Winter’s Debut a Spring Affair
The astronomical calendar turns from fall to winter at high noon on Saturday as the solstice ushers in the new season. Remarkably, the temperature will be near 70 degrees as folks clad in shirt sleeves and even Bermuda shorts await Santa’s trip from venerable Oakes Field to the Indian Mound in South Charleston.
Record highs will be threatened both Saturday and Sunday as an uncommonly warm, semi-tropical air mass invades for the first 2 days of winter.
At Archer Park in Prestonsburg Kentucky Saturday night’s annual Festival of Lights display will feature Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round rides for the kids and train rides through the park’s magical light display. Remarkably the temperature will remain in the 60s all night long.
By Sunday morning a round of rowdy squalls will be passing with heavy rains, gusty winds and rumbles of thunder. Feeding on the near record warmth, the downpours can muster enough might to create localized street flooding while the winds may flicker the power as they gust near 50 miles per hour.
Outdoor Christmas lights and inflatables should be securely fastened down just in case!
While most streams will handle the rain no problems, heavier rains at the headwaters of the Scioto River near Columbus will team with snow melt in Central Ohio to send a rising surge down the Scioto. So interests in Pike and Scioto Counties should keep tabs on any rises.
A change to colder will get underway on Monday with the prospects for a coating of snow looking good for Monday night and Christmas Eve. Given the arctic chill that will be taking hold on Tuesday into Christmas morning, chances are good whatever snow falls will remain on the ground for Santa’s trip in from the North Pole.
That raises the sure bet flag for a white Christmas at the ski lodges (where in excess of 6 inches of snow can be expected), ups the ante for a few inches of snow in the low mountains of WV (Beckley, Bluefield, Richwood, Webster Springs, Buckhannon, Elkins even Morgantown). Elsewhere it’s a punchers chance at a covering of snow for Christmas morning.