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NOUS41 KRLX 151550
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KYZ103-OHZ066-067-075-076-083>087-VAZ003-004-WVZ005>011-013>020-
024>040-046-047-162330-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON WV
1040 AM EST MON DEC 15 2014

HERE IS A HISTORY OF PAST CHRISTMAS WEATHER IN THE CENTRAL
APPALACHIANS...FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR...MANY PEOPLE DREAM OF A WHITE
CHRISTMAS.  YET...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS IT IS
UNCOMMON FOR MOST WEST VIRGINIANS TO WAKE UP CHRISTMAS
MORNING TO A BLANKET OF SNOW AT LEAST 1 INCH IN DEPTH.
THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR RESIDENTS OF SOUTHEAST OHIO...
NORTHEAST KENTUCKY...AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA.

AT ELEVATIONS LESS THAN 2 THOUSAND FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL...PAST
CHRISTMAS MORNINGS HAVE BEEN WHITE ONLY ABOUT 20 PERCENT
OF THE TIME.  THIS WOULD INCLUDE THE MAJORITY OF THE LARGER
CITIES. HERE IS ANOTHER WAY TO SAY THE SAME THING...WEATHER
RECORDS TELL US...THAT FOR EVERY 10 CHRISTMAS MORNINGS...ABOUT
2 HAD SNOW ON THE GROUND AT DAWN.

HEADING EAST FROM THE NEW RIVER VALLEY...PAST CHRISTMAS
MORNINGS HAVE BEEN WHITE ONLY ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF THE TIME IN
THE ROANOKE/SALEM REGION OF VIRGINIA...ON NORTH TO INCLUDE THE
MARTINSBURG REGION IN WEST VIRGINIA`S EASTERN PANHANDLE.

THE CHANCES OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS INCREASE DRASTICALLY OVER THE
MOUNTAINS OF WEST VIRGINIA.  AT ELEVATIONS OVER 3 THOUSAND
FEET...ABOUT 6 OF EVERY 10 CHRISTMAS MORNINGS HAVE BEEN
WHITE...OR NEARLY 60 PERCENT OF THE TIME.

CONTINUOUS WEATHER SERVICE RECORDS FOR THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS
ONLY DATE BACK TO THE LATE 18 HUNDREDS.  YET...THESE RECORDS
STILL SHOW QUITE A VARIETY OF WEATHER FOR CHRISTMAS DAY.

LOOKING AT THE TEMPERATURE EXTREMES...IT`S IRONIC THAT THE
WARMEST CHRISTMAS WAS FOLLOWED BY THE COLDEST.

THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER 25TH IN WEST VIRGINIA
AND VIRGINIA WAS IN 1982.  BOTH HUNTINGTON AND CHARLESTON
REGISTERED A BALMY 76 DEGREES IN 1982.  IN VIRGINIA...THE
WARMEST TEMPERATURE WAS 78 DEGREES FROM ABINGDON OF WASHINGTON
COUNTY.

ANOTHER UNUSUALLY WARM CHRISTMAS WAS FELT IN 1964.
WILLIAMSON AND LOGAN HAD 75 DEGREES ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN 1964.
THE WARMEST IN VIRGINIA IN 1964...WAS ALSO 75 DEGREES...FROM
NORFOLK.

THE COLDEST CHRISTMAS TEMPERATURES ENDURED IN BOTH WEST
VIRGINIA AND VIRGINIA WERE IN 1983.  SNOWSHOE OF POCAHONTAS
COUNTY MEASURED 26 DEGREES BELOW ZERO THAT YEAR.  THIS
SHATTERED THE PREVIOUS LOW RECORD OF 14 BELOW ZERO AT
REEDSVILLE OF PRESTON COUNTY HELD SINCE CHRISTMAS
1935.  THE COLDEST CHRISTMAS TEMPERATURE IN VIRGINIA WAS 20
DEGREES BELOW ZERO IN 1983.  THIS FRIGID REPORT WAS FROM
MOUNTAIN LAKE OF GILES COUNTY.

ANOTHER VERY COLD CHRISTMAS DAY IN WEST VIRGINIA WAS IN 1980
WHEN DAWN READINGS WERE ON EITHER SIDE OF THE ZERO MARK.
IN 1989...ARCTIC SUB ZERO TEMPERATURES WERE ENDURED FROM
THE 21ST INTO THE 24TH.  GLADY AND CHEAT BRIDGE WERE 33 DEGREES
BELOW ZERO ON THE 24TH.  IN SOUTHEAST OHIO...ATHENS WAS 27 BELOW
ZERO ON THE 22ND.  HOWEVER...THE EXTREME COLD EXITED BY
CHRISTMAS DAY IN 1989. IN ITS WAKE...MOST RIVERS WERE FROZEN
SOLID FOR THE HOLIDAY.

NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR DECEMBER 25TH ARE LOWS IN THE 20S
AND HIGH READINGS IN THE UPPER 30S TO LOWER 40S.

TURNING OUR ATTENTION TO SNOW DEPTHS...THE MOST SNOW REPORTED
ON THE GROUND AT DAWN ON CHRISTMAS MORNING WAS 27 INCHES AT
SPRUCE KNOB IN 1963.  IN VIRGINIA...THE MOST SNOW ON THE GROUND
AT DAWN ON CHRISTMAS WAS 13 INCHES FROM BIG MEADOWS OF MADISON
COUNTY IN 1966.

CHRISTMAS 1935 WAS WHITE AND COLD FOR A LOT OF WEST VIRGINIA.
THE COLD AIR STARTED RUSHING IN DURING CHRISTMAS EVE...DUMPING
A FEW INCHES OF SNOW.  CHRISTMAS DAY IN 1935 FOLLOWED WITH
SNOW SHOWERS AND EVEN COLDER TEMPERATURES.  QUOTING OLD
WEATHER BUREAU RECORDS FOR DECEMBER 1935, "DURING THE
AFTERNOON AND EVENING OF THE 25TH, A SEVERE BLIZZARD FOLLOWED
A WIND SHIFT LINE, PREVAILED OVER THE STATE, ATTENDED BY HIGH
WINDS, ZERO TEMPERATURES, AND HEAVY SNOWFALL." /END OF QUOTE/
IN 1996...A WEATHER RADIO LISTENER IN HUNTINGTON TOLD US HIS
RECOLLECTIONS...WHICH AGREE WITH THE PRECEDING QUOTE.  HE
HAD 4 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND CHRISTMAS MORNING IN
1935...THEN AT 4 PM IT GOT REAL DARK.  HE SAID A SNOW SQUALL
DUMPED 5 INCHES OF SNOW IN ABOUT AN HOUR...WITH TEMPERATURES
FALLING BELOW ZERO.

THE COLD DECEMBER OF 1963 PRODUCED FREQUENT LIGHT SNOWS AND A
PROLONG SNOW COVER.

IN 1966...A DEVELOPING COASTAL STORM BLANKETED MUCH OF WEST
VIRGINIA WITH SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW FROM LATE ON THE 23RD INTO
THE 24TH.  THIS RESULTED IN THE DEEPEST SNOW COVER FOR CHRISTMAS
MORNING FOR SEVERAL COMMUNITIES IN WEST VIRGINIA FROM THE
INTERSTATE 79 CORRIDOR ON EAST AND SOUTH.

MANY BABY BOOMERS CAN RECALL THE SNOW ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN
1969.  HOWEVER, THAT "NOR-EASTER" STARTED A BIT LATE TO AFFECT
THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS BY DAWN.  THE SNOW STARTED DURING  THE
MID MORNING TO NOON TIME PERIOD ACROSS WEST VIRGINIA AND
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA ON THAT CHRISTMAS DAY IN 1969.  THE SNOW
CONTINUED THROUGHOUT CHRISTMAS NIGHT AND INTO THE NEXT DAY. FIVE
TO 10 INCHES OF NEW SNOW WAS COMMON ACROSS WEST VIRGINIA. EVEN
MORE SNOW FELL IN THE MOUNTAINS AND  EASTERN  PANHANDLE.
MARTINSBURG HAD A   FOOT OF SNOW ON THE  GROUND BY DAWN ON THE
26TH.  ROANOKE VIRGINIA STARTED CHRISTMAS DAY IN 1969 WITH
NO SNOW ON THE GROUND.  BY DAWN ON THE 26TH...ROANOKE HAD 15
INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND.

THE COLD DECEMBER OF 1989 PRODUCED A WHITE CHRISTMAS THROUGHOUT
THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS ALONG WITH FROZEN RIVERS.

A LACK OF SNOW WAS SEEN FOR THE 3 YEARS FROM 2006 THROUGH 2008.
2008 WAS THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR OF NO SNOW ANYWHERE IN THE
MOUNTAIN STATE EVEN ACROSS THE HIGH MOUNTAINS. THAT WAS VERY
UNUSUAL FOR WEST VIRGINIA.

IN 2010...COLD AND SNOW DOMINATED THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. DECEMBER
2010 WAS AMONG THE TOP TEN COLDEST DECEMBERS FOR MANY WEST VIRGINIA
TOWNS.  A WHITE CHRISTMAS DAWN WAS WIDESPREAD IN 2010...EXCEPT IN
PORTIONS OF THE 2 WEST VIRGINIA PANHANDLES. THE DEEPEST SNOW ON THE
GROUND AT DAWN IN 2010 WAS 14 INCHES ON THE MOUNTAINTOP NEAR
RICHWOOD AND AT CANAAN VALLEY.

