I know we're all very happy (well, the majority of us) that this storm system did not affect the Valley this time around. But why?
Recall the blog about blocking high pressure (February 15) and how the jetstream dips into the southern portion of the United States. The jetstream was positioned in the a way that the storm formed off the eastern seaboard - far enough east and north that it would not affect the Commonwealth.
The higher elevations aren't so lucky. With an upper level disturbance hanging over the Ohio Valley, in combination with the northwesterly winds coming in off the monster coastal low pressure - feet of snow are not out of the question in the higher elevations. Blizzard Warnings have been issued for Highland, Pendleton, and Western Grant counties because of the snow and wind combination. Visibilities are expected to be below one quarter of a mile through Friday. Taking a look at the Canaan Valley Resort webcam, I'd say near - zero visibility is pretty much on target. Another great webcam to check out during upslope events is the Dolly Sods cam on the USDA Forest Service Air Quality Image Website. It looks a little bit different that the Valley.
But the Valley doesn't miss out on everything. What the Valley will experience are high winds throughout Thursday and especially into Thursday night and Friday. High Wind Watches have been issued for the Valley through Friday. Wind gusts of 60 mph are possible throughout the Valley and the higher elevations.
The system will hang around the Northeast through the weekend, leaving us with extra cloud cover and windy conditions. Snow in the higher elevations will begin to taper off on Monday.
Another system looks to be skirting to our south on Tuesday, but it will be close enough to keep the clouds in the Valley.
Stay warm - and hold onto your hats!