CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Enjoy the dry weather today across the tri-state today, because an active weather pattern is set to develop in our region beginning Friday and lasting through the middle of next week, which could give us periods of rain, freezing rain, and snow.
The active pattern begins tonight, as clouds will be on the increase, as a weak trough begins to encroach on the region. That trough will deepen a bit by tonight into early Friday morning, and begin to give us a chance for a few showers.
This trough is in relation to an area of low pressure that is strengthening over the Gulf Coast. As it heads north, it’ll shift showers north into our region, some of which could begin as some light freezing rain, especially north and east of Charleston briefly during the morning hours. This is because warm air will be riding over cold air already existing over our region.
That will allow rain droplets to freeze as they approach the surface. This threat will be mainly south and east of Charleston, and should be light, but something to consider if you plan to be along the US-19, Route 55, Route 39, and WV Turnpike corridors Friday morning. It’s all rain by the afternoon, as high temperatures reach deep into the 40s. The rain showers will be scattered, but it’ll be overcast, so definitely plan to have the umbrellas!
By Saturday, that area of low pressure forming along the Gulf of Mexico will ride up the east coast. In addition, a weak cold front in association with an area of low pressure over the Great Lakes will pass through. The combination of these two weather systems will provide us a good chance for rain showers Saturday – a bit of a dreary day, with generally around a half inch of rain expected. There will be breaks, but once again, the umbrellas will be a good friend, as there will be plenty of showers out and about.
Behind the front that will pass through Saturday night, temperatures will be chilly, and with a northwest flow, a few snow showers are possible in the form of upslope over the West Virginia mountains, which means places like Snowshoe should see some fresh powder – not in the lowlands though. Aside from a couple of showers Sunday morning, we should be pretty dry despite plenty of cloud cover.
However, an area of low pressure forming across the lower Mississippi River Valley Sunday night will lift northeast toward our region by early Monday. By the afternoon on Monday, we will certainly be seeing precipitation in our region. The question that determines the type of precipitation we will see is just how far north the area of low pressure travels from the Lower Mississippi Valley.
Here are the current forecast outcomes:
- 20% CHANCE: If the low pressure area is well south of our region across the Tennessee Valley/southern Kentucky/North Carolina, a plowable snow is possible, with slick travel expected.
- 40% CHANCE: If the low pressure is barely south of our region or directly overhead, light snowfall accumulations Monday night is possible, with brief slick travel possible until warmer air arrives and melts the snow that falls by mid-morning Tuesday.
- 40% CHANCE: If the low pressure system goes north of our region, it’s all rain, and we’ll be looking at the threat for some locally heavy rainfall, as we’ll be in the warm core of the low pressure system.
As you can see, the heavy snow possibility is the least plausible of the three cases at this point, but I’m keeping a close eye on it. We could still see light snowfall accumulations, which could be significant enough in accumulation to cause slick travel Monday night into Tuesday. It’s still too early to provide an early call on snowfall totals, as it’s not known where the center of the low pressure system will head to yet, but a few weather models are pointing at a couple of inches of accumulation for the I-64 corridor.
In addition, regardless, we’ll be seeing some impressive rainfall totals over the next few days, with some areas possibly seeing over two inches. The good news is that this will fall over several days, so flooding is not a big threat, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
Of course, we’ll continue to keep you updated on air and online from the StormTracker 13 Weather Lab!