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Early snows possible this winter season

It’s every child’s dream to wake up on Christmas morning and see the ground covered in snow.

Friday, October 22, 1999

It’s every child’s dream to wake up on Christmas morning and see the ground covered in snow.

Snow also is welcome on Thanksgiving

But, what child wants their Jedi robes covered with a heavy winter coat? If temperatures keep falling like they have been, should area residents start preparing for a white Halloween?

Although not too far off the mark, heavy snows are not likely in the near future, said Phil Zinn, meteorologist with the Charleston, W.Va., bureau of the National Weather Service.

"It’s just a rumor, there is no snowfall predicted for the Ironton, Ashland (Ky.), Huntington (