Wind, Rain and Snow for the Appalachians

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
December 21, 2012; 5:12 AM ET
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A storm with rain, a wintry mix and wind will end as snow and a blast of cold air in the central Appalachians prior to the end of the week.

The storm that brought a blizzard to part of the Midwest and severe weather to the South pelted the central Appalachians with rain Thursday night. In some locations the rain began as wet snow, or a mix of rain, sleet and snow, before changing to rain.

However, cold air sweeping in will cause temperatures plummet during Friday. This will lead to some icy roads during the morning rush.

Lake-effect snow and strong winds will occur Friday into Saturday in the traditional areas with roads drying off in the valleys. In the mountains and plateau areas, the strong winds, snow and squalls can make for very low visibility and slippery travel.

In that lake-effect setup, the mountains of West Virginia, western Maryland and western Pennsylvania could pick up 6 to 12 inches of snow with isolated amounts over a foot!

At any rate a period of gusty winds will mark the passage of a strong cold front. Wind gusts during the frontal passage and in the wake of the front into Saturday can cause sporadic power outages, downed tree limbs and send unsecured items airborne. West to northwest wind gusts can top 50 mph over the ridges and through the gaps in the mountains and range between 40 and 50 mph in the valleys.

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