Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 11, 2014

Forecast shows potential monster snowstorm

BLUEFIELD — An approaching winter storm could bring heavy accumulating snowfall to the region.

A winter storm watch has been issued for most of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia by the National Weather Service. The watch — which could be upgraded to a winter storm warning later today — begins Wednesday morning and continues until Thursday night.

Early forecast models are suggesting upward of 5 to 8 inches of heavy snow for the Bluefield area, and 6 to 10 inches of heavy snow for the region east of Bluefield. The heaviest snow will come Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, Patrick Wilson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., said.

“That 5 to 8 inches is our first guess,” Wilson said for the Bluefield area. “That could easily go up in the models. This will change as we get better refined. But what the watch means is we have the potential for some significant snowfall, and now is the time to take some precautions. So this is like the get ready phase. And when the winter storm warnings go out, that is when you will need to take the action.”

Wilson said forecasters should have a better idea by later this afternoon as to if the storm will become a potential monster or not for the Bluefield area.

“It’s just a matter now of where does the low track up the coast, and how much will it set it up,” Wilson said. “The temperatures will be kept below freezing Wednesday into Wednesday night. So it should be an all snowfall event.”

Wilson said the snow could be heavy — and possibly wet for a period of time Wednesday.

“It could be sort of wet,” Wilson said. “If most of it falls during the night (Wednesday), we have lows around the mid 20s. That would help not making it quite as wet. But during the day Wednesday we just get below freezing. That might make it be a little wet. So I would say nowhere near the powdery white snow we had a week or two ago. But I don’t think this one is going to be a really sloppy, wet heavy snow.”

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