CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM), the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) and other West Virginia State Agencies are preparing for the impact of a significant snowstorm hitting the state today.
As of 10 a.m., the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has communicated with all Regional Liaison Officers in West Virginia and participated in a weather briefing from the National Weather Service. Snowfall is just beginning in the Northern counties, predicted to impact the central and southern counties later in the afternoon and early evening along a rain and snow line. All regions report good conditions at the onset of this storm and no county or jurisdiction has unmet needs or significant issues at this time.
County Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) continue to monitor weather conditions, anticipating heavy snowfall in the north that could cause isolated utility outages. All EOCs remain in communication with the SEOC and will provide situational reports and updates to state officials.
The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) crews are pretreating interstates as conditions warrant, monitoring conditions and the treatment of roadways, especially in the Northeast Panhandle. Crews are positioned to treat roads as the snow begins to fall southward across the state and stand ready to assist first responders when needed. Drivers can stay up to date on the latest driving conditions and travel alerts by visiting www.wv511.org.
The latest update from the National Weather Service in Charleston shows significant snowfall likely for Northern West Virginia and Eastern Panhandle counties with a Winter Storm Warning, where as much as 4 to 8 inches could fall. There are forecasts for widespread slick roads with some areas becoming impassable with low to zero visibility and power outages due to wet, heavy snow. The Kanawha Valley, Central Mountains, Ohio River counties and Northern Panhandle are in a Winter Weather Advisory for primarily snow, generally 2 to 4 inches. Slick roads and periods of reduced visibility with heavier snow bands are predicted.
The coal fields and southern mountains will see snow less than two inches. Some slick spots may develop on roads briefly during the evening with rain-to-snow transition, before temperatures warm above freezing, or where temperatures remain near freezing.
The heaviest snowfall accumulations are forecast during the afternoon and evening. The snow system will exit the state overnight, with most watches or warnings expiring by Monday morning. The next forecast for hazardous temperatures at or below freezing are for Monday and Tuesday this week, with slick roads possible overnight due to freezing. For the most up-to-date information on Watches, Warnings and Advisories for West Virginia, visit https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/wv.php?x=1.
Citizens should continue to monitor their local weather situation via television, radio, and news outlets, the National Weather Service, and by following WVDHSEM on social media. WVDHSEM will be posting important safety messages this week as conditions develop to the WVDHSEM Facebook and Twitter pages at: https://www.facebook.com/WVDHSEM/ and https://twitter.com/WVDHSEM.
For the most up-to-date information on Watches, Warnings and Advisories for West Virginia, visit https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/wv.php?x=1.
For more information on how to prepare for winter weather, storms, and flooding:
- Shelters and disaster information by county: www.redcross.org/local/west-virginia/get-help.html
- FEMA Winter: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
- FEMA Flooding: https://www.ready.gov/floods
- Red Cross Winter: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm.html
- Red Cross Flooding: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood.html
- Weather.gov Ice Storms: https://www.weather.gov/safety/winter-ice-frost
- Road Conditions and Travel Information: www.wv511.org