Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 25, 2012

No white Christmas: Snow forecasted for later in week

By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Though the region won’t see a white Christmas, there is potential for snowfall to hit the area by the end of the week.

Dennis Sleighter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., said snow showers have been predicted beginning late Wednesday and lasting into Thursday. A hazardous weather outlook has been issued for Mercer, Monroe, Tazewell, Bland and Giles counties starting Wednesday.

“For Wednesday, the high is expected to be near 45 degrees but there is a 90 percent chance of rain that day,” Sleighter said. “Winds will be coming from the southeast with gusts around 17 miles per hour and up to 30 miles per hour. The lows that night will be around 27 degrees with rain changing into snow and mainly snow after 11 p.m. On Thursday, the high will be 34 degrees with a 60 percent chance of snow.”

However, Sleighter said only between a quarter of an inch and half an inch of snow are expected to settle over the region.

“Right now we have projected light amounts of snow during the time period from late Wednesday night into early Thursday,” he said. “We are expecting at least two-tenths of an inch or a quarter of an inch for Bluefield. The further east you get from the Bluefield area the lesser the amount. Down into Tazewell, amounts could be comparable or slightly less. Higher elevations up along the Mercer County-Summers County line could see close to half an inch from what we are seeing. There will not be a significant change based on elevation.”

Sleighter said those traveling home after celebrating the holidays might encounter more snow if they are coming from the northern part of West Virginia or New England.

“If folks are returning from Northeast Ohio, parts of Pennsylvania or New York state or even northern Virginia or Maryland, they likely Wednesday through Thursday will be seeing precipitation,” he said. “Those traveling from New England might experience a lot of winter precipitation during their travel.”

Sleighter said those returning to the region from southern destinations will probably not encounter much precipitation or winter weather.

“Parts of central West Virginia and parts of the Smokies might be seeing snow, but those coming from North Carolina or Tennessee back to the region probably will not be seeing as much precipitation,” he said.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com