Snowstorm Central

The "throwback" winter of 2010 steamrolls on. Tony says Super Bowl weekend will keep us watching not just the Colts and Saints but a Super Snowstorm.

10 AM Friday Update

The rain-snow line has set up from Cincinnati to Portsmouth to Parkersburg to Clarksburg this Friday morning. Temperatures are safely above freezing for most of the daylight hours across the region.

By late afternoon, that rain snow-line will shift south to I-64. With temperatures still above 32, melting snow would occur at first.

But the rate of falling snow this evening will overcome the melting rate and snow will begin to stick even with above freezing temperatures.

Overnight thru Saturday, it is going to snow and snow hard at times. A plowable snowfall is in the cards with at least as much snow as we had last saturday. In Interior Southern Ohio and Central WV from Portsmouth to Gallipolis-Pt. Pleasant to Elizabeth-Sutton, your accumulations may double those along I-64. So 8" north and 4 inches south are conservative estimates.

It's off to Ironton to brief the Southern Ohio safety Council.


“Monster” Winter Resumes

Talk about blind luck, my annual trip to Ironton to speak to the Southern Ohio Safety Council on Friday will come as a piece of a monster winter eastern storm will be affecting the region.

Last year I had a touch of bronchitis coming on when I spoke to the gang. Thanks to my sickness, I let my guard down and mentioned a Blizzard was possible before Christmas. I showed how all our long range forecast models, the European, Canadian and American equations were on board for a heavy snowstorm.

Full disclosure, six days later a snowfall did occur, but much meeker than my interpretation of the models suggested. Moral of the story, be careful what you say when talking snowstorms!

This year, I am healthier and wiser than last year, but I will be telling the 75 severe weather coordinators who come to hear me that two east coast blizzards will be CLOSE TO OUR REGION the next 5 days.

Again THIS WEKEND our supercomputers are hawking a gargantuan Mid Atlantic Snowstorm that may well earn Blizzard of 2010 status. Travel is absolutely not recommended Friday afternoon thru Sunday dawn along I-68 out of Morgantown to Hagerstown (12”-20”), I-81 thru Western Virginia (12”+), I-71-70 from Indy and Cincy to Columbus and Pittsburgh (6”-12”), I-77 south from Tamarack to Beckley-Wytheville (12”+) and I-64 out of Beckley to Lewisburg and Blacksburg (12”+).

This pattern reminds me of three other storm periods in my life, namely, February of 1967 (Ash Wednesday Blizzard in Philly), January-February of 1978 and January-February of 1996. That 1996 stretch led to the snowiest winter on record in Charleston (106.5” fell that season at Yeager airport).

All three periods featured snowstorm after snowstorm with arctic cold to boot. It is no wonder that my gut tells me the coldest and snowiest weather of winter may still be ahead!

My latest forecast for Friday suggests the air temperature is too high for more than a slushy accumulation of snow and sleet mainly on grass and roofs in the I-64 corridor. Periods of snow, sleet and rain will alternate all day with a cold wind our constant companion.

In Northern Kentucky-Southern Ohio, the famous snow belt will be at it again. Roughly west of a line from Vanceburg to Haverhill to Rio Grande to Pomeroy, wet snow should fall much of the day with several inches accumulating. Again, there will be more accumulation on grass and cars than on the slushed over roads and sidewalks.

Tonight, as a genuine east coast blizzard cripples the WASHINGTON DC-BALTIMORE area, the air will turn cold enough for the mix to transition back to snow. The faster the changeover, the more new accumulations will occur.

I suspect we are looking at as much snow on the ground in the I-64 corridor on Saturday as last week. I will stick with my initial feelings of a general 4 inches of new accumulation area-wide Friday night-Saturday.

That would bring accumulations in Interior Southern Ohio to 8”, with 4” along I-64 and the Coalfields (where Friday would have ended with a wet not white ground).

One final note, next week’s storm kind of reminds me of the Martin Luther King Day storm of 1994, at least as it is depicted on our weather charts. That storm was a “Katie Bar the Door” snow maker. Of course that’s five days away and we have plenty of time to watch that one.

So this Super Bowl weekend, enjoy the game and stay abreast of snow conditions as the Monster Jam comes to Charleston in this monster winter of 2010.
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