Snow to pile up; flood water to recede

The National Weather Service has predicted that 5 to 10 inches of snow will accumulate over the weekend.

Liz Sommerville, a meteorologist with the NWS in Charleston, spoke to the Inter-Mountain Friday about what Elkins residents, and those in the surrounding area, can expect for the coming days.

Significant amounts of snow will blanket central West Virginia, but it will accumulate slowly and will not be a heavy snowfall, Sommerville said.

In fact, only 1 to 2 inches of snow are expected to fall today, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but the total snowfall for the weekend will add up, she said.

Sommerville said precipitation will begin around 6 a.m. this morning and will steadily continue through Tuesday evening.

The overnight low is predicted to be 7 degrees, said Sommerville, but that will change to 22 degrees on Saturday, 13 degrees Sunday and 22 degrees Monday night.

Highs will not fluctuate much, she said, with temperatures reaching 27 degrees Saturday, 28 Sunday, 33 Monday and 31 Tuesday, respectively.

Sommerville said a wind chill of -2 degrees is possible Saturday.

“Cover exposed skin and dress in layers,” she said.

Winds will pick up over the weekend, but will die down by the beginning of the work week.

Elkins residents are likely to feel wind speeds from 7 to 11 mph on Saturday. Stronger winds – some 15 mph -are possible on Sunday, Sommerville said.

The NWS also has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Lewis, Upshur, Barbour, Pocahontas and Randolph counties.

The outlook – a type of report that is meant to provide information about weather in the next one to five days – said accumulating snow is likely throughout today and that weather advisories or warnings could be issued in response to the accumulation.

Jim Wise, director of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management, said he anticipates that flooding will recede over the weekend.

“As long as it stays cooler, (increased flooding is) not a problem,” he said. “I don’t anticipate flooding to get worse.”

Wise said that heavy, wet snow could cause more flooding, but lighter snow that is created when temperatures are below freezing should not be a cause for concern.