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Winter Storm Moves Across Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic

UPDATED 9 PM EST, February 19, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman

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Winter has eluded many residents from the Ohio Valley to the Appalachians, but a round of wet snow will bring a taste of winter through early Monday for those areas that have seen a rather tranquil season. Though the big cities along the Interstate 95 corridor will escape this storm, several inches of snow could create travel difficulties from Kentucky to central Virginia.

Colder air is digging southward into the Ohio Valley and Appalachians in the wake of a cold front. In concert with the cold air spilling down the Appalachian Spine, low pressure is sliding along the Southeast. As it presses eastward away from the Carolina Coast tonight and early on President`s Day, it will squeeze out its moisture as a quick wintry mix of snow, rain, and sleet for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas.

It appears that this system will drop a few inches of slushy snow across eastern Kentucky and in the higher elevations of West Virginia. The mountains of western Virginia will also see the wet snow accumulating, with perhaps as much as 6 inches or more in the higher ridges.

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories stretch from northern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, to the southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. Two-to-four inches will blanket the ground in places like Jackson, Ky., while cities like Beckley, W. Va., Roanoke and Charlottesville, Va., could see four-to-eight inches.

Some initial snowfall reports include 7 inches in Raphine, Va., 5 inches in Blacksburg, Va., 3.5 inches in Bluefield, W.Va., and 1.5 inches on Grandfather Mountain, N.C.

The heavy, wet snow could have some significant impacts on travel tonight across long stretches of Interstates 75, 77, 81 and 64. It won`t just be treacherous travel, but the weight of the snow could bring down trees and tree branches on utility lines, disrupting power. If you`re driving, allow plenty of distance and time between you and the next motorist, to reach your travel destination safely.

The storm will quickly exit into the western Atlantic Ocean early on President`s Day. Gone will be the accumulating snow rarely seen this winter for the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley, instead replaced by moderating temperatures and a sunshine-filled February sky early next week.

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