Snowy First Weekend of December

Snow is in the forecast this weekend and for most of next week. Tony reminisces about a similiar pattern from 1989 in his newest blog.

Snow Hits Lawrence Ohio Chamber

It has become a tradition. The first Friday of December I make a trip to South Point Ohio to talk to the Lawrence County Ohio Safety Council. Basically, safety directors of businesses of the Chamber of Commerce gather for a bit of holiday cheer and a look ahead at the winter’s weather.

So it was that I made the trip along state route 23 to visit Bob Smith and friends.

Armed with my favorite Internet website and an early season blockbuster cold and snow pattern in hand, I pontificated about the harsh weather that was setting in.

My talk got off to a slow start when everyone said they watched me, but nobody seemed to know what the “windshield” test was about. More on that later!

Quickly I recovered to ask how many skiers were in the house? Ahh, several hands went up and we were off and running. “Well, conservatively 10-20 inches of snow will fall at Canaan Valley, Snowshoe and Winterplace next week. And I really believe the accumulations over a 10 day period will be more like 30 or 40 inches”, I reported with glee. Jeff and Viviane Vallance were among the pleased snow geese heading to the mountains. “We are packed and ready to go next weekend, Tony. Bring on the snow”, said Viv!

As I showed the jet stream pattern across North America, there was a singular theme. Our air for the next few weeks was to come straight from the frozen snow fields of Northern Canada.

I alluded to the Great Christmas cold wave of 1989 (my third living in the Ohio Valley) when rime ice coated our trees, wisps of arctic sea smoke dangled from the mighty Ohio and large chunks of floe ice filled the river. “This pattern shows some similarities to that year”, I exhorted. I hastened to add the cold and snow setting in for December would have the look and feel of the Klondike!

In effect, we should see a daily accumulation of snow most every day for the predictable future. That starts on Saturday with a fast moving wet snowfall that will arrive from the Mississippi Valley.

Snow will likely make bridges slick mid morning into early afternoon then as temperatures inch above freezing, roads would trend wet and slushy for time.

But the normal fall in temperature at night combined with a fresh covering of snow will create a new round of slippery driving.

I want to stress one thing. This is the HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON and local events like the LIONS CLUB ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR at the Big Sandy Superstore arena are counting on you and me to support their efforts. SO PLEASE DO NOT TRANSLATE MY FORECAST OF SNOW as an excuse to stay at home on Saturday and Sunday.

Instead, be prudent in traveling and slow down when it is snowing. ‘Nuf said.

Snowfall accumulations will range in the one to 3 inch range Saturday during sunlight hours. Some settling is likely before a fresh night time inch or two falls.

So if all goes well, we should have enough snow on the ground to build some early season snowmen and for belly flopper's to test their favorite sledding hill.

With more snow and cold in the forecast thru next weekend, my only regret is that Christmas is not closer at hand. After all, it is unlikely these early season snows will be on the ground by Christmas eve.

One final note, the windshield test refers to your ability to inspect the moisture (snow, ice, slush, water) on your windshield to detect black ice on a bridge you may soon cross. If the mositure has frozen to your windshield, beware black ice on the bridge. If the moisture has let go of your windshield, the bridge will just be damp.

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