Major Weather Changes Wednesday Bring Rapid Return of Snow - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Major Weather Changes Wednesday Bring Rapid Return of Snow

Posted: Updated:
CHARLESTON, WV -

UPDATE 4PM WEDNESDAY 

We have had several wind gusts above 50 miles per hour, mainly in the Kanawha County area, where there are more recording instruments.  The winds are the result of the differences in high and low pressure in the overall region and the wind is expected to remain well above 20 miles per hour until after midnight.

Snow flakes have been reported in the western side of the 13 News area.  Temperatures have dropped to 36 degrees in Huntington with even colder air coming in as the night goes on.  

As many as 27,000 customers in West Virginia alone have no power.  There are more outages in Kentucky and Ohio.  

One upside to the strong winds is the fact that most of the rain has dried on area roads before the temperatures can fall below freezing.  

Light accumulations are still expected overnight in the lowlands with as many as 2 to 4 inches of snow possible in the high terrain of West Virginia.   

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A potent cold front is set to bowl over the region Wednesday with rain, possible thunderstorms, strong winds, possible hail and finally snow and bitter cold temperatures all within the confines of 12 hours.

"Any time you hit 70 degrees then roll a cold front into that in March, the result is usually going to be some wild and windy weather in our area," said StormTracker chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins.

According to the StormTracker 13 forecast, rain is expected even before dawn in the western side of the viewing area, to be followed by a chance for gusty thunderstorms also moving west to east across the area from about the end of the morning commute until just after lunch time.

"We could see some small hail with that round of storms and some strong wind gusts, but the key is, once that rain goes through, we'll still see more rain and the winds won't let down, which is why the National Weather Service put out a Wind Advisory for most of the day," said Adkins.  

The National Weather Service said in a briefing that power fluctuations of outages will be possible along with downed limbs or trees.  

Temperatures will be at their highest, in the 50s, early in the day and will fall by night time into the upper teens. Snow should be seen all across the region but the lowlands are not expected to see much more than a light coat on the grassy surfaces.  Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for Vinton, Athens, Wood and Washington counties for the chance of accumulating snow making roads very slick there.  Roads could also be slick with as many as two to four inches of snow in counties such as Nicholas and Webster as those areas are expected to see snow fall through the night.  Even with only light accumulations, lowland area roads could be very slick thanks to a rapid refreeze after sunset.  Slick roads and high winds can make for hazardous driving conditions until Thursday.

A one day cold snap is expected with highs only in the low 30s on Thursday with a fast return to normal temperatures on Friday.  

Stay tuned to 13 News and watch the front page of wowktv.com for breaking weather alerts on the scrolling alert at the top of the page.