Springy though Wet End to Holiday Weekend

Monday Weather Far from Presidential

It’s the final holiday of the winter season and this go round, not unlike other President’s Days of years gone by, a big storm will be close by. I will have more on those record setting years later.

As for this Monday, a showery, spring-like pattern will take hold with rains sitting to our north much of the day. Off and on showers should give construction workers some meaningful pay thru early afternoon before soaking rains sag south to I-64 by late day. Temperatures will start in the 50s and hit 60 during the midday hours when rains are spotty.

Meanwhile, a snow and ice fall will affect much of Northern Ohio and Indiana on Monday. Towns like Indianapolis, Cleveland and Pittsburgh will be shoveling snow and sleet on the cold side of the storm front.

That front will sag thru our region Monday night accompanied by gusty rains and even a few rumbles of thunder. The big questions become how fast will the cold air bleed in behind the front and will the chilly air intercept the moisture from the storm. Under the perfect set-up, rain would change to sleet and snow and we would have a slushy accumulation by Tuesday’s school bell.

Now back to great President’s Days storms of yester-year.

By way of a review, infamous President’s Day storms include the Blizzard of 1979 and the Ice Storm of 2003. The former grazed our world here in Appalachia with a moderate snowfall while burying Philadelphia in a massive storm. That Monday in Philly, snow fell sideways for hours and I still remember the afternoon walk I took thru waist deep drifts. Yes, the Blizzard of 1979 inspired a senior physics major at Drexel University to become a meteorologist.

As for the 2003 Ice Storm, much of our region from Vanceburg and Greenup Kentucky to Portsmouth, Gallipolis Ohio and Ripley-Spencer-Sutton WV saw life come to a standstill as power was knocked to tens of thousands. Freezing rain weighed down trees and power lines ultimately cutting out electrical utilities. In Charleston and Chapmanville, to name a few towns, sleet accumulated to a depth of 4 inches. This would be the worst ice storm in more than 50 years for many!

The 2003 storm was cold enough to the north to produce a 20” snowstorm from Columbus, Athens and Marietta, Ohio to Parkersburg, Clarksburg and Elkins WV. On the south flank, stream and river valley flooding swallowed up Kentucky Coalfield Counties like Martin, Pike and Floyd.

It was indeed a storm to remember in 2003.

And finally, on this president’s day weekend, I salute weather savvy chief executives like Thomas Jefferson who kept a weather diary at Monticello and Harry Truman who began every day as president with a personal briefing of the weather before tackling domestic and international politics. My kind of presidents!
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