Windswept Weekend Ahead

Fast Times Ahead This Weekend

(For ministers planning Easter services, I will open all my blogs in Lent with sunset and sunrise times for your Easter weekend activities.

Easter is early this year but we will be on Daylight Savings Time.

Easter Saturday sunset will be at 7:44 and Easter Sunday sunrise will be at 7:28.

Hopefully the weather will not be as cold or as snowy as last year!)

After a 2 day hiatus, FAST winds are due back in town this weekend. In fact, an e-mail from a loyal but anonymous WSAZ.COM reader focuses on the why of FAST winds?

Here’s the skinny. Two fronts will be crossing the region this weekend. That’s one per day! That’s FAST and trust me FAST fronts mean FASTER winds. In summer, fronts pass every 3 to 5 days. That’s much slower. Since FAST fronts have a lot more energy than SLOW ones, it makes sense that the FASTER the fronts, the FASTER the winds.

Now the first front on Saturday, which will pass one day later than the Friday front that whitened the rooftops with a skiff of snow from the Kanawha Valley down the Midland Trail to Summersville, will bring a light shower pre-dawn, followed by a brisk westerly wind.

By late Morning as the Sport Show kicks into high gear at the Charleston Civic Center, the sun will break thru the morning cloud deck. This will set into motion the process of downward transport as FAST gusty winds in the heavens above are drawn down to ground level. So look for FASTER winds on Saturday afternoon thanks to the sun.

How FAST you ask? Well winds will be blowing
at 25 miles per hour at the 3,000 foot level all day. So when the sun comes out, it will heat the ground below. That heated ground will heat the air above it (editor’s note: the sun DOES NOT heat the air directly, else it would be warmer in outer space closer to the sun that it is on earth).

Since heated air is light, it will rise. The rising air will leave a void that must be filled (it’s something called Continuity and it has a remarkable mathematical basis) for life to exist. That void is filled by cooler air aloft being drawn down to earth.
Since that air is tugged down from the 3,000 foot level, we will see afternoon gusts to 25 miles per hour. Hey, a good kite flying day is ahead!

Now those winds also swirl as they channel between the tall buildings downtown, so hold onto your hat as you make the walk from Virginia Street to Lee along Clendenin as you head over to the Civic Center or the Town Center Mall. Add 5 miles per hour to this channel effect and we are up to 30 mile per hour winds in short gusts!

By Saturday night, an arctic front will be pressing hard thru the region. The wind will freshen and the temperature will drop as evening Sport Show enthusiasts add a little bounce to their step. A band of snow flurries will announce the arrival of the front after 11 o’clock only to be followed by even FASTER winds. Gusts to 35 miles per hour will rattle the window panes overnight Saturday.

Sunrise Sunday will feel bitter cold as temperatures will settle into the 20s and FAST winds of 25-35 miles per hour will chill you and me to the bone! Bundle up as you head to church services.

Sunday afternoon the sun will return and this time drag down winds from the 3,000 foot level as high as 40 miles per hour! Wind chills will settle as low as 10 degrees during those really FAST winds.

For skiers in the mountains, air temperatures on Saturday will be in the mid 30s at Snowshoe, Canaan and Timberline and as high as 42 at Winterplace. By Sunday, watch out as the mercury gets stuck around 10 at Canaan and Snowshoe and 18 at Winterplace. Factor in a howling wind up to 50 miles per hour in the high country and the wind chill will dip as low as 20 below on Sunday. Some ski lifts and slopes that face the west wind may have to be closed for a time due to safety issues.

So get set for a FAST weekend!

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