Arctic Weekend Ahead
I am here in Charleston for our Friday night shows as wet snow peppers down but melts as expected. Right now the ground and air temperatures are still warm enough to repel this latest comeback attempt from Old Man Winter.
Blake Shelton fans have jammed the I-64 exits coming into the Civic Center and high school basketball gyms are busy from the Rec Center in South Charleston to King Gym on UC’s campus. So far I have witnessed salt trucks moving into place, but they have not been given the go ahead to begin salting. As of 8pm the temperature stands at 33 at Yeager airport and 34 in Kanawha City.
In fact as of 8PM all the way back to Indianapolis, the air temperature is 34 degrees, a sure sign that evening travelers will find the going wet not icy. Now in a few areas, wet snow will come down hard enough to make roads a bit slushy for a time. But the big picture until pre-dawn is the same. Roads will be wet not icy.
All that will change between 5 and 10 AM on Saturday as a true arctic front passes the region. Armed with heavy snow and strong winds, the squalls that accompany the front will lay down a fast and furious 1”-3”. There is a slight risk of a rumble of thunder as the front marches through. Since this snow will hit as kids are heading off to take their ACT tests and to be part of youth basketball and ballet practices, the concern is that many events will attempt to call off.
After the arctic front passes, the air will be turning decidedly polar in feeling as dawn temperatures near 30 will drop steadily through the 20s all day long. That daytime drop will be accompanied by off and on snow showers which can lay down a fresh inch or 2 in any locale.
Saturday night with a fresh snow cover down should be the coldest of the season so far. Temperatures will bottom out near 12 degrees by sunrise Sunday with many mountain communities down near 5 to 10 above zero.
Sunday church goers will need to keep in mind that ice will have formed as slush and standing water will have refrozen solidly. The sun will play a game of hide and go seek with passing snow flurries.
Add it up and it’s a setting that Klondike Tony would enjoy!