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IN 2011 WAS IN SHARP CONTRAST TO 2009 AND 2010.
WE RETURNED TO A MILD AND WET PATTERN.  EARTH WORMS WERE EVEN
SPOTTED AFTER THE FREQUENT RAINS.  FLIES WERE IN THE AIR WHEN
TEMPERATURES REACHED INTO THE 50S AND 60S. MANY TOWNS IN THE
LOWLANDS HAD NOT EVEN SEEN MEASURABLE SNOW THROUGH CHRISTMAS IN
2011.  DESPITE THEIR MAN MADE SNOW EFFORTS...SKI RESORTS STRUGGLED
TO OPEN LAST DECEMBER.

IN 2012...A RARE HISTORIC SNOW OCCURRED IN LATE OCTOBER.
FOR CHRISTMAS DAY IN 2012 THERE WAS NO SNOW ON THE GROUND ACROSS THE
WESTERN LOWLANDS INCLUDING NORTHEAST KENTUCKY AND SOUTHEAST OHIO IN
2012.  A FEW INCHES OF SNOW COVERED THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
MOUNTAIN COUNTIES IN WEST VIRGINIA...ON INTO THE EASTERN PANHANDLE.
THE MOST SNOW ON THE GROUND FOR DAWN ON CHRISTMAS 2012 WAS 6 INCHES
AT TERRA ALTA...5 INCHES AT KUMBRABOW STATE FOREST AND BAYARD.
CANAAN HEIGHTS HAD 4 INCHES.  MARTINSBURG EVEN HAD 3 INCHES ON THE
GROUND...WITH AN INCH AT KEYSER AND MOOREFIELD.

LAST YEAR IN 2013...MANY COUNTIES HAD A WHITE THANKSGIVING.  RAINS
OF 1.5 TO 3.5 INCHES FELL FROM THE 5TH INTO THE 7TH IN DECEMBER...
CAUSING MINOR RIVER FLOODING ALONG THE ELK AND TYGART VALLEY
RIVERS.

SEVERAL MINOR SNOW EVENTS OCCURRED IN DECEMBER....LEADING UP TO
CHRISTMAS. EVEN THE EASTERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA HAD 3 TO 6
INCHES OF SNOW ON THE 14TH OF DECEMBER IN 2013.

THE MOUNTAIN SNOW PACK PEAKED IN THE 6 TO 12 INCH RANGE BY DECEMBER
18TH.  THE WEATHER TURNED WARM AND WET AROUND THE WINTER SOLSTICE IN
2013.  RECORD WARMTH OCCURRED ON THE 21ST.  MADISON AND HAMLIN
REACHED 76 DEGREES...WITH 74 DEGREES IN GRAYSON KENTUCKY AND 71 AT
GALLIPOLIS.  EVEN CHARLESTON AND HUNTINGTON REACHED 75 DEGREES.

A GUSTY SQUALL LINE MOVED THROUGH EARLY ON THE 22ND WITH WINDS OF 40
TO 50 MPH COMMON.  SOME GUSTS AROUND 60 MPH WERE MEASURED AT ATHENS
OHIO AND PARKERSBURG.  RECORD WARMTH EVEN OCCURRED ON THE 22ND AHEAD
OF THOSE SHOWERS.  CHARLESTON REACHED 74 DEGREES AT 2 O`CLOCK IN THE
MORNING FOR ITS RECORD ON THE 22ND LAST YEAR.

RAIN TOTALS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES FELL OVER 48 HOURS...SWELLING THE
RIVERS.

THERE WAS NO SNOW LEFT ON THE GROUND BY SUNDAY DECEMBER 22ND.

COLDER AIR FINALLY STARTED TO ARRIVE ON DECEMBER 23RD LAST YEAR.
A REINFORCING ARCTIC FRONT BLEW THROUGH DURING THE MORNING OF
CHRISTMAS EVE.  A DUSTING TO AN INCH OF SNOW WAS COMMON.  YET...THE
SUN REAPPEARED IN THE AFTERNOON.  DESPITE SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES
MUCH OF THE LOWLANDS STARTED TO LOOSE ITS THIN COATING OF SNOW.

CHRISTMAS EVE NIGHT WAS CLEAR AND COLD.  SOME CLOUDS LINGERED OVER
NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA.  TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS WERE COMMON WITH
SINGLE DIGITS IN THE MOUNTAINS FOR DAWN ON CHRISTMAS LAST YEAR. THE
COLDEST TEMPERATURES WERE 1 ABOVE AT SNOWSHOE AND 3 ABOVE AT GLADY.

