West Virginia winter predictions are out: How much snow are we in for?

Weather

Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – Brace yourselves—winter is coming.

We all can feel the last drops of warm sunshine moving out as we head into the thick of November.

It’s all happening just in time for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to release its winter outlook, which tells us that La Nina is expected to be weak this year.

Basically—expect much the same as last season, where we didn’t exactly get pummeled with snow.

The big question is, when are those cold periods, when are they going to come true, and when are they going to kind of coincide with the big periods of above-normal precipitation.

Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist

So it doesn’t sound like snowmageddon is too likely.

But Dr. Law says the big picture can often be misleading.

Even if we skew warm, we’ll still go through spells where the thermometer will plunge—and if a storm is brewing at the same time, watch out.

We can always have a week or two with some really cold weather, and you couple that with some above-normal precipitation, that sets the stage then for winter precipitation.

Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist

Bad news for those who can’t stand the often treacherous driving conditions on the wild and wonderful West Virginia roads.

I think we’ll probably see perhaps maybe a little bit more icy over parts of the state as we have an increase of that warm wedge coming up the Ohio Valley.

Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist

A warm wedge is a section of air that melts the precipitation that forms in the clouds, and can lead to freezing rain or sleet.

In other words, it’s a snow day killer.

Our chief meteorologist Zach Petey says it shows there’s quite a bit going on 17,000 feet in the air that we can’t see from way down here.

There’s a lot more factors that go into weather that maybe don’t get thought about until we head into winter.

Zach Petey, WTRF Chief Meteorologist

They’re factors that can mean the difference between smooth driving and a slick road.

You can see the snow moreso than let’s say measure the rain, if that makes sense.

Zach Petey, WTRF Chief Meteorologist

In short, the Ohio Valley winter of 2022 probably won’t make you use that shovel as much as usual this year.

But keep it handy just in case the perfect storm drops an avalanche outside your door.

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