CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is preparing for a winter storm expected to invade the Mountain State Sunday night into Monday. The storm could have rain, freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow.
The National Service has placed 44 of the state’s 55 counties under a Winter Storm Watch beginning Sunday afternoon. The significant precipitation is scheduled to arrive Sunday night.
“It’s going to be a sliding transition zone with heavy precipitation within that transition zone,” NWS Meteorologist Nick Webb told MetroNews Saturday morning. “These will be narrow transition zones with 25 to 50 miles of freezing rain and then a zone of sleet followed by an area of snow with the whole thing shifting south and east late Sunday night into Monday morning.”
Webb said it appeared, as of Saturday morning, the biggest threat for ice would come in the Ohio River counties from Parkersburg east to Clarksburg. He said ice could also shift back toward Putnam County and over to Huntington.
Webb said the storm is very difficult to forecast.
“We’re trying to determine how much rain someone gets or how much ice they get or if it’s not much ice and stays mainly sleet and then how much snow they get on the back end, it’s a real headache,” he said.
Meteorologists said once all of the cold air arrives early Monday, the storm could produce 3 to 6 inches of snow in Charleston north to Sutton with higher elevations just north of Braxton County. Snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are possible in the Kingwood-Morgantown and Clarksburg areas.
The cold air is scheduled to arrive early in the northern panhandle and there could be as much as 10 inches of snow by Monday morning.
Webb said one thing is for sure travel will be impacted as the work week begins.
“People need to be prepared for some power outages and especially some treacherous travel early Monday,” he said.