MOV sees around an inch of snowfall

PARKERSBURG – The area saw around an inch of snow in the first official snowfall of the season Tuesday.

On average, the Mid-Ohio Valley saw around an inch of snow from a system that moved through the area Monday night and into Tuesday morning, said Andrew Beavers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

The weather service was having trouble getting information from weather spotters so the exact measurements for Parkersburg were not available, but Beavers said Newport, Ohio, was reporting 0.9 inch and Beverly, Ohio, was reporting right around 1 inch, while Harrisville, W.Va., reported 1.7 inches.

”That is what we are seeing statewide, an average of 1-2 inches,” he said.

The winter storm system is moving out of the area with temperatures on the rise.

”Parkersburg is going to see quite a warming spell into the weekend,” Beavers said. ”Through Saturday, it will be mostly sunny with a warming trend.”

The high today is expected to reach 39 degrees, the high for Thursday is expected to be 48 degrees, the high for Friday is expected to reach 54 degrees, the high for Saturday is expected to reach 57 degrees and the high for Sunday is expected to reach 61 degrees, Beavers said.

”At night it will be around freezing,” he said of lows around 23 degrees tonight, 30 degrees Thursday, 35 degrees Friday, 45 degrees Saturday and 50 degrees Sunday.

There will be a 30 percent chance of showers by Saturday night increasing to a 40 percent chance of showers throughout Sunday.

Although it might seem early for snowfall, Beavers said there was six times since weather reacords were kept where significant snowfalls hit West Virginia in October with an average of 3 inches reported in October 1925. November 1913 saw an average of 16 inches of snowfall and 33 inches in November 1950. Parkersburg saw a lot of snowfall in November of 1933.

”Whenever you see snow that means one thing, several months of cold and snow ahead,” Beavers said.

Most of the snow that fell across the state Monday/Tuesday has already melted as the ground is still very warm. Beavers said the soil temperature in Charleston was around 51 degrees and those measurements are taken four inches into the ground.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation is reminding people they can get road conditions by dialing 5-1-1 to access road conditions, traffic information and weather alerts, said Carrie Bly, communications specialist with the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

The old number, 1-877-WVA-ROAD is no longer in service. Those out-of-state can access the WV511 Traveler Information System by dialing 855-MY-WV-511 or 855-699-8511. If people get calls about the 5-1-1 number not working, they should try the out-of-state number.

People can also visit www.wv511.org for real-time traffic information, road conditions and access to traffic cameras, Bly said.

The WV511 Drive Safe Mobile App is also available for download for smartphone users.

”While driving, you will receive audible updates on nearby construction, crashes, traffic delays, weather advisories and other helpful traveler information on nearby interstates and other high priority roadways while being able to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road,” Bly said.

With the arrival of ice and snow, AAA East Central encourages drivers to plan ahead for safe driving in wintry weather. AAA offers the following tips for getting ready for winter driving:

* Make sure windows are free of dirt and grime and keep your windshield wiper reservoir full at all times. Use a winter cleaning solution with antifreeze components to keep the washer fluid from freezing.

* Clean your headlights so that you can see and be seen by others.

* Inflate your tires to the manufacturer’s specifications and be sure they have plenty of tread for proper traction.

* Wear your seat belt low across your hips and on your shoulders. Sit at least 10 inches away from your steering wheel so that you have plenty of room for emergency steering maneuvers and also to give the airbag room to inflate.

* Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. The kit should contain an ice scraper, cloth or roll of paper towels, battery starter cables, first-aid kit, non-perishable snacks and drinking water, blanket, gloves, warning devices such as flares or triangles, window washing solvent, flashlight, traction mats, snow brush, snow shovel, tire chains and a small bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or kitty litter for traction.