CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Forecasters said the change in temperature would be drastic, but few could have predicted the speed of the change Monday morning.
“Charleston officially went from 48 degrees a six o’clock to 28 degrees at seven o’clock ” said meteorologist Tom Mazza of the National Weather Service in Charleston. “Most fronts are not quite this sharp. This is an event when you get this quick of a temperature drop.”
The plummeting temperatures quickly changed light rain into snow that intensified and began to coat roads. Kanawha County deputies shut down parts of I-77 because of slick conditions until the DOH could get on the scene to put down materials.
Dozens of West Virginia counties had already closed school for the day because of the weekend snow. Kanawha County sent kids Monday but later announced they would dismiss schools an hour early.
The temperatures weren’t expected to rise until midweek. Forecasters said temperatures Monday night and Tuesday night would hit the zero mark again and in many places go below zero.
“We’ll have a fourth below-zero night of the month tonight,” said Mazza. “We have temperatures across the state 0 to five-below in the lowlands, 0 to 10-below in the northern lowlands and around 10- to 12-below in the higher elevations.”
Temperatures could moderate by late Wednesday.
The winter weather seems to have thrown just about every punch. On Saturday night the thunder snow phenomena took place when lightening and thunder accompanied up to three inches of snow in some central and southern counties.