Heavy snow, ice fails to materialize after air is slightly warmer than expected

Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.
·1 min read

Feb. 18—BLUEFIELD — A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 7 a.m. Friday and people were still being urged to avoid unnecessary travel Thursday, but large amounts of snow and sleet are no longer expected due to slightly warmer air temperatures high above the region, a meteorologist said Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. had forecasted 4 to 8 inches of sleet and snow for Thursday along with ice accumulations of up to a quarter inch in some areas. Snow, sleet and ice did arrive, but not in the amounts that had been anticipated.

Freezing mist and freezing drizzle were still possible Thursday, according to meteorologist Eric Taylor. These conditions could still create slick spots on highways and secondary roads.

"If you don't have to travel today, I would recommend that you not do so," Taylor stated.

The air about 3,000 feet above the southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia region was slightly warmer than expected, and this impacted the amount of precipitation that fell, he said.

"It only takes 1 to 3 degrees difference to make a big difference," Taylor said.

In Mercer County, the Bluefield and Princeton areas had about 1 inch of snow and sleet, and areas in Southwest Virginia such as Bland County saw about an inch of sleet, too. Bluefield, Va. had about half an inch of sleet.

More freezing rain and sleet were expected through Friday, but large amounts of precipitation were not expected, Taylor said. About 1 to 3 inches could fall on the ridge lines and higher elevations, but cities like Bluefield and Princeton could see an additional inch of snow and sleet along with "an additional light glaze" of ice.