CHARLESTON, W.Va. — March has certainly came in like a lion in West Virginia.
Whether the month ends like a lamb is to be seen, but parts of the Mountain State are certainly hoping so after another system has brought around a half foot of snow Sunday into Monday in cases.
Keyser in Mineral County saw one of the highest totals in the state with 6.5 inches of snow as eastern panhandle locations in Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan counties were over 5 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
NWS Meteorologist Tom Mazza says the system was a little different than normal.
“It was more north, south, and mountain to lowlands to a degree,” he told MetroNews. “Even though we did have some of our highest amounts in the mountains, it was slightly less of a mountain type of storm that is usually the case.”
Schools across the state, including colleges and universities, saw delays and cancellations on Monday morning due to the weather conditions. Lowlands were cleaning up Monday morning from a thick coating of ice underneath an inch or two of snow because of temperatures skyrocketing down from above to below freezing.
Mazza called a warm-to-cold system a “worst-case scenario” for conditions on the road.
“You have all the wetness on cars, roads, and surfaces freezing,” he said. “At the same time, you have snow start to accumulate on it so you get that icy coating right on that surface of whatever it is. That evolves into that crunchy snow.
“On top of everything you will have dry powdery snow. So when you go to brush off the car, you can brush off the dust but still have a half inch of junk on there.”
Forecasters are predicting the well below freezing temperatures to continue for most parts around the state in the next couple of days. In Charleston, the National Weather Service has predicted a low of around 11 Monday night into Tuesday morning. The city of Charleston has announced opening up a warming center in the city for Monday night as the city is expected to be about 10 degrees off of a record low for March 5.
Mazza expects temperatures get up above freezing on Thursday and more spring-like weather this weekend across the state, causing all the recent snow and ice to melt. He said swings in temperatures like forecasted this week have become all too often in 2019.
“We have had fast moving systems as cold air comes in and then it moves right back out and warms up,” he said. “It’s been a quick roller coaster this year as far as temperatures and weather systems coming through.”
Mazza said even with weekend temperatures expected to get into the 50s and 60s, no locations in the state are out of the woods yet for more wintery weather before spring. He said the usual last accumulative snowfall of the year happens in late March to early April.