CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A mild weekend in West Virginia will give way to what are expected to be some of the coldest nights the Mountain State has seen in some time, if ever.
Following a major drop in temperatures late Sunday, several inches of snow were expected on Sunday night into Monday morning in some areas. Freezing rain was also a possibility, creating slick conditions for drivers.
Then, on Monday afternoon, Wind Chill Warnings from the National Weather Service were scheduled to take effect and continue into Tuesday for almost every West Virginia county.
“It’s going to approach some records (for low temperatures) and it’s going to be pretty uncomfortable,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Merchant of temperatures that he said would drop below zero, in places, but feel even colder because of winds.
Every part of West Virginia will be blasted by cold and Monday night, Merchant said, would be the coldest.
In Northern West Virginia and the Eastern Mountains, the forecast said temperatures could drop to ten to 15 degrees below zero on Monday night and wind chills had the potential to reach -25 to -35. The forecast was calling for a zero degree night on Monday night in the Eastern Panhandle with wind chills down to -14.
Along the Ohio River, low temperatures Monday night were forecasted to fall to -6 with wind chill values as low as -15. In southeastern West Virginia, several inches of snow were in the forecast for Monday with a low of -8 Monday night and wind chills as low as -28.
Merchant said the cold was coming from the North Pole via, what’s called, a polar vortex.
“It has just shifted farther south than it normally does. It has moved down into southern Canada,” he explained. “As that storm system moves off to the east, the winds out of the north wrap back around that low and bring that cold air down as far as West Virginia and even farther south.”
It’s a major change from a weekend that saw daytime highs above 50 degrees in some places.