New Winter Storm Alert

In a winter of southern snow storms, Tony says the next one in the pipeline looks like it will be heavy wet one.

Super Bowl of Winter Forecasting

I see where the wise guys in Vegas have the Colts a 4.5 point fav on Sunday. For my money, I think the Super Bowl forecast is a tough one this year. Peyton Manning is a seasoned future Hall of Famer while Drew Brees is a highly potent QB.

The weather in Miami, which has been wet and cool most of this week, will dry out in time for Super Bowl XLIV. Kickoff temperature of 65 will fall into the 50s by game’s end. If a late Field Goal is needed, I sense the wind will be a factor blowing at 10-15 miles per hour thanks to the same storm that will wallop much of the east coast this weekend.

I would take the points in this one. Though the Saints may not win, they will cover in my book.

Now for the hard part! The next southern storm in this EL Nino winter of big storms will be plowing head first toward our region on Thursday and will arrive dawn on Friday with a slug of snow and sleet.

Already my colleagues at the National Weather Service, who do such a good job in monitoring the weather in our region, have issued preliminary Winter Storm Watches for much of Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky as a whole. Here's Why!

This will be a three phased storm.

This first phase of the storm will likely feature some snow accumulation Friday morning before temperatures warm just high enough for a soaking rain to wash away the snow in the afternoon (second phase). School delays, closings or let outs are probable, depending on where you live.

After a lull IN THE RAIN Friday evening, colder air will return pre-dawn Saturday and set the stage for a round of accumulating WET SNOWS for Super Bowl Saturday. Looks like a repeat of last Saturday with a general moderate snowfall across the region. Again I stress this time the snow figures to be WET in nature. I sense a 4” accumulation again along I-64 by noon Saturday. Power outs will be possible.

Two exceptions are worth noting. I expect an all out snow and ice storm to potentially cripple the mountains of West Virginia including the turnpike. Travel will be difficult at the height of the storm.

Also, I sense Southern Ohio is in for its heaviest snow of the winter. Snow should accumulate moderately Friday even if rain and sleet mix in and again on Friday night and Saturday. A general 6” or more of snow seems likely from Olde Market Square in Portsmouth to Apple-town and the Bandstand in Pomeroy.

Accumulations in the mountains (Richwood, Summersville, Beckley, Lewisburg, Bluefield and Elkins should exceed a foot with as much as 20 inches at the ski lodges of Canaan, Snowshoe, Timberline and Winterplace) will be heaviest, so my suggestion is to get your errands run on Thursday when the weather is quiet. Skiers take Friday off and get stranded in the mountains this weekend!

If you are traveling north and east, here is a preliminary look at the storm’s likely impacts.

This storm will also bury the I-71, I-70 stretch from Indy to Cincy to Columbus to Pitt where 6" to 10” is a good first forecast and no rain is expected to help out.

I-68 out of Morgantown thru Northern WV-Maryland and I-81 thru Western Virginia into Pa are to be avoided as is the I-95 stretch north of Richmond to Wash DC-Baltimore-Philly. Here blizzard conditions are possible if the storm reaches its potential.

Again, travelers should complete your trips by Friday dawn if at all possible.

Did anyone say “Think Spring”? Oh yeah, French Creek Freddy and Concorde Charlie!
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