Arctic Snow to Hit & Run
It’s mid-January and that means we have hit the center point of meteorological winter. With all due respect to March, the 3 coldest months of the year should constitute the weatherman’s winter and that distinction is earned by December, January and February.
So on this Wednesday evening, the so called “dead of the winter” is upon us and no surprise another fast moving arctic storm is planning its assault on our region.
Overnight flurries will leave a dusting in a few communities, long before Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are hoisted by late afternoon on Thursday.
While a streak of light snow is likely to skim Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio by Thursday afternoon, when push comes to shove, our next round of accumulating snows will arrive near or after sundown.
Travel conditions will deteriorate quickly on Thursday evening as snow peppers down and is whipped by a blustery wind. I would expect a 3 or 4 hour period of heavy snow centered around 9 PM. Most areas should get hit with a 2 by 4 (two to 4 inches) by midnight with another overnight inch bringing the average accumulation to 3 to 5 inches.
For visiting teams coming in for the WSAZ Wrestling Invitational, roads will be thoroughly plowed by noon Friday with interstates in decent shape.
As for downtown Huntington roads, Hal Greer Boulevard and 3rd and 5th avenues will be well treated and offer you the best access to the Big Sandy Arena. Less traveled roads like 6th avenue will not as friendly.
The trouble on Friday will be the frigid air that will follow the snowfall. By late afternoon Friday, the setting sun will reveal air temperatures near 15 degrees. At that temperature, rock salt will be rendered useless so if roads are snow and slush covered at sunset, they should be avoided at night as solid ice will be forming.
Saturday morning’s lows should dip into the zero to 10 above range. Temperatures will then recover into the 20s in the afternoon when some thawing thanks to the sun will help roads improve a bit under the light of day. That improvement will be arrested at night as slush refreezes again.
By the way, have you noticed? The days are getting longer as the sun is rising a minute earlier each day and setting a few minutes later. That’s a sure sign that spring can’t be too far off right? Let’s wait for Punxsutawney Phil’s say so before we do an Irish jig over a possible warm St. Patty’s Day!
Today's guest e-reporter is Kurtis Strickland of Oak Hill Ohio whose 18 month old son William loves building snowmen. By the way, snowmen will be harder to build on Friday since the new snow will be dry and powdery.