Snow turns roads to icy mess. - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Snow turns roads to icy mess.

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE 6:48PM

The focus of icy roads shifts now from the Interstates to the secondary and back roads as people make their way home.  Use caution as areas that had snow will now see ice as cars pack down the snow.  Most snow reports ranged from a dusting to a maximum of 2 inches in our viewing area.  The snow has subsided for the night.  A patch of freezing drizzle could not be ruled out. 

UPDATE 4:15PM

I-64 westbound at the 18 mile marker is now OPEN in Cabell County.  However other wrecks have been reported at the 31 mile marker, the 58 mile marker, the 5 mile marker and the 15 mile marker so this shows roads are still treacherous. 

UPDATE 2:45PM

I-64 has been shut down westbound at mile marker 18 for a multiple vehicle wreck.  Numerous wrecks in Kanawha County have been reported as well.  It will take time for crews to clear roads and get salt to work to melt the ice.  Travel is discouraged in the I-64 corridor until conditions improve and wrecks are cleared.  We also have word that the St. Joe Invitational basketball tournament in Huntington has cancelled all games tonight due to conditions. 

UPDATE 2:15PM

Dozens upon dozens of wrecks have been reported across Interstate 64 between Huntington and Charleston.  The issue is not so much the snow as the fact that snow melted and re-froze, causing icy conditions on the roads.  A tractor trailer flipped near the Oakwood exit westbound in Charleston and a wreck west of the 17th St Exit in Cabell County had the Interstate closed.  Drivers have been diverted from the Interstate temporarily in some areas.  Crews are trying to clear wrecks and place salt down.  

UPDATE NOON FRIDAY

Snow is coming down in heavy bands especially across SE Ohio.  Photos from viewers show a solid inch of snow in many areas.  Salt is working as an effective treatment.  Secondary roads are snow and ice covered.  The Interstates are only temporarily covered with light snow when snow is present, but again, thanks to salt treatments and higher traffic volume, those roads improve quickly.  Dozens of schools have been releasing students early.  A complete list is seen here on our website.  The StormTracker meteorologists say the heaviest snow should taper off before the evening commute, but snow will persist in the high terrain areas overnight.  Travel is slow on areas roads and drivers are encouraged to plan extra time in their travels and leave extra space between cars. 

UPDATE @3:28AM

Snow bands have been developing to our northwest this morning across Cincinnati and further upstream from there.  We are expecting snow to rapidly develop as we go through the morning across the Huntington Metro area and slowly expand towards Charleston before the noon hour.  This will cause problems for the evening commute home or if you're trying to get out of town for the weekend.

Our ideas on snow totals has not changed in the past 36 hours and we are very happy about that.  Our forecast accuracy and confidence in the forecast has been strengthened by the performance of our Predictor modeling system and the output of Snow Tracker.  With all of this in mind, here's what we're expecting.  We will see 2 to 4" in the lowlands.  This includes areas near the big rivers of the Ohio and Kanawha.  In the highlands, which would be the mountainous areas such as Summersville, we can expect 3 to 6" with the occasional higher amount.

I hope you take time with your travels today and use extreme caution.  But more than anything, enjoy the snow the best ways you can.  -Bryan Hughes :-)

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UPDATE 11:00 PM

Snow bands are now developing across the Midwest and are expected to be seen around the Scioto River Valley as early as 7-8AM Friday.  The second half of the weather system that will add to the resulting snow is moving out of East Texas.  They have a long way to travel according to the StormTracker meteorologists, however they say models are still on track for accumulating snow and slick roads any time after the morning commute.  Viewers are urged to build in extra time to their days to get to their destinations. 

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UPDATE @4:40PM

Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for the entire 13 News viewing area for Friday.  The Advisories start at 8am and run until 7pm.  This means most people will arrive at work or school before snow flies.  Then snow will arrive and last on and off until about sunset in the lowlands according to the StormTracker meteorologists.  The high terrain areas near Summersville will see snow linger on and off through the night into Saturday morning.  Our team is calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow from Charleston to the west.  East of Charleston look for anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of snow, with the higher amounts on the high mountain peaks.  Driving is expected to be slow and roads are expected to be slick despite temperatures near the freezing mark during the day.  

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UPDATE @7:42AM

The snow map is indicating some heavy snow in the mountains with totals ranging from 4 to 6 inches in the highest elevations.  This snow will start midday Friday and continue into Saturday morning.  Snow showers will linger into Saturday evening at or above 3,500 feet.

