Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 21, 2014

Meteorologist: Cold, snow on the way

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Morning and evening commuters need to take extra care today as cold winter air brings snow and low temperatures to southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.

A developing cold front going past North Carolina was bringing the inclement weather to the region, said meteorologist Mike Sporer with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. A winter storm warning will remain in effect from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. today.

“You’re probably going to get around five or six inches there,” he said of the area including Mercer, McDowell counties in West Virginia and Tazewell County, Va. “It’s going to begin just before daybreak, and it will probably be coming down early morning to middle of the afternoon, and taper off into the evening hours.”

Today’s temperatures will be a sharp contrast from what the region experienced Monday, Sporer said. Temperatures will fall to approximately 30 degrees today and drop to as low as 4 degrees this evening. Temperatures could continue to drop.

“By the time we get to 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, we’ll be looking at temperatures a little above zero,” he said.

Appalachian Power is preparing for heavy electricity demand as the temperatures drop and consumers turn up their heat.

“Our system is designed to handle customers’ electricity demand in both hot and cold temperature extremes,” said Phil Wright, the company’s vice president of distribution operations. “Our engineering staff has reviewed equipment where we could have load problems and is taking action as needed.”

Consumers can take steps to help conserve energy and ensure adequate electricity for everyone, and reduce the chances of power outages.

First, if health permits, reduce thermostat settings to the lowest comfortable level.

Postpone using any more electric appliances, such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers, until the middle of the day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases. Turn off unused and unnecessary lights and electric appliances, power company officials said in a press release Monday.

 — Contact Greg Jordan at

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