CHARLESTON, W.Va. — We’ve been spoiled, temperature wise, in West Virginia in recent winters and National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Batty said record cold temperatures, Monday night into Tuesday, reminded everyone what winter really feels like.
“This is getting us back to reality that, occasionally, some arctic air does spill down to our latitudes,” said Batty on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “Especially in southern West Virginia, we haven’t been below zero for the past four winters, even including the southern mountains around Beckley.”
The National Weather Service recorded record lows of five degrees below zero in Lewisburg, four degrees below zero in Bluefield and four degrees below zero in Morgantown.
In reports to MetroNews, residents reported unofficial temperatures of minus eight in Mt. Nebo, minus eight near Cooper’s Rock, minus eight in Buffalo in Putnam County, minus ten at Valley Head in Randolph County, minus 12 on Basin Mountain in Wyoming County and minus 17 in Thomas in Tucker County.
At Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County, Jim Pingley, the manager of Summit Condos, said he recorded a low temperature late Monday night of 21 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 49 degrees below zero.
“The wind was blowing about 35 miles per hour. You had surges of a little bit more, up into the 40s,” said Pingley. “It cuts right through you, the way the wind is blowing with the temperatures.”
Pingley, who has lived at Snowshoe for 38 years, said it’s not the coldest weather he’s experienced. “I’ve seen minus 62 one time and minus 85 one time with wind chill,” he said.
According to the snow report for Snowshoe Mountain Resort, five lifts and 37 trails were open on Tuesday.
In Tucker County, the ski area at Canaan Valley Resort was closed Tuesday because of extreme temperatures. Officials said the temperature at the top of the mountain there was 21 degrees below zero, before considering the wind chill on Tuesday morning, and the trails were closed because of public safety concerns.
“That’s one way the atmosphere mixes things up or else the poles would keep getting colder and the equator would keep getting warmer,” said Batty of the winter blast. “You’ve got to mix every once in a while and we’re getting a taste of that arctic air.”
Temperatures were expected to moderate beginning on Wednesday. By Thursday, high temperatures in parts of West Virginia could top 40 degrees.