Early snow and cold snap bears down on region

Chief meteorologist Tony Cavalier talks about the first serious dose of winter -- more than a month before winter officially starts.

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Late Monday evening, a large swath of snow was swooping in from the west. An early evening period of light rain with temperatures in the 50s was a Trojan horse of sorts to the incoming cold and snow.

Just before 8 p.m., Huntington-Ashland-Ironton experienced a cold frontal passage announced by swirling 30 mile per hour winds and a leaf fall that saw spin-up dust devils dancing down the streets. The temperature fell from 60 to 45 by 9 p.m.

“Hot(err Cold)” on the heels of the rain, wet snow was falling across most of western and central Ohio. In Kentucky from the horse farm country along I-75 westward grassy surfaces, cars and rooftops were whitened. In the lower Ohio Valley temperatures in the 20s from Paducah to Cairo, Illinois, spelled slick travel conditions.

For our region, the change from rain to snow was to commence before 10 p.m. west and be complete east to Charleston by 1 a.m. The first two hours of the snow was to fall onto a warmed ground and melt at the surface after a 65 degree Vets Day. Then a three- to four-hour window for steady, ground whitening, road slushing snow was set to commence.

By dawn, temperatures will have crashed into the 20s, so many highway crews will be out salting roads and bridges. The slushy covering of snow will hide ice underneath, rendering walking and driving slick in spots.

Since the snow will taper off by 5 a.m. in the River Cities-Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky but not until 7 a.m. from Charleston south of Route 119, a significant alerting of the school schedule is likely.

So the while calendar says we are only a little more than a month past that insufferable September-early October heat wave that gripped the region as we welcomed the autumn season, come first light of Tuesday there will be no doubt that Old Man Winter is making an early “unwelcome” appearance.