January 2019 winter storm warning

Much of southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia was under a winter storm warning on Friday night, with some forecasts expecting 5 to 7 inches of snow and sleet for the area.

BLUEFIELD — A winter storm warning covering parts of both southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia could deliver between 5 to 7 inches of snow as well as sleet and some freezing rain, but how much precipitation arrives will vary from area to area, a forecaster said Friday.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. issued winter storm warnings for Mercer County and Tazewell County, Va. as well as Monroe County and Giles County, Va. Snowfall will vary from one end of the regional to the other.

“What we have officially here in our forecast grid for your area is about 4 to 6 inches,” meteorologist Robert Beasley said. “The further west you go into Tazewell (County), the less it will be.”

About 2 to 3 inches of snow could land in Richlands, Va., but the amount is expected to be between 4 to 5 inches in the Bluefield area, Beasley stated. Near the county lines with Summers County and Giles County, Va. “we’re looking at a more solid 4 to 5 inches in that area. Five inches as you get toward Glen Lyn and Peterstown. In Flat Top we’re looking about 6 to 7 inches.”

The Bluefield and Princeton area will see mostly snow, but not the amounts that were seen in December 2018, Beasley said. A mix going from snow to sleet and then to freezing rain could begin at the county line between Mercer County and Tazewell County, Va.. Sleet, freezing rain and then rain would become more likely the further one goes into Tazewell County.

Today’s snow should start as light a snow fall from the Tennessee area, Beasley stated. About an inch of snow is expected in the morning, but precipitation will get heavier as the day progresses.

“The heavy precipitation starts Saturday night,” he said. “From midnight Saturday to noon Sunday is when the heaviest should fall. Light precipitation will continue Sunday evening into Monday night with some light freezing rain. It should not add significantly to what’s already there.”

A winter storm warning for snow means that severe weather could “make travel very hazardous or impossible,” according to the notice issued Friday by the National Weather Service. 

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com