More snow hits area; temperatures to increase by weekend

Old Man Winter won’t let go of his grasp on Randolph County and the surrounding area, as the latest snowstorm hit Tuesday night – dumping at least 3 to 6 inches of snow in Elkins by midday Wednesday.

The heavy, wet snow from the storm named Saturn led to school cancellations and power outages throughout the region, and more snow was expected Wednesday evening and into today. There was a 30 percent chance of snow Friday for much of the area as well, including Randolph, Pocahontas and Barbour counties.

“We have a chance of snow showers through Thursday and Friday, but it should be winding down,” said Nick Webb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, during a phone interview late Wednesday morning. “It will continue off and on today and into tonight, with probably another 1 to 3 inches of snow.”

He said higher elevations in this part of the state could see an additional 4 inches of snow.

“The average temperature right now for Elkins is 48 (degrees), so we’re not going to be anywhere close to that until Sunday,” Webb said.

“The big warmup is going to probably come Sunday and Monday, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Then we get some rain and go back into colder weather,” he said.

Webb added this storm hit the Eastern Panhandle the hardest, with more than 10 inches reported in Morgan County at noon Wednesday. Snowfall remained heavy Wednesday afternoon in many areas.

Because the heavy snow knocked down trees and power lines, power outages were reported by MonPower in several counties.

The company’s website listed the following amounts of customers without electrical service as of noon Wednesday: 2,970 in Pocahontas County; 2,453 in Pendleton County; 1,976 in Hardy County; 381 in Grant County; 79 in Tucker County; and 71 in Randolph County.

The company reported less than five customers without power in Lewis and Barbour counties at that time.

Original storm predictions for the local area called for up to a foot of snow, and Terry George, interim superintendent of Randolph County Schools, said he is very happy the area was spared the worst of the storm.

“I am grateful we are not dealing with a total loss of power – we dodged the bullet,” George said Wednesday.

“The roads were hazardous early this morning. Combined with the predicted amount of snow, (that) caused our decision to cancel school in Randolph County Wednesday. We are looking forward to getting back for a full day of school (today).”

Elkins resident Logan Smith also said he is pleased the snowfall was not too significant.

“I am glad it has been lighter than expected so far in our area,” Smith said. “I hope it has not caused too many problems elsewhere.”

Others were somewhat disappointed that the storm didn’t bring larger snowfall totals.

Dubbed the “snow queen” online because of her numerous posts on Facebook wishing for large amounts of snow, Elkins resident Rhonda Weese said she had hoped for more.

“Snowstorm Saturn turned out to be tiny in comparison to Nemo – that produced 4 feet in some areas up north,” Weese said.

“I keep waiting on the ‘big snow’ but always seem to be disappointed. I think I have figured out that it’s a way to promote sales of bread, milk, water and gasoline.”

Staff writer Beth Christian-Broschart contributed to this article.