A winter storm arriving Sunday could drop up to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow, according to the forecasters — but the prediction remains uncertain depending on the track of the storm, which is currently charging south through the midwest before looping back north along the Appalachian Mountains.
The National Weather Service office in Charelston has issued a winter storm watch for the entire state of West Virginia for Sunday and Monday.
“Heavy snow possible,” the watch reads. “Snow may change over to freezing rain during the afternoon Sunday. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches possible with up to 10 inches for higher elevations.”
The storm could make traveling on the state’s roads treacherous Sunday and Monday.
“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the NWS warns. “The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. Moderate to heavy snow will likely reduce visibilities at times. Along higher elevations, winds could gust as high as 35 mph.”
The NWS calls the forecast “very complicated” with the bulk of the snowfall expected to our south-east.
“The snow amount forecast remains complicated,” according to a post from the Charleston office. “At least 4″ of snow is likely for the entire region with 10″ or more in the mountains. In the lower elevations, mixed precipitation early in the event may cut into snow totals. So, Huntington, Charleston, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, basically anywhere west of the mountains, you have the lowest confidence in snow totals right now.”
Travel complications and power outages are the main concerns.
“No matter how much snow actually ends up falling, it’s a fair assumption that travel conditions will deteriorate Sunday into Sunday night and likely remain poor into Monday as the system moves away,” the post reads. “This will likely be a heavier, wet snow that may bring down trees and powerlines and result in at least some power outages where the heaviest snow falls.”
Temperatures are expected to hover in the 30s during the day and high teens at night through Tuesday.
Regardless of the weather, schools are already scheduled to be closed for the holiday weekend, with Upshur County schools dismissing early Friday and remaining closed on MLK Day Monday.