WINTER STORM WARNING in effect through Monday

8am MONDAY MORNING UPDATE:

Cabell County Courthouse changed from a delay to being closed for the day based on road conditions.

Snow is expected to continue for several more hours across the region.  Beneath all of this snow is ice and slush which did cut the snow totals but has also made conditions very treacherous in the area for drivers.  Many county officials are asking people to limit necessary travel.

One good note so far, power outages have been limited.  New accumulations of ice are not expected to be problematic compared to extra snow. 

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UPDATE MONDAY MORNING:

Heavy snow is moving across eastern Kentucky with roads treacherous to impassable.  Roads along the I-64 corridor are very bad and are getting worse. 

We are expecting heavy snow to continue across West Virginia and Kentucky through 9AM with off and on snow showers past the noon hour in the mountains of West Virginia.

The layer of ice has been layed down and it is .10" to .5" thick and has caused too many wrecks to count at this point.  Be advised that we are looking at a general average of 5 inches of snow across I-64 but some higher amounts will be likely.

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UPDATE SUNDAY NIGHT:

School closings are coming in as we have reports of ice sticking on cold surfaces such as cars.  One viewer report indicates ice is thick on sidewalks and driveways in Jackson County, WV.  I-77 northbound was shut down for a wreck between Silverton and Medina due to a truck wreck. 

The actual Stormtracker 13 forecast has shifted the area of heaviest ice to areas just south of Interstate 64 and across the coalfields of West Virginia and Kentucky.  Power outages are possible in these areas where a quarter to half inch of ice is possible, followed by as much as six to ten inches of snow on top. 

Snow is still expected to come in behind the freezing rain after midnight and last through the morning commute across the area. 

Snow is also expected to conclude first across Ohio with anywhere from two to five inches of snow on top of up to a quarter of an inch of ice.

Along I-64 from Lexington to Huntington to Charleston, a long swath of up to a quarter inch of ice is possible beneath a possible amount  of as little as four but as many as eight inches of snow. 

Winter Storm coverage continues every 30 minutes on 13 News at the top and bottom of the hour until the storm concludes.  Charge cell phones and follow 13 News and StormTracker 13 in case power goes out in your area. 

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A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT TODAY THROUGH MONDAY:

TIMING:
-Rain/freezing rain has continues across Ohio and will slowly move south today.
-Could see mix as early as 1pm along I-64 today on earliest time frame of models.
-Change to snow along I-64 could be as early as 7pm to as late as midnight along I-64. 
-Once snow begins, it will fall heavily.  Monday morning commute still looks rough to non-existent for some.  Most, if not all, schools will close across the region.

ICE ACCUMULATION:
Forecast models have most of the I-64 region, north and south of it by 50 miles, in a possible 1/4" - 1/2" of ice scenario.  This will cause severe power interruptions for some areas as winds move in with the heavy snow late tonight.  Winds will increase to 10-15mph out of the north to northwest after midnight to sunrise Monday.  The weight of ice on power lines may pull some of them down or even cause them to snap.  Some of the limbs from trees weighed down by the ice may also snap.  Be advised to MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW to prepare for these possible power disruptions...after midday today, it will be too late.

Huntington/Ironton/Ashland Area:
1pm to 3pm:  Rain slowly changes over to freezing rain.  This will last for 4 to 6 hours and at times, there could be a change briefly to sleet or just rain.  In total, we're expecting 1/4" to 1/2" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
7pm to 9pm:  Freezing rain and sleet changes over to snow.  There will be a period of heavy snow during the overnight hours which will accumulate by early to mid morning.  Totals will range from 4 to 6 inches with isolated higher amounts possible by midday Monday.

Charleston Area:
4pm to 6pm:  Rain changing to freezing rain, some of this could happen at a faster pace as the sun sets and the atmosphere cools.  This will last for 4 to 6 hours and at times there could be a change briefly to sleet or just rain.  In total, we're expecting 1/4" to 1/3" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
9pm to 11pm:  Freezing rain and sleet rapidly changes over to heavy snow.  Totals will range from 4 to 6 inches with isolated higher amounts of 8 inches possible in the higher terrain by midday Monday.

Parkersburg/Spencer Area:

12pm to 2pm:  Rain changing to freezing rain.  This will last for 3 to 4 hours and at times there could be a change briefly to sleet or just rain.  In total, we're expecting 1/10" to 1/4" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
3pm to 6pm:  Freezing rain and sleet rapidly changes over to heavy snow.  Totals will range from 6 to 10 inches with isolated higher amounts by early Monday morning.

Jackson/Rio Grande/Athens Area:
9am to 11am:  Rain changing to freezing rain.  This will last for 2 to 4 hours and at times there could be a change briefly to sleet or just rain.  In total, we're expecting 1/10" to 1/4" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
12pm to 2pm:  Freezing rain and sleet rapidly changes over to heavy snow.  Totals will range from 5 to 8 inches with isolated higher amounts by early Monday morning.

