Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 23, 2013

Mother Nature winding up to remind region Old Man Winter is on his way

CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — By

 — It was dubbed the “Frankenstorm,” a rare combination of a hurricane and a winter storm that threatened the region last year in the hours leading up to Halloween.

The hybrid storm — officially known as Superstorm Sandy — lived up to its billing dumping 9.6 inches of snow on the Bluefield area just in time for Halloween. But the rare Halloween storm wasn’t the earliest October snowfall to hit the Bluefield area.

Modern records at the National Weather Service in Blackburg, Va., which date from 1959 to the present, reported an inch of snow in Bluefield on Oct. 10, 1979. Then in 1993, a rare winter storm dumped 3.2 inches of snow on Halloween day in Bluefield.

While the extended seven-day forecast from the National Weather Service doesn’t include Halloween, snow and cold temperatures are still in the immediate forecast. Rain could mix with snow tonight, and temperatures will fall into the mid 40s on Thursday. Then an Alberta Clipper will move through the region Thursday night bringing additional chances for snow showers, according to Patrick Wilson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va.

“It is very unusual to have snow (in October),” Wilson said. “But it’s not out of the question to actually get measurable snowfall. If we do get any measurable snowfall it will be more toward Greenbrier County and those western slopes, and may spill into some of the western slopes of Bluefield. It’s an Alberta Clipper coming through. Those do not normally have much moisture with them.”

At the moment, only about an inch of snow is expected Thursday night into Friday morning for the greater Bluefield area.

As the system pull out of the region late Friday, Wilson said temperatures in the Bluefield area will fall to about 25 degrees Friday night.

“Friday night will be the coldest night of the season,” Wilson said.

Temperatures are expected to climb back into the low 60s early next week.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com