Winter’s last hurrah (for a few days, at least)

Have you heard this story before? School is closed, snow is falling and Upshur County is under a winter weather warning.

Local students are enjoying an extended ‘winter break’ after missing two days to extreme cold and now a third to snow. In issuing the winter storm warning, the National Weather Service says to expect “heavy mixed precipitation, additional snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze” today.

The warning expires at 7 p.m. Friday evening.

“A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible,” the notice reads.

The long-term forecast is more favorable, with temperatures expected to rise over the weekend.

“Warm, moist return flow increases in the mid- to low-levels through the weekend, ushering a significant warming trend,” according to the forecast discussion from the NWS Charleston office. “Saturday and Saturday night remain mostly cloudy with remnant low-level moisture lingering, lapping up against the mountains in weak westerly flow.”

That means cloudy skies and warmer temperatures.

“Guidance points to temps reaching the 40s/50s Saturday, into the 30s overnight, and a good shot at reaching 60 across the lowlands by Sunday, especially if skies clear as currently forecast,” according to the NWS.

That’s good news for the big event of the weekend: Groundhog Day at the West Virginia Wildlife Center. The gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday, with French Creek Freddie expected to saunter out of his den at 10 a.m.

If the clouds stick around as expected, our local furry forecaster won’t see his shadow — suggesting winter is near its end.

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