Winter's Triumphant Return

Winter is off and running after a weekend of wet snow. Now Tony says that snow is turning to ice.

Old Man Winter Snorting Again

I visited the BBT bank lot on Fifth avenue here in Huntington this evening where the St Joe’s Mens club manned the Big Brothers-Big Sisters Christmas tree lot.

The evening snow squall hit hard enough for Ray Frye, club president, to comment, “you could not see more than 100 feet thru the snow for a few minutes”. This particular snow burst dropped a fast and furious quarter to half inch of snow on the Frazier Firs and Scotch Pines, making for a true Winter Wonderland.

Patty Price, Big Bros-Sis director, told me “sales are way up compared to last year. People are in the spirit for sure.” Bet the snow helped out Patty!

Let’s go back to the squall, which coated roads for a brief time and no doubt made for some slick conditions for evening Church goers. Once the snow shower had ended, roads trended damp as air and ground temperatures are still not cold enough, as of 9PM, for a general ice up.

I asked our producers to keep an ear to the scanner as air once temperatures drop a few more degrees, the icing effect will be an issue. As of 11 pm still quiet on the scanner.

So far, the past 36 hours of snow have not been wrought with a lot of ice since the ground is still “relatively warm” after the long fall. Don’t get me wrong some slippery travel has been had in spots, but a big freeze up has been avoided as temperatures have remained in the upper 20s.

After the mild fall, a general upward heat flux in the ground can only be overcome with a deep freeze of at least 6-8 degrees below freezing for a 3 hour period.

That will threshold will be met overnight as harsh westerly winds blow colder air into town and temperatures settle deep into the 20s and even upper teens by dawn.

A fresh coating of snow overnight can occur anywhere a snow shower wanders through. Given the deeper polar cold that is settling in, we should overcome the fall warmth after midnight. That tells a coating of snow will hide ice underneath and make walking and driving on untreated surfaces slippery. Road crews will need to retreat highways and school delays will be common in the morning.

On Monday a general off and on snow shower and flurry pattern should give way to an evening burst of accumulating snow. That burst may well lay down a fresh 1”-3” across the region and likely lead to school delays and closings again come Tuesday's bell.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, our viewers in Nicholas and Webster Counties have already picked up a half a foot of snow, with another 6 to 12 inches along with blowing and drifting on tap for Monday. Can you say “blizzard conditions”? A Winter Storm Warning is in effect in these "snowbound" counties!

Welcome back Old Man Winter!
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