Tony previews Thursday's windswept landscape

Mother Nature set to deliver a spring daily double
(Source: WAVE News)
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 8:53 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - In a season that has fashioned just a little snow (on track for Top 10 “snow-liest” on record) and only one shock cold wave (December Polar Vortex), the phrase “spring in winter” best describes what we will face on Thursday. Trouble is when you combine a falling pressure (aches and pains alert), with rising temperatures in February (near record highs in the low 70s), that is normally the recipe for some rowdy weather.

In Thursday’s case, a daylong surge in temperature (highs of 70 or better) and wind (a 10-hour siege of strong winds with some gusts to 50 miles per hour) will challenge cable TV reception as well as the power grid.

Here’s how the day will play out. Oddly the amount and duration of rain will be small and short lived. Double checked your batteries in case!

Overnight through dawn Thursday, temperatures will hang out in the 50s. An overnight ground dampening shower will be the worst we see falling from the sky. As the sun rises and breaks through the cloud cover, any shower will whisk away rendering WSAZ dual doppler radar scans often quiet.

Temperatures will jump into the 60s as the wind picks up to 20 then 25 then 30 miles per hour before noon. By afternoon, despite a brief passing squall of rain (lasting a half hour or less), the sun will come out and shine brightly. That sunlight will turbo-charge the rise in temperature (folks at dog park, playground in shorts and shirt sleeves). Just in case, watch the record highs of 74 in Charleston (set back in the roaring 20s) and 77 in the River Cities (at the tail end of the great flood in 1937)!

The winds will be especially chaotic from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. when the strongest winds at the key 3-5,000 foot range will be tapped by a process known as downward transport (DT). During DT events, the winds aloft are “pulled down to the ground” like a vacuum cleaner sucks up dust from the carpet. Since the wind will blow hard for an 8-10 hour period, there will be sporadic and patchy power outs starting as early as Noon and all the way through sunset.

If Thursday is your trash day and the sanitation engineers normally come in the afternoon, I would wait until right before they hit your street to place cans outside. Else the clang-ety-clang of cans rolling down the street will be heard!

One final note focuses on the Marquee on the Interstate billboard: namely, “WIND ADVISORY”. This means high-profile vehicles in particular will be susceptible to the sway of the wind. So hold on tightly to the steering wheel.

The weather will settle for Friday and Saturday before a southern Appy mountain snowstorm draws a little too close for comfort by Sunday. Early call is a half a foot or more of snow at Boone-Asheville with some snow accumulation in our far southern counties. As for the rest of us you ask? It will take a northward jog in the snow to get us happy!