Cold blast could bring accumulating snow, slick travel to parts of tri-state

Weather

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – There are many folks who have been wishing for some wintry weather in their neighborhood as we approach the Christmas holiday, and a cold front this week is making this wish possible!

It is becoming increasingly likely for an accumulating snowfall to take place Tuesday night into Wednesday across parts of the tri-state. The areas most likely to see this snow would be south of I-64.

BEST CHANCES TO SEE SNOW

  • Southern West Virginia – Beckley, Logan, Williamson, Oak Hill, Fayetteville, Summersville, Hinton, Lewisburg
  • Southeastern Kentucky – Pikeville, Jenkins, Kimper

The setup is still a bit too complicated for snowfall totals, but here’s a look at the areas best likely to see the snow. As you can see, the best chances are south of I-64, but there’s reason to believe that we could still see accumulating snow even along the I-64 corridor from Huntington to Charleston and over into eastern Kentucky, as well as some light accumulations as far north as the US-33 corridor.

The best chances of snow are south of I-64, but even the metro corridor could see snow.

The reason for the chance for snow is a strong cold front that will be crashing through the region Tuesday morning. It will pass through, and our temperatures will drop dramatically from the 50s Tuesday morning to the middle 30s by the late afternoon.

A strong cold front across the upper Midwest Sunday night will dramatically drop temperatures in the tri-state Tuesday – we’ll likely drop 15+ degrees DURING the day!

The question that will determine how much snow we see is how much available moisture and energy will be available behind the cold front Tuesday evening into very early Wednesday morning. That still remains to be seen.

A strong cold front will pass through the region Tuesday morning. The main question regarding snowfall is: how much energy and moisture will be available behind the front?

Weather models tend to not be too set on the availability of moisture and energy either:

A model plume from the Storm Prediction Center (each line indicates a single model) indicates anywhere from 0 to as much as 8 inches possible for the Capitol City. The black line indicates the mean, which is around 3 inches. The lack of agreement is a strong indication that there are still many unknowns with the system.

Though there are a couple models above that indicate no snow accumulations, note that the *MAJORITY* of them do indicate at least an inch of snow, which does indicate a majority consensus that at a minimum, a light snowfall accumulation will be possible.

Just as big of a threat will be the potential for a flash freeze to take place Tuesday night into Wednesday, as temperatures will quickly drop below freezing. Black ice will definitely be an issue to contend with during the Wednesday morning commute, regardless of how much snow falls.

Of course, we’ll continue to keep you updated with the latest developments both on air and online with StormTracker 13!

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