Winter hanging on with snow, strong winds

ELKINS -Temperatures topping 70 degrees Tuesday led many residents to hope that winter was over, but a forecast of high winds and snow for today may freeze those hopes for the time being.

The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a wind advisory in effect from noon to midnight today, with wind gusts as strong as 40 to 50 mph expected to sweep through the area, making driving difficult.

“We are predicting that the gusts are going to be strong enough to break tree limbs and its a good idea to secure any outdoor furniture to keep it from blowing away,” said Andrew Beavers, a NWS meterologist. “We also want to caution those driving during this time to be alert and take extra care while traveling.”

The wind will result from a low-pressure system that will create a sharp drop in temperatures and even snowfall tonight into Thursday, Beavers said.

Rain is expected today, with an 80 percent chance of a rain and snow mix tonight which will turn into snow overnight into Thursday. Randolph, Barbour, Upshur, Pocahontas and Lewis counties will be affected.

“On Wednesday evening we are looking at snow starting around 8 p.m. or later, to continue until about 1 p.m. Thursday,” Beavers said Tuesday. ” We could see as much as 3 inches of snow before all is said and done.”

Beavers also said temperatures will drop to as low as the mid-teens by Wednesday night, while wind chill factors could be as low as minus 4.

Things look slightly more favorable this weekend, according to NWS officials, with the high temperature on Friday slated at 52 degrees. There is a 40 percent chance of snow on Sunday but temperatures are going to remain in the 30s and 40s, officials said.

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