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UPDATE @6:17AM

Snow showers continue this morning with a dusting of snow to 1" across the region.  Snow showers have been heaviest from Charleston and points to the north and east.  Slick travel continues this morning with more slick conditions throughout the day...the ground is solidly frozen with no chance for a thaw until next week.

HEAVY SNOW is possible from Friday midday through Saturday morning.  We're expecting snow totals of 1 to 3 inches in the lowlands.  Snow totals across the mountains will range from 4 to 6 inches with some windy conditions.  More changes to this forecast are expected throughout the day.  Keep it here, we'll keep you advised!

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UPDATE 11:15PM

Snow is winding down for the main batch of accumulation in Ohio and will wind down after about 3am for the corridor from Ripley to Spencer to Sutton to Summersville.  A total of 1 to 3 inches of snow will be seen in those areas by dawn but the band of snow is fairly narrow.  Most of the viewing area didn't see accumulating snow and won't until Friday.  New weather models are coming back with slightly more snow for Friday's possible storm.  See wowktv.com/weather for more.   

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UPDATE 7:30PM

Viewer submitted photos on the StormTracker 13 Facebook page show a nice coating of snow on roads in Jackson County, WV and snow sticking on all surfaces around Summersville in Nicholas County.  Expect conditions to deteriorate on roads from Vinton County, OH to Summersville in the next 2-3 hours.  Amounts will be light but all snow will stick to roadway surfaces.  Areas south of that line and in the Charleston-Huntington area will likely NOT see accumulation, nor should the coalfields of WV & KY overnight.  

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UPDATE 3:41 PM

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for Jackson (WV), Roane, Calhoun, Meigs, Athens and Wood counties until Thursday morning.  1-2 inches of snow could fall here making roads slick once again.  Reduced visibilities are possible with these bands of snow.  Drive carefully if you encounter snow.  

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UPDATE @4:26AM

Click on the map for the latest snow accumulations that are expected later tonight.  We're expecting a dusting to 1 inch across parts of the area.

Huntington, could see just a dusting.  Charleston will be 1/2" to 1".  Athens has the potential for 1" or just over that.  Parkersburg is up to 1".  The Coal Fields and SE Kentucky seems to escape any accumulations but there's the chance of some light flurries.

Friday and into Saturday could provide us with some accumulations of 1 to 3 inches of snow but forecast models are still in disagreement as to the amounts.  There are some that indicate higher totals but those are being treated as the outliers.  We'll keep tracking these next 2 shots at snow and then we'll warm up for the first few days of next week!

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UPDATE @7:30PM

Wind chills have dropped well into the single digits again in SE Ohio and the rest of the region will follow suit soon.  The StormTracker meteorologists are now saying snow should move in Wednesday evening for a brief time with up to a quick inch of accumulation by dawn from Charleston to the east, with lesser amounts to the west.  The next round of snow should happen on Friday but our meteorologists are still working on possible accumulations.  Stay tuned.

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UPDATE @10:53am

Here are some of the coldest locations we've seen across the region this morning.  More cold air is on the way tonight.  Thanks to the Charleston NWS for the compiled list!

-5 Snowshoe and Canaan Heights

-3 Canaan Valley

1 Glady and Terra Alta

2 Bartow and Frost

3 Bayard

4 Valley Head, Elkins and Rock Dave

5 Buchhannon

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UPDATE @9:09am

Many schools have been delayed across the region for the cold air but it will be even colder tomorrow morning.  Most of the region will see single digits for lows!

Wednesday will be drying during most of the day but late in the afternoon and continuing into the evening, we'll see some light snow showers across the area.  This will provide us with a dusting or more.  We're not expecting more than an inch in some of the heaviest snow bands.

Friday is still tricky but you can expect to see some accumulating snow fall across the Tri-State.  Some of the forecast models (European and American GFS) are hinting at some totals that would exceed 3 inches.  With that being said, we're still 72 hours away from that point and things can change dramatically in that time.  Keep checking back as we track that storm across the region.

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UPDATE @6:07am

7 to 9 degrees in southern Ohio with temperatures of 9 to 14 degrees in West Virginia. 

Today, we'll stay in the mid to upper teens throughout the day but there is quite a bit of sunshine to enjoy.  ;-)

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UPDATE @3:29am

Temperatures are at 10 to 12 degrees across southern Ohio with wind speeds of 5-12mph, that makes wind chills feel like -5.

Temperatures across WV and KY are around 12 to 15 degrees and wind chills of 4 to 10 degrees.

Later this week, there is a big concern about Friday and Saturday.  We could see some accumulating snow that could be the type that we need to bring the plows out for.  This system is still evolving but we'll keep you updated right here!

