Storm update: “Warm wedge” winning out over most of metro area, ice in the mountains of West Virginia


UPDATE: 11:15 p.m. – Some counties in the southeastern part of WV have been dropped from the Winter Storm Warning as temperatures have allowed for melting and the snow and rain have departed from such places as the Greenbrier Valley. Caution would still be urged in these areas.

UPDATE – 8:15 p.m. – Heavy snow has caused road closures near Morgantown along Interstate 68 this evening.

WV 511 report showing stopped traffic on I-68 near Morgantown at the 11.5 mile marker at 8:25 p.m.

A very heavy band of snow came down quicker than crews could handle removing it in Morgantown Wednesday evening. (Video below: Stuart Adkins)

In the northern part of the WOWK viewing area the snow is tapering off west to east but not before leaving a quick inch or two in places like Meigs County, Ohio. The StormTracker 13 WeatherEye in Pomeroy at the junction of U.S. 33 and Ohio Route 7 shows a slick lot and cars covered in enough snow to slow drivers down substantially.

Pomeroy, Ohio at 8:25 p.m. Wednesday night

Ohio DOT salt and plow crews continue to work in Vinton County, Ohio to keep the roads clear.

It’s the same scene in Nicholas County, West Virginia in the Summersville area where snow picked back up just as the sun was setting and a few inches are anticipated there.

Snow is ending in the western part of the viewing area and the light to moderate snow bands should slide east, out of the WOWK region by midnight, crossing into Thursday.

VIPIR Radar at 8:31 p.m. Wednesday showing snow moving east rapidly

Only a few scattered snow showers will float in from western Ohio into the region overnight with small amounts of new accumulation.

(WOWK) – The phrase, “the warm wedge wins,“ prevails once again for most of us Wednesday in terms of the weather.

That’s saying is common among meteorologists who know that the central portion of our viewing area tends to see a push of warmer air from the southwest into these cold systems, leaving things more wet than white. Much colder air gets trapped in the mountains around Beckley and Summersville and also there is normally cold air across portions of Southeast Ohio as well.  That scenario played out once again today in the region.

VIPIR Radar as of 10:30 a.m. showing the warm wedge of air with cold air on either side in our region

As the day unfolded, the warm air wedge expanded, as projected, into Southeast Ohio, but the colder air stayed in the valleys and the southern mountains of West Virginia.  Overall this means that the mountains saw more ice and less snow.  

Estimated snow totals as of 3:45 p.m. Wednesday – does not take melting into account

Looking ahead, colder air will wrap into all levels of this weather system but the moisture will be moving to the north east, leaving less available moisture for snow overnight.

Predictor model output for the region late Wednesday evening

However, there should still be bands of snow or passing snow showers on the day Thursday. Conditions are not anticipated to be bad outside of possible lower visibility in snow showers, followed by a refreeze of any wet spots Thursday night.

Predictor model output for the region Thursday early evening with passing snow showers from the NW

The worst road conditions Wednesday night into Thursday morning should be in the high terrain from southern West Virginia to the north along such roads as U.S. Route 19, U.S. 219, U.S. 220, WV Route 92 and Interstate 81.

Road temperature forecast for Thursday morning

The north west flow of air will shut down on Friday and things will remain dry until the end of Saturday as light showers or a light rain-snow mix moves in from the west ahead of a quick moving cold front.

Be sure to stay up-to-date with ever-changing weather conditions by downloading the StormTracker13 app for free any time right here.

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