Super Sunday snowstorm stays south, barely

Weekend Southern Storm to graze region
Super Sunday snowstorm stays south, barely
Super Sunday snowstorm stays south, barely(Northern News Now)
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 9:43 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -In a winter where the phrase “watching a southern storm” has been a novelty, the mention this Super Bowl weekend of a heavy wet snowstorm in the Appy mountains is sure to catch the fancy of snow lovers.

How slow has the snow season been locally? Well at this pace (only 2-3″ in the metro Huntington-Charleston region), we are on track to end up in the top 10 “snow-liest” winters on record. Kids don’t look up that word “snow-liest” since it will not show up on the next National Spelling Bee.

Of course Super Bowl weekend is in the heart of winter and it would only take one southern storm like this weekend’s to change our snow fate!

Turns out the ingredients for a heavy wet, power out producing snowstorm are there for a narrow region in the high country just to our south. Take the zone along I-77 from Bluefield to Wytheville, Va., and then into North Carolina diverting to Boone and Asheville. This region will awaken to a winter wonderland on Sunday with a bough-bending snowstorm.

Travel along I-77 from Bluefield to Statesville, N.C., will be highly variable. In the lower elevations rain and melting wet snow will render roads wet or slushy in spots. But across the higher terrain the snow fall rate will far exceed the melting rate and a heavy wet sloppy accumulation of snow will lay down a gooey mess to travel upon.

Locally the shield of rain and mixed wet snow will get as far north as our coalfields and perhaps briefly the I-64 by Sunday noon before being cut off at the pass by drier air. With temperatures of 35-40, our roads would be wet at worst. Now on the high ground of Southern West Virginia and southeast Kentucky from the Breaks Interstate Park on the Kentucky-Virginia border to Bluefield-Beckley-Lewisburg, a mantle of wet snow a few inches thick is likely. That means skiers heading to Winterplace to get some runs in before the Super Bowl kicks will enjoy some freshly falling and sticking wet snow.

But if one travels a bit farther south and west to Boone and Asheville, N.C., the air will be colder by a few degrees and more wet snow that rain will fall. Accumulations there can reach 6 inches to a foot.

So Super Bowl party travel conditions should be wet at worst south of I-64 where a chilly rain and mixed wet snow occur.