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First major winter storm of the season could arrive Wednesday

Much of eastern West Virginia will be under a winter storm warning Wednesday as the first major storm of the season is expected to blanket the region in several inches of snow and ice.

The storm has prompted warnings that stretch from North Carolina through New York. Upshur and Barbour counties are predicted to receive up to eight inches of snow, with a foot possible in Randolph County

“Heavy mixed precipitation expected,” reads the warning from the National Weather Service covering Upshur and Barbour counties. “Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch.”

The winter storm warning runs from 4 a.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday, which means the morning commute Wednesday could be particularly treacherous.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” according to the NWS. “The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

Temperatures will remain cold, with the high a steady 37 degrees every day through Friday. The lows are expected to be in the mid-20s.

“Freezing rain will likely develop across the southern and central mountains, as well as across the southern coalfields of West Virginia Wednesday morning,” according to the NWS. “Areas of freezing rain will spread north to affect most of the foothills and western slopes through the afternoon hours. Meanwhile, the higher elevations will see all snow or mixed with rain at times through Wednesday night.”

The weather service upped the snowfall forecast in their Tuesday morning report.

“The forecast calls for an increase in ice accumulation over these areas, about a quarter of an inch possible,” the NWS says. “In addition, expect more snow than previously forecasted. Snow will be common everywhere, quickly transitioning into rain across the lowlands.

“However, it will be all snow over the higher elevations northeast mountains ranging to 10 to 12 inches over the highest peaks. The rest of the of the eastern sections could received from 1 to 6 inches of snow during the day Wednesday into Wednesday night.”

As the snow moves out, the cold will remain.

“Precipitation tapers off on Thursday for the most part, but some snow or mixed precipitation may still linger across the northeast mountains into Thursday,” according to the NWS. “Highs on Thursday will struggle to reach the lower 40s. High pressure builds in on Friday, followed by another system crossing by late Saturday, with a chance of rain/snow possible into Sunday. Temperatures will remain below normal into the weekend, then moderate to near normal values by Monday.”

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