Winter Relaxes a Tad

 
I have heard sports guys like Keith say it often before. The “big time” college sports programs (like my football Nits and Chris’ basketball Cats) reload year after year. Graduating seniors or underclassmen who leave early (BTW, the latter rarely happens at PSU where we boast true “scholar-athletes”) don’t seem to stop the behemoths. Instead these programs just reload with new talent and keep their top 10 status.
 
Well after a harsh 6 weeks of cold and snowy weather, this weekend we graduate from the first half of winter (remember, my definition of winter is December-January-February) to the second. The question that beckons, are we going to have to rebuild winter (which can take a few weeks) or have it reload?
 
A quick look at the 7 to 14 day weather charts suggests the answer is a resounding yes! Winter is reloading with the harshest (coldest and snowiest) part of winter still ahead!
 
Now in the short term, this Martin Luther King weekend will not feature any “severe” winter weather. Sure a slushy coating of snow can greet church goers on Sunday morning. In addition, some black ice will be forming every night thru the King weekend as the daytime thaw produces slush which then refreezes into patchy ice during the nocturnal freeze. But to me the highlight of the weekend is the melt down of the snow pack as highs aim for 40 on Saturday and near freezing on Sunday.
 
A word of caution on Saturday’s feeling! An extensive afternoon cloud cover will team with a blustery westerly wind to rob the air of any warm sensation. So if you have procrastinated and not taken down all those Christmas decorations, you will still need a pair of gloves.
 
Skiers heading to the mountains will enjoy a groomed packed powder surface with daytime highs in the upper 20s and overnight lows in the teens, ideal temperatures for skiing!
 
Earlier I had some concern that a mixed bag of snow, sleet and rain could arrive on Monday. While that is still a possibility, it now appears the risk is more slanted toward Monday night and Tuesday.
 
After a mid-week light snowfall, our attention will turn to the possible linkage of a southern storm and new arctic outbreak next weekend in time for the WSAZ Wrestling Invitational.
 
Early call would be for a shot of bitter cold next weekend (lows near zero possible close by) with a fresh snowfall. How frigid and how much snow, you ask? Well we may have to wait until the takedowns have begun at the Big Sandy next Friday night before we can add clarity to that one.
 
One thing for sure, Old Man Winter is not weary enough to go into hibernation. Instead, he is merely reassembling the pieces in the weather puzzle that will likely lead to a harsh end to January and beginning of February.
 
On a more optimistic note, the sun is setting a minute or two later every day and rising a minute or 2 earlier every morning. Given how hard this winter has been and will be going forward, even I must admit that spring weather can’t get here soon enough.
 
For fellow snow lovers, Donna Keblesh donated the enclosed picture of a snowy log cabin in the back country near Summersville Lake. As I told Tim on the air, "as long as there are provisions, hot running water and Cable/Direct TV", I am there!
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