UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now issued a Winter Storm Watch from late Saturday night through Monday morning for Mercer, Summers and Monroe counties. Total storm accumulation 7 to 14 with locally higher amounts possible.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The latest models being analyzed by meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Charleston show a southern track for a storm starting to move its way across the country.
Late Thursday afternoon, those models were pointing toward the possibility of heavy snow Saturday night into Sunday in McDowell and Mercer counties and parts of the Greenbrier Valley, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Ross Giarratana.
“Some of the latest model trends have certainly suggested a more southern track to be a little bit more of a favorite scenario for this particular event,” Giarratana said.
Up to six inches of snow is possible in those areas. The amounts could be higher in parts of southwestern Virginia and Tennessee.
Appalachian Power Company has announced it will beginning staging as many as 500 workers in the areas that could be hardest hit. Spokesman Phil Moye told MetroNews some of those workers will report to Mercer and McDowell counties Saturday.
“We’re making plans right now. We’re looking at it and clearly it could cause us some problems,” he said.
The snow is expected to be the heavy, wet variety.
In advance of the storm, we are working to secure crews from contractors and other utilities outside the company’s service area, and are making plans to strategically stage workers in areas likely to experience outages. (2/2)
— Appalachian Power (@AppalachianPowe) December 6, 2018
The current models show the Kanawha Valley would be on the northern edge of the storm’s track. According to Giarratana, if that holds true, the Charleston area would only get about an inch of snow from the storm.
“It’s just a matter of–how far north can this storm track? If it takes a little bit more of a northern track it could bring more snow and potential impact into the Kanawha Valley but right now it looks like some of the trends are keeping it more into the southern portions of West Virginia,” Giarratana said.
The National Weather Service could begin issuing winter storm watches by Friday.