favor a foot of powdery snow along Hambly Boulevard and the 99 steps of Pikeville College on Saturday!
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