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UPDATE @11:30pm

Wind chills have finally dropped below zero in Athens and into the single digits in Charleston and Huntington.  Many schools have decided to wait at least two hours for school tomorrow.  Delays are listed on our front page of www.wowktv.com.   An overnight snow squall or two can be seen in Nicholas County with very light accumulations possible.  

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UPDATE @6:30pm

Wind gusts still remain above 20 miles per hour in many locations in the viewing area.   Peak gusts of 32 mph were recorded in two consecutive hours this afternoon in Charleston.  Temperatures in Huntington have fallen below 30 and continue to fall.  The coldest wind chill in the viewing area is still in Athens, Ohio where it feels like 8F with that number expected to drop to as cold as -5 when winds gust.  

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UPDATE @2:45pm

Wind chills have dropped to 17 in the Athens area.  There are scattered snow squalls across SE Ohio and those will likely die off a bit as the sun goes down.  Wind gusts are as fast as 25 mph out there in the region.  Expect some decent winds to stay around overnight.

The StormTracker meteorologists are also looking at weather models for the chance of some decent snow toward the end of the week, but in the next two days and nights the focus remains on temperature and wind chill.

Also, a quick note to those who may not have inflated their tires in several weeks.  When air gets this cold, the air inside contracts so your tire pressure sensor may go off in conditions like these, meaning you should inflate your tires if you can today. 

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UPDATE @12:19pm

No real change to the forecast.  We're seeing some flurries and a quick passing snow shower along and north of the Ohio River.  We're looking at these off and on throughout the afternoon.  This might mean a quick dusting in a few spots. 

The cold air is really starting to rush into the region.  It's 19 in Dayton and 23 in Cincinnati while Charleston and Huntington remain at 34.

In the longer term, we're going to have to keep an eye on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  That forecast is evolving right now, 4 of our main forecast models all have different solutions for those days.  2 of them warm us up with rain and snow mixing together and 2 of them keep us cold with all snow.  Just giving you a heads up as we go through the week.

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UPDATE @7:25am

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY has been issued for the mountains of West Virginia which includes Elkins and Snowshoe.  These areas will see wind chill values below -10 degrees for more than 3 hours.  In situations like this, hypothermia and frost bite become issues on unprotected skin.  Make sure to check on your pets too!

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UPDATE @3:30am

Bryan Hughes here with an ARCTIC OUTBREAK UPDATE:

I cannot even begin to prepare myself for this COLD air.  It's just going to be painful for a few days.  This is going to be arctic air that invades the region, at least, for a 48 hour period.  During this time, we'll see temps well below normal but no records are expected to be broken.

TEMPERATURES:  I've got 19 as the high temp on Tuesday.  Across southern Ohio, we'll see some mid-teens.  How about Snowshoe you say?  ZERO for their high on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning will still be cold with lows around 10 degrees.  We'll warm up enough on Thursday afternoon and night to see some mixed precip but it gets cold again going into this weekend.  Same type of arctic air.

PRECIPITATION:  We'll see a quick shot at some snow Monday afternoon and into the evening/overnight hours.  This is not going to accumulate much, in fact, the mountains might be lucky to get 1 or two inches of snow.  The rest of us, a dusting.  Thursday evening/night will warm up briefly and we'll see some rain trying to mix into the region, this will change back over to snow on Friday morning and then that's when we get to see the next storm system move into the region.

More updates as we get new information that might alter the forecast.  We've been talking about this air for more than 2 weeks!

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UPDATE @10:55pm

After a slow and seemingly mild start to winter, Mother Nature is kicking things into high gear as we start this upcoming week.

Arctic air will push across the Tri-State Monday through Wednesday, causing a potentially dangerous drop in temperatures.

This polar push of air will result in afternoon temperatures struggling to warm out of the teens and 20s, while overnight low temperatures fall into the single digits. In addition to the cold, blustery winds will make temperatures feel as if they near or below zero at times.

The last time our area experienced a cold snap similar to this dates back almost exactly two years ago, when temperatures at Yeager Airport in Charleston fell to single digits and teens January 21-24 of 2011.

Be sure to take necessary precautions to prepare for the impending cold weather.

Avoid prolonged exposure outdoors and if you need to be outside, dress in warm, dry clothes. Also, be sure to cover as much of your body with these clothes as possible to avoid frostbite.
Be sure that your home and car are adequately prepared to handle harsh temperatures and be mindful of small children, the elderly and pets as they are more susceptible to cold-related illnesses and issues.