UPDATE 8AM WED
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for both panhandles as well as the eastern mountain counties. They’ll get anywhere from 8-12 inches of snow to 12-16 along the ridge tops.
Meanwhile, a Winter Weather Advisory is in place for North Central WV and well as the central mountain counties. Three to six inches of snow is expected today. As for the rest of the state anywhere from a dusting to a couple inches.
Thirty of the state’s 55 counties called off school for Wednesday while nine other counties decided to operate on a two-hour delay.
The power outages have already started in some areas. Mon Power is reporting nearly 10,000 customers without service this morning. The bulk of those are in Greenbrier, Pocahontas Harrison and Pendleton counties.
Meanwhile, Appalachian Power reported 3,500 customers in the dark Wednesday morning.
PREVIOUS A meteorologist with the National Weather Service says the Eastern Panhandle will be the epicenter of the March snow storm that is hitting West Virginia this week.
“I expect major power outages up in that region,” Meteorologist Ray Young said on Tuesday’s MetroNews Talkline, as the snow storm crossed the Upper Midwest with West Virginia in its path.
The storm was expected to start as rain Tuesday in many parts of the Mountain State before changing over to snow on Tuesday, with snow continuing to fall through Wednesday or even Thursday in the highest elevations.
“The farther west and south you are in the state, the less of a whacking you’re going to get,” Young said. “The farther east and north you are, the better chances for getting significant accumulations.”
As of Tuesday morning, Winter Storm Warnings from the National Weather Service were in effect for the following counties starting on Tuesday night:
Webster, Randolph, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Preston, Tucker, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson, Hardy, Grant, Mineral, Pendleton, Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia
There is the potential for anywhere from five to 15 inches of snow in those areas. Young says the highest totals will be farther east and the snow will be heavy and wet, with the potential to bring down trees and power outages.
“There will probably be power outages from the Elkins area eastward through the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle,” he said. “And you can’t rule it out up in the northeastern part of the state, up around Morgantown and the Northern Panhandle, that’s a little iffier.”
Winter Weather Advisories from the National Weather Service were in effect for the following counties, with several inches of snow possible, starting on Tuesday night:
Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge, Braxton, Lewis, Harrison, Taylor, Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Upshur, Barbour, Mercer, Summers, Monroe
Milder weather is in the forecast for much of West Virginia for the weekend.