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Fast moving ‘clipper’ brings snow risk tonight

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 3:29 PM EST
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(WSAZ) - Wednesday night will feature a 3 to 5 hour period of snow across much of the region with an emphasis along and south of I-64.

An inch or two of accumulation is likely for Wednesday evening into the wee hours of Thursday morning. School delays or closings in rural Appalachia are likely.

Dry cold weather will follow Thursday into Friday and Saturday before a southern storm sends its mixed shield our way.

For a little background; when a weather system dives out of the Canadian prairies on its way to the Atlantic, we often refer to these systems as “clippers”. Clippers were first christened decades ago as a whimsical designation of a fast moving arctic front armed with wind, snow and cold. Perhaps it was the great winters of the 1970s that inspired these storms as a comparison to a clipper ship.

Think of Robert Fulton’s steamship “the Clermont” of fame in the 1800′s. These ships were the fastest of their time as they whisked their way along their chosen waterways. Likewise weather systems coming from Canada at this time of year often earn the distinction.

Many meteorologists will claim a low pressure coming from the Central Rockies by way of the Pacific does not fit the bill for “clippers”. But, I disagree as an arctic cold front from Canada will link up with the Colorado low pressure to make a “clipper-like” appearance on Wednesday night.

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