8 AM Update
So far no thunder reported so snow accumulations are coming in a respectable 3"-6" with another few hours to go.
With winds gusting to 25 miles per hour, the dry powdery snow is being blown around quite readily. That accounts for the level 3 snow advisories out for Meigs and Vinton Ohio and Mingo WV.
Skiers call this a champagne powder. Ski-lightful!
Watch for refreezing tonight as the sun sets and temperatures tank.
Original 3AM Posting
Early Monday morning the March Lion was roaring up a snow and sleet fall across our region with roads snow and ice covered from City Park in McArthur Ohio to the Judd Plaza in Ashland to Black Walnut Avenue in Spencer.
Meanwhile the window for ice accretion to create power outages had closed by 4am as only sleet and snow were falling. While there has been some ice build-up, the duration of freezing rain has been too small for widespread power outs.
Keep in mind that sleet is a pure form of ice falling from the sky as a solid mass. Unlike freezing rain (water falling) which sticks to the trees and power lines, sleet bounces off and in itself does not create power problems.
Now our attention turns to a snow burst for the pre-dawn and morning rush hour. At 3am Dual Doppler was indicating a large area of moderate to heavy snow that was spreading across the Bluegrass and into West Virginia. Staying south of the Ohio River, it appeared the heaviest snow would skirt the Buckeye State.
The rich blues on doppler radar were a dead give away that a period of intense snowfall was set to arrive in the 4 am until 9 am time slot along and south of I-64.
At the height of the snow, whiteout snows will reduce vision to a mere block or 2 and fall at the rate of one to two inches per hour in spots. Thunder and lightning were possible in this stretch especially from Charleston south along the turnpike to Beckley and along Route 119 toward Madison, Logan, Williamson and Pikeville.
That same heavy snow monster was to greet folks heading south along Routes 52, 152 and 10 through Wayne, Lincoln, Logan and Mingo Counties WV and from Louisa south to Paintsville, Inez, Prestonsburg and Pikeville on the famous Country Music Highway.
By mid-morning, the snows will be winding down after delivering a 4 inch punch in much of the Buckeye State, and a half a foot or more along and south of I-64. Some communities in the “thunder zone” can pick up 10 inches of snow.
As the skies brighten this afternoon, the sun will penetrate to the ground and roads will trend slushy courtesy of a combination of solar energy, chemicals on roads and traffic.
But a word to the wise, that heavy slush and slop will freeze solidly tonight as temperatures take still another polar plunge and end up near 5 to 10 above zero.
It's all part of the End Game of the Great Winter of 2014!