'Dirty Dozen' Thursday ends with wet snow

The first rain of November will be a soaker. Chief meteorologist Tony headlines the impacts and hints at a wild winter ahead.

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The month of November is off to a quiet though crisp start. The chilled fogs, hard frosts and sub-freezing temperatures abruptly ended the growing season that seemed like it would go on forever after the heat of September and October.

But weather patterns can flip like a switch in November as the days grow shorter and cold air builds over the snowpack of Canada. While a month ago a wind shift to the north was worth a nice 10-degree drop in temperature now that same change in direction can sponsor a more dramatic plunge in temperature. Enter Thursday’s weather to supply just that!

The first light of Thursday will dawn with a grey overcast and temperatures in the 40s. Light rain should be skimming southern Ohio on its way into central and northern West Virginia at 8 a.m. As the morning wears on, a steady rain will unfold across Kentucky and spread into West Virginia with temperatures holding in the 50s from Charleston southward yet, staying in the chillier 40s all day in Ohio.

Accumulations of rain will be a healthy third to half an inch. Since the rains will be accompanied by blustery winds in the afternoon, a significant fall of leaves will occur. That means French and storm drains that get clogged by the fallen leaves will show some minor ponding of water.

The afternoon rain will also come at the expense of falling temperatures, courtesy of a wind shift from the southwest in the morning to northwest by late day. As colder air arrives on the heels of that northwest wind, the race will be on for the colder air to catch up to the rain and change it to snow for a brief period.

While the duration (short) and impact (melting) of the snow will be inconsequential, I often use the first changeover as a litmus test for the winter ahead. Should we get an hour of wet melting snow, that could be ominous for our prospects for snow in the winter ahead. Stay tuned on that.

One final cautionary word focuses on a sub-freezing Thursday night following a good rainfall. That means an early alert for black ice where water pools is needed for Friday morning.