Temperatures still above average for season

PARKERSBURG – Despite the recent cold, the area is again seeing a warmer-than-normal winter with temperatures several degrees above average, according to the National Weather Service.

January was 3 degrees warmer than normal and December was more than 5 degrees above average, meteorologist Joe Merchant with the weather service in Chalreston said.

“Although we did cool down more toward the end of the month, but overall it was relatively warm,” Merchant said.

According to Merchant, the 30-year average for December is 35.2. Temperatures in the region averaged 40.3 in December. January’s average temperature was 34.6, three degrees warmer than average. The Mid-Ohio Valley saw a peak of 69 on Tuesday. The month’s lowest temperature was 7 on Jan. 22.

Merchant said because of the warmer temperatures it’s no surprise precipitation is up. January saw almost a half-inch more precipitation than average.

“Being slightly warmer we would have more precipitation. Warmer air holds more moisture.”

Last winter the area saw 4 inches of snow and March temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It was the Mid-Ohio Valley’s eighth warmest winter on record. It was the sixth warmest winter in the state and fourth warmest for the continental United States.

The Mid-Ohio Valley’s warmest winter on record was the first year records were kept for Parkersburg, 1889-90, when the average temperature was 44.3. The coldest for the area was 1977-78, with an average temperature of 25.4.

On Friday, a winter storm caused school cancellations throughout the region. Several minor accidents were reported around the area.

The weather service forecast for today is a 90 percent chance of snow after 10 a.m. with highs around 30. Accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Snow showers are likely on Sunday, too.