BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - A typical-March snowstorm moved into the Two Virginias with heavy, wet snow Wednesday, closing schools and making travel tricky for some motorists.
Heavy, wet snow is great for making snowballs or snowmen, but it causes a lot of headaches for power companies. Snow will rest on tree limbs and power lines, causing concern for power outages-especially where the higher snow totals are expected. Wind gusts up to 30-40mph on Wednesday also add to the concern.
As of Wednesday morning, power outages were minimal in the WVVA viewing area, with less than 200 reported early Wednesday in Raleigh and Fayette counties, respectively.
The most were reported in Greenbrier County, with a total of 5,000 AEP and MonPower customers without service at 9:30 a.m., according to Al Whitaker with Greenbrier County Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
The heavier snowfall occurred to the north and east with the majority of Virginia's 90,000 outages in the Shenandoah Valley.
West Virginia's heaviest snowfall occurred in the north-central and eastern panhandle counties. A total of 12,000 Dominion and AEP customers without service Wednesday morning.
Rain fell heavy at times Tuesday afternoon before changing to snow Tuesday night. Snow was at its heaviest early Wednesday morning, accumulating on the grass and roads before most headed out for their morning commute. Snow was expected to stay steady through the morning, then become lighter and spottier snow showers in the afternoon.
Snow showers will taper off Wednesday night for most and Thursday morning in the mountains. Snow totals will be the most extreme in Pocahontas County, where 6-12 inches are possible. Totals may get that high in northwest Greenbrier County too. Parts of Fayette and most of Greenbrier County get about 4-8 inches, and a swath of 2-5 inches is likely in Monroe, Summers, Mercer, eastern Tazewell, Bland, northern Wythe, Giles & Raleigh counties. Most of McDowell, Wyoming, Tazewell, Buchanan, and southern Wythe counties pick up on a dusting to 2 inches with isolated high spots up to 3 or 4.
This is a large and complex storm system. A slight change in the track of the storm will alter snow totals. Be sure to keep checking in with the WVVA Weather Team as they track this winter storm. Download WVVA's free weather app for Android and Apple devices. Also, follow the team's updates on Twitter and Facebook.