Snow Latest: Snow, black ice to pose tricky travel threat

Weather

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – A storm system will provide us with a chance for accumulating snow Tuesday night into Wednesday, which could provide some tricky travel for the morning commute on Wednesday.

Rain showers will be prevalent across the area throughout the day Tuesday, but a strong cold front will push through the region during the morning hours.

This means that our high temperatures will take place during the morning in the lower 50s, and the temperatures will then drop throughout the day.

There is VERY cold air behind a cold front that will push through the region Tuesday morning – but how quickly can those temperatures make it to our region?

By lunchtime, temperatures will be down to the 40s, and then down into the 30s by the middle afternoon! That will allow rain falling across the tri-state to mix with snow before we turn to all snow by Tuesday night. You can see Predictor below for how the rain transitions to snow. I think Predictor switches to snow a little sooner – expect that to take place during the early to middle afternoon.

The question then remains: how much snow can we expect? Snowfall totals are trending downward due to a lack of available moisture when temperatures are expected to drop to around freezing. Nonetheless, there will be snow falling, and it will fall heavy during the early evening hours of Tuesday, which should allow for a light accumulation.

This is a tricky forecast – changes are still possible – but this still sums up the best chances for snow as well as impact threats in our region for Tuesday night into Wednesday.

This downward trend is expected because I believe it will be the middle afternoon before temperatures drop cold enough for the rain to switch to snow. It’s essentially a game of cat and mouse: we’ll need temperatures to drop quickly enough behind the cold front in the afternoon for snow to begin to fall – and then stick – by the evening. Below is a look at what I’m expecting for the region.

The heaviest snow will be in southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and the mountains.

This puts most areas north of the Ohio River at not seeing much, other than a few flurries, with a light accumulation of up to one inch along the I-77 and I-79 corridors, with heavier totals across southern West Virginia, southeastern Kentucky, and the West Virginia mountains. Keep in mind that this will be a WET snow, so even with only an inch of snow, it will stick nicely to the grassy surfaces as well as the tree limbs – which should provide a nice beautiful scene for us to wake up to Wednesday morning!

One major reason for the lack of snowfall totals will be road temperatures – it’ll be well into Wednesday morning before temperatures drop cold enough on the ground and roadways.

Don’t forget about the threat for black ice. Temperatures will QUICKLY drop Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning, and though road temperatures are delayed to air temperature in dropping, I do expect road temperatures to drop below freezing during the morning hours Wednesday morning, so if you do plan on having to commute, please be very careful! Road temperatures will return above freezing by mid-morning on Wednesday.

Models are still having a hard time getting a grip on this storm – but in general, there is far more consensus now that this will be a low impact snow event. We’ll continue to keep you updated on air and online with StormTracker 13!

So in conclusion, expect a light snowfall accumulation south and east of the Ohio River Tuesday night into Wednesday. This is not going to be a high impact snowfall event, but tricky travel on some of the untreated roadways will certainly be a possibility. Also, the threat for black ice will certainly be alive and well, so please be very careful if you plan on driving Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. We’ll continue to keep you updated with the latest on air and online with StormTracker 13!

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