THE END RESULT...MOST OF THE LOWLANDS DID NOT HAVE A WHITE CHRISTMAS
IN 2013.  SOME OF THE MOUNTAIN COUNTIES STILL HAD AN INCH OR TWO OF
SNOW ON THE GROUND AT DAWN.

SUNSHINE WAS COMMON ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN 2013 WITH AFTERNOON
TEMPERATURES IN THE 30S AND LOWER 40S.

OVERNIGHT CHRISTMAS NIGHT...AN INCH OR LESS OF SNOW FELL OVER
NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA.


THE FOLLOWING IS SPECIFIC DATA FOR SEVERAL TOWNS ON CHRISTMAS
DAY. TEMPERATURE FACTS GO BACK INTO THE EARLY 1900S. MAXIMUM
SNOW DEPTH FOR DAWN CHRISTMAS DAY IS SINCE 1950. WHITE CHRISTMAS
IS DEFINED HERE, AS AT LEAST HAVING A SNOW COVER OF AN INCH AT
DAWN. SOME  SITES LISTED HAVE NOT MAINTAINED CONTINUOUS RECORDS.


                                          MOST SNOW  LAST 3 WHITE
            RECORD HIGH   RECORD LOW      ON GRND     CHRISTMAS
CITY        TEMP   YEAR   TEMP  YEAR      AT DAWN     MRNGS/7AM

CHARLESTON   76 1982      MINUS 10 1983   5 1966     2010/1999/95

ELKINS       68 1982      MINUS 17 1983   8 1969     2013/10/09

HUNTINGTON   76 1982      MINUS  9 1983   4 1963     2010/1993/89

PARKERSBURG  70 1982      MINUS 10 1983   5 1963     2010/1993/89

BECKLEY      66 1982      MINUS 15 1983  13 1963     2013/10/09

BLUEFIELD    64 1982      MINUS 13 1983   9 2009     2010/09/03

MARTINSBURG  67 1964      MINUS 12 1983   6 2009     2012/09/02

MORGANTOWN   71 1982      MINUS 13 1983  3 2009/1995 2010/09/00
                                          AND 1989

CLARKSBURG   72 1982      MINUS 11 1983    6 2009    2010/09/00

WELLSBURG/   66 1964      MINUS 10 1983    6 1963    2000/1995/93
WHEELING     AND 1982

WESTON       70 1964      MINUS 11 1983    6 2009    2010/09/00

ATHENS OHIO  69 1964      MINUS 17 1983    8 1963    2010/1995/93

CLINTWOOD VA 70 1982      NOT AVBL 1983    9 1963    2010/09/1999

ROANOKE VA 68 1982       MINUS 4 1983    7 2009/1962 2010/09/1993


LOOKING AT THE TABLE...2010...WAS THE FIRST WHITE CHRISTMAS IN 17
YEARS FOR HUNTINGTON AND PARKERSBURG...AND THE FIRST IN 15 YEARS AT
ATHENS OHIO.  MARTINSBURG WAS THE ONLY LISTED CITY THAT HAD A SNOW
COVER ON THE GROUND CHRISTMAS MORNING IN 2012.

THIS YEAR...2014...WAS SIMILAR TO LAST YEAR...IN THAT NOVEMBER WAS
COLDER THAN NORMAL...PLUS SNOW WAS AROUND FOR THANKSGIVING. AFTER
THANKSGIVING OUR ENVIRONMENT TURNED MILDER AND WETTER THIS YEAR.
A MAJOR RAIN STORM HIT ON THE 5TH AND 6TH OF DECEMBER THIS YEAR WITH
1.5 TO 2 INCHES OF RAIN.  RIVERS RAN HIGH.  MANY AREAS HAD
TEMPERATURES STAY ABOVE FREEZING FOR 7 STRAIGHT DAYS...EVEN AT
NIGHT.   THE SECOND WEEK OF DECEMBER SAW NO MAJOR STORMS WITH PLENTY
OF CLOUDS.

SO FAR...NO MAJOR SNOW STORMS HAVE BEEN SEEN ACROSS THE LOWLANDS.
EVEN OVER THE HIGH MOUNTAINS...VERY LITTLE SNOW COVER EXISTED ON THE
15TH OF DECEMBER.

HOWEVER...AS OF THE 15TH OF DECEMBER...IT WAS STILL TOO EARLY TO
PREDICT CHRISTMAS MORNING.  AS WE GET CLOSER TO CHRISTMAS EVE AND
CHRISTMAS MORNING...MONITOR THE 7 DAY FORECASTS FOR TRENDS.

NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER IS THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON...ALL THE
FOLKS WORKING AT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICES WISH YOU A BRIGHT HOLIDAY SEASON.

$$

K BATTY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON WV


















































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