Portsmouth/Grayson Area:
10am to 12pm:  Rain changing to freezing rain.  This will last for 4 to 6 hours and at times there could be a change briefly to sleet or just rain.  In total, we're expecting 1/4" to 1/2" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
3pm to 6pm:  Freezing rain and sleet rapidly changes over to heavy snow.  Totals will range from 4 to 6 inches with isolated higher amounts by early Monday morning.

SE Kentucky & WV Coal Fields Region:

8pm to 11pm:  Rain changing to freezing rain.  This will last for 3 to 4 hours and at times there could be a change briefly to sleet or just rain.  In total, we're expecting 1/10" to 1/4" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
11pm to 4am Monday:  Freezing rain and sleet changes to snow.  Totals will range from 3 to 5 inches with isolated higher amounts by midday Monday.

WV Mountains:
10pm to 4am Monday:  Off and on freezing rain with occasional sleet mixing.  At times, we will also see rain in the valleys.  It will be a very big mixture across this area as the warm air leaves and the cold air settles in.  In total, we're expecting 1/10" to 1/4" of ICE ACCUMULATION. 
3am Monday to 6am Monday:  Heavy snow will begin to develop with gusty winds of 10-25mph.  Totals will range from 8 to 12 inches with isolated higher amounts by early Monday afternoon.

Beckley Region:
Snow totals will be in the 4 to 7 inch range with light icing.

Clarksburg/Morgantown Area:
Snow totals of 4 to 8 inches of accumulation is expected by Monday afternoon. We're also expecting sleet accumulation of up to 1/2" and up to a 1/4" of ice.  All of this will be under the layer of snow.

Northern Panhandle/Wheeling:
There may be a brief round of sleet mixing with a quick round of freezing rain, but we are primarily expecting rain changing quickly over to snow.  Snow totals north of Wheeling will range from 4 to 6 inches and in the southern part of West Virginia's northern panhandle, we will see 5 to 8 inches of snow.

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SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE:

There are no significant changes to the forecast at this point.  Later today, WINTER STORM WARNINGS will be issued for parts of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia with a layer of ice to deal with as well. 

"This has the potential to be catastrophic for some people, especially when you add a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice," meteorologist Bryan Hughes says, "bring in snow and then a 10 to 15 mph wind...that is not a great combination."

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Ice accumulations will be highest in the Tri-State, right around Huntington beginning late Sunday afternoon.  Then we are expecting snow on top of that layer of ice.  Ice accumulations of 1/4" to at maximum of 1/2" are possible.  Snow totals after that could be on order of 4 to 6 inches with isolated amounts higher than that.

Ice accumulations in the Charleston area will be .10" to .25" with snow totals fairly similar to Huntington.  The only difference will be timing.  We're expecting it to start later on Sunday night, just after sunset.

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Southern Ohio will see a brief round of ice beginning in the early afternoon on Sunday from Portsmouth to Marietta.  This line will slowly move south through the day and the freezing rain will slowly transition to sleet and then snow.  1/4" of ice accumulation is possible with 4 to 6 inches of snow.

SE Kentucky and the Coal Fields of West Virginia are looking at a rain for most of Sunday followed by a brief round of freezing rain and sleet near midnight.  This will rapidly transition to snow with snow totals of 2 to 5 inches possible.

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ORIGINAL:

Winter Storm Watches have been posted for the majority of the 13 News viewing area for Sunday and Monday, with the threat of everything from rain to ice, sleet and snow.

"This is a very large and complex system and it sure could make driving and getting around pretty nasty for some of our viewers," said chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins

Initial StormTracker 13 forecasts for the storm include freezing rain and sleet starting Sunday in northern sections of the viewing area in Ohio in areas such as Vinton, Jackson, Meigs, Pike and Scioto counties.  Much of the rest of West Virginia and Kentucky are believed to deal with rain until much later on Sunday evening when the colder air moves in from the north.

"Basically we have a lot of temperatures crammed together so our northern counties could be sitting right around freezing while some spots could be 10-15 degrees warmer just 70 to 100 miles to the south so that's why we expect such a wide spectrum of weather," says Adkins.

Road conditions are expected to deteriorate from north to south Sunday starting in Ohio and turning colder over Sunday night to the south, pushing a wintry mix across the entire region for drivers to deal with Monday morning.

The Ohio Department of Transportation issued a statement about the massive amount of salt they have used this year just in southeast Ohio alone.  

"To help put it in perspective, historically ODOT District 10 uses approximately 25,000 tons of salt each winter.  This winter we have already used more than 51,000 tons of salt.  It's like two winters rolled into one," said David V. Rose District 10 Public Information Officer.

Road crews all over the area will have to spread more salt and abrasives like salt as the storm sets in.

"We definitely think there will a big impact on how we get around Sunday night and especially Monday morning all across the 13 News viewing area so our entire staff will be working here all weekend to keep you ahead of the storm," said Adkins. 

WOWK will continue to provide updates here online, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.  The StormTracker meteorologists shared some behind the scenes forecast information in a Google Plus Hangout on Friday night, now available on YouTube for replay at this link:  http://youtu.be/7cJhh1nZfME

Stay tuned for more details on this storm.

 


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