Don’t look now, but that early afternoon downpour pushed Huntington past the 6 inch rain mark for the month of December. So we can now boast that this is one of the top 5 wettest Decembers since record keeping began (in the late 1800s).
These TGIF rains are responsible for lower ceilings in much of Appalachia, so some evening flight delays are likely. As of 3 PM, Yeager and Tri-State airports reported a moderate rain with ceilings running 600 feet in Kenova to 1300 feet in Charleston. The low ceilings will demand pilots rely on instruments to fly this evening and that will create some flight delays on its own.
Meanwhile, while the wet weather has not quite reached to hubs in Pittsburgh and Charlotte (though it will by dusk), both those airports are reporting ceilings in the 1500 foot range. Once rain starts, those ceilings will drop and flight delays will ensue.
Already significant delays are on-going in Chicago where O’Hare field has a vertical visibility of only 600 feet (low ceiling) and a horizontal visibility of a mere 2600 feet (half mile) in heavy snow. As if the low visibilities and ceilings are not enough hazards to flying, snow brings in the likelihood of evening deicing. Add it up and the commuter bound for or coming in from Chi-town will be late.
Here’s a look at the FAA’s home page for flight delays to keep you posted on the friendly skies:
As for the Northeast corridor, the rains and low ceilings will hold off until late tonight in the Wash DC-Philly-NYC-Boston corridor. By dawn, that rain will keep flights out of the 3 NYC airports on pins and needles, so if you are flying into the Big Apple to take in the Pats-Giants game, you will be late getting in thru noon. By the way, you can see that game right here on WSAZ on Saturday evening. (For the record, I don’t see the weather being a factor by game time as the Pats struggle again but win. Their Waterloo will come in the playoffs).
Sunday travel weather looks fine in the Ohio Valley though a southern storm will need to be closely monitored for any last minute turn west. Look for lower ceilings with light rain and slow traffic into and out of Charlotte’s Douglas International airport. This rain and even snow will spread north to Philly and NYC by dusk. My gut says wet snow falls in the West Virginia mountains so travel may wel be slushy by Sunday afternoon and night just east of Charleston.