Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 17, 2014

Winter ends with icy blast

BLUEFIELD — Mother Nature will be wearing the white instead of the green for St. Patrick’s Day this morning as Old Man Winter continues to throttle the region in an icy grip on the day before the day before the day before spring.

“I can say one thing for sure. It’s not going to be a lemonade day in Bluefield (today),” Phillip Manuel, meteorologist with the Blacksburg, Va., office of the National Weather Service said. “Things will get pretty dicey in the morning. The morning commute might be difficult.”

The forecast this morning calls for rain, snow, freezing rain and sleet between 4 and 5 a.m., with snow, freezing rain and sleet after 5 a.m. The chance of precipitation is 100 percent, and while the Weather Service is not calling for any accumulation of ice, Manuel said Bluefield could get anywhere from 1-3 inches of snow.

“Closer to Lewisburg, the snowfall totals will in the 5 to 9 inch range,” Manuel said. “There in Bluefield, the first inch or two of snow will likely just cool the ground down some, and the accumulation will follow.”

By Sunday evening, the Weather Service was still holding to a “Winter Weather Advisory,” and a “Hazardous Weather Outlook,” for the Bluefield.

“People really shouldn’t have any trouble traveling south on I-77 out of Bluefield,” Manuel said. “Travelers may have problems on I-64 or U.S. Route 219. The highest amount of snow that you’ll see in Mercer County will be up on Flat Top.

“This system trails out to Missouri, but it will be out of here early (this) afternoon,” Manuel said.

The forecast on Tuesday is calling for mostly cloudy skies with a high of about 48, and Wednesday’s high is expected to reach 51 degrees under partly sunny skies. Spring will arrive with the vernal equinox on Thursday afternoon at 12:57 p.m. The National Weather Service is forecasting Thursday’s high temperature to be 52 degrees.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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