Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 8, 2013

Icy cold giving way to spring-like temperatures throughout the week

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Sunny skies Monday over southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia are a precursor to temperatures that could push into the realm of record highs.

A high temperature of 38 was forecasted for Monday. A high approaching 51 degrees has been forecast for today, and it could reach 58 by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va.

A high of 62 is expected by Friday, followed by highs near 67 on Saturday and 63 on Sunday, forecasters at the weather service said.

Mercer County Airport weather records kept at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph show that the record high measured at the airport for Jan. 12  — Saturday this year — was 63 in 1995. The record for Jan. 13 was 66 in 1972.

The warm weather pattern that will be heading into the region is the result of a high-pressure ridge that is now building over the eastern United States and moving into the Midwest, said meteorologist Dennis Sleighter.

This pattern will continue for a prolonged period of time.

“This is allowing winds from the south to continue Thursday, Friday and into Saturday as well. There really is not going to be a opportunity for cooler air to move into the area while the ridge is in place, he said.”

The National Weather Service does not generate forecasts beyond a seven-day period, Sleighter said. However, computer models looking beyond this time frame suggest that colder weather could return to the region where the Virginias meet by next week.

Parts of the United States that include Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are now experiencing temperatures that are cooler than usual for this time of year, Sleighter added.

“Computer models suggest that once we get into what would be the middle to the latter part of next week, a strong upper-level trough will be moving into our part of the country,” he said. “The same trough is over the western part of the country right now.”

If the computer projections are accurate, the colder air could reach the local area by Wednesday or Friday next week.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com´┐Ż