UPDATE: Friday is set to be a messy travel day across West Virginia with a winter storm making its way across the state.
A cold front moved in Thursday night bringing with it stiff winds that gusted up to 50mph. The wind has remained into Friday along with blowing snow.
The wind has created various power outages across West Virginia. For example, Appalachian Power says 2,000 of its customers are without service in the Sissonville area and won’t be back on until about midnight.
Weather forecasters say the lowlands of the state will get anywhere from two to four inches with three to six inches possible along the I-79 corridor through Sutton to Morgantown.
The higher elevations will pick up the most snow. An area ranging from Beckley east up through the mountain counties is looking at six inches to a foot of snow.
Weather conditions are forecasted to improve on Saturday.
Finally, West Virginia will start to see it look a little more like winter in the next few days. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountain counties from Preston and Tucker all the way to Mercer County.
“Snow showers start cranking up late tonight, and especially during the day Friday and Friday night,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Batty. “They’ll be most concentrated in the up-slope mountains.”
The highest elevations can expect accumulations from six to twelve inches. Western lowlands will see anywhere from 1 to 4 inches of accumulation from the storm. Batty says the lower end of will be in the I-64 corridor between Charleston and Huntington and the I-79 corridor will see the upward side of the accumulation prediction.
The system is starting as rain spinning from a massive storm system in Illinois heading into the Great Lakes. The backside of the storm will bring high winds as the cold front pushes into West Virginia from the southern coalfields early this evening into the eastern panhandle by late Thursday night.
“We have wind advisories for possible winds of 40 to 50 miles an hour,” said Batty. “Anyone who has those holiday Christmas decorations definitely wants to secure them outside.”