Local residents wishing for a white Christmas may see snow flying as early as this evening, as a winter weather watch has been announced by the National Weather Service for several counties in the area.
Randolph, Upshur, Pocahontas, Webster, Fayette, Nicholas and Raleigh counties are under a watch that will remain in effect from this evening through Saturday evening. Meteorologist Tom Mazza from the Weather Service described what residents can expect from the late-week storm system.
"It's going to pass north to west of the area, bringing rain (today)," he said, speaking about conditions which will be produced early in the storm.
Temperatures today should reach highs in the low-50s, Mazza said, but tonight's lows will drop into the 20s and snow will follow that drop in temperature.
"Most of the accumulation will be in the higher elevations," Mazza said.
The peak accumulation of snow will take place Friday night and Saturday morning, Mazza said. Up to a foot of snow is possible in the higher elevations.
On Friday, highs will only reach the freezing point in lower elevations and will be a chilly 20 degrees in higher elevations. Lows on Friday night will drop into the teens and low-20s, he said.
Winds are also a concern with this storm system.
Gusts are expected with winds up to 40 mph in higher elevations, Mazza said. He said residents will feel the top wind speeds Friday night.
During the day on Saturday, winds will slow down and the rate of snowfall will decrease.
"Things should taper off on Saturday," Mazza said.
Warmer temperatures will return on Sunday. Highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s are expected in lower elevations, Mazza said.
No precipitation is expected on Sunday and skies should be partly sunny he said.