Valentine's Weekend Thaw


Weekend Thaw, the Good and Bad
It’s the Valentine's weekend and Cupid needs to know how fast the wind will blow and how much sun will shine before he can target his arrows.
It's also mid-winter here in the heart of Appalachia and one thing for sure. If it does not snow a single flake the rest of the season, we have had our full.
As of Friday, snowfall for the season ranges from 25 inches at Pullman Square in downtown Huntington to 35 inches at Yeager airport in the hills around Charleston to more than 9 feet at the Four Seasons Lodge in Richwood, Nicholas County.
What sets this winter apart is the overall dry, powdery nature of the snows. Take Wednesday night when a coating of snow left behind a granular deposit that was fit for neither snowmen nor snowballs.
Skiers have enjoyed a great run of packed powder bases all season long with a few rare weekends of champagne powder, the best surface to ski on.
For this Valentine’s Day weekend ahead, some Saturday flurries will be the best we can muster locally, though an inch or two of snow is likely for down-hillers challenging Shay’s Revenge and Cupp Run at Snowshoe and Gravity Trail at Canaan Valley.
By Sunday, 50 degree air will take a stab at the region as gusty winds arrive with the milder air on its wings. My concern is that after a winter that has lacked wet snows and heavy rains over all, the ground could dry out just enough for a brush fire.
How might that happen you ask? Well, Sunday’s 50 degree air will be spiced with winds gusting to 25 miles per hour. So the ground will be drying, especially the top soil. Since at this time of year, there are no temporal (time of day) restrictions to burning, if you decide to get rid of your cabin fever and get a jump on spring cleaning, please burn carefully. A fire can easily get out of hand on a windy, mild February day if the ground is dry.
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