CHARLESTON, W.Va. — While some parts of West Virginia are recovering from quick snow accumulation Sunday evening into Monday, others are experiencing heavy rainfall and some are bracing for threats of ice on Monday evening.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Maura Casey says this is a typical February in the Mountain State with sloppy but different weather conditions arriving in different parts.
“This state you can break it into basically three completely different worlds and you’re going to have different weather occur pretty much everywhere,” she said.
The snow came in quite a hurry Sunday, Casey said, especially along the U.S. Route 50 corridor and the Northern Panhandle.
“The Route 50 corridor in the western lowlands and the areas north of there got up to two inches of snow in a pretty quick burst,” she said. “The amounts weren’t very high but as motorists saw on the roads yesterday, your visibility can suffer quite a bit.”
Meanwhile, spots in the state are continuing to face potential flooding as the rain that started Sunday is forecasted to continue into Tuesday evening.
In West Virginia, numerous counties along the Ohio River are under a Flood Watch as the NWS Charleston says rainfall amounts of 1.5 to 3 inches are expected Monday into Tuesday. Those counties include Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Pleasants, Putnam, Tyler, Wayne, and Wood.
“It’s February,” Casey said. “This time of the year, the problem that we face is a lot of the ground is frozen. If the ground is frozen, not a lot of rainwater can seep into the ground. A lot of it turns into runoff which turns into flooding.
“Another factor is the vegetation is in dormancy for the winter, they can’t suck up the water.”
Casey said this is the typical pattern of flooding in West Virginia in late winter heading to early spring.
She added that some areas sit right around freezing temperatures throughout most of February and that can bring ice. Casey said the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia faces significant icing early Tuesday morning into midday on Tuesday.
The NWS in Baltimore/Washington D.C. has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Hardy, Western Grant, Eastern Grant, and Eastern Mineral from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.
While winter only has a little more than a month left on the calendar, West Virginia saw snow as last as early April in 2018. Casey said that is something to keep in mind when you’re seeing temperatures above freezing in the extended forecast.
“If snowfall isn’t your thing, we can be cautiously optimistic with the current pattern we are looking at,” she said. “It’s looking more rainy. You can mention that we thought this last year too but then we got snowstorms and school closures in early April. Appalachian weather is a little tricky.”