Afternoon Snow Blitz Likely

Travelers on Friday, take notice. Tony says an impressive snow burst is coming in from the north.

Snow Burst to Impress

So far this week’s snow pattern has been spotty and sporadic with more sighs than wows from snow lovers. Aided by mid day melting from the stronger late winter sun, only hills and hollows secluded from Ol Sol have managed to maintain snow on the ground.

But before we proclaim this as a sign of a fading winter, let’s face up to a new reality! A fierce east coast Blizzard is peppering snow down at the rate of 1”-2” per hour from my hometown of Philly to the Big Apple and inland New England (it is raining on the coast).

What’s so impressive about this cyclone, its arm of moisture and whirlwinds are spinning away from the center and heading southwestward toward Northern West Virginia. This will promote a jet speed max to form (strong winds at the 5,000 foot level). Those winds will approach the Appalachian mountains in a perfectly perpendicular (90 degree) fashion on Friday.

I recall a pattern like this last winter, the same day the plane went down near Kenova. That day the winds a mile high up acted like a huge fan, funneling moisture and energy into a cauldron. My forecast of an inch of snow turned into a fast and furious wind blown 4”-6”.

Only after a year of study did I read where “snow may have played a factor” in the crash. ( I do not recall the source where I read that ascertion, though from a meteorologist's perspective it was obvious that weather "MAY HAVE" played a role. My initial attribution of this statement to the FFA has been stricken from this blog thanks to an e-mail from Greg Hendry of Barboursville).

So here’s my best time table and accumulation forecast for Friday.

Whiteout snows will accompany this spoke of energy as it spins south from Pittsburgh to Morgantown, Clarksburg, Elkins late Friday morning. Travel on I-79 north out of Fairmont to the Steel City, I-68 from WVU to Cumberland will be difficult. This is the reason the sign says, “adverse weather conditions next 36 miles” thru Preston and Garrett Counties.

Next stop will be Parkersburg, Sutton in the early afternoon with the I-64 corridor to get in on the “fun” by late afternoon.

Since there may be some melting snow in the afternoon, I will go with a generic 2”-4” as this snow burst crosses the region Friday afternoon thru Saturday morning. You can double that amount in the mountains and from Sutton north to Morgantown where we have the making of blizzard conditions as the wind howls and snow peppers down.

Travel conditions figure to deteriorate Friday afternoon, so check with our updated forecasts on Newschannel 3 and at WSAZ.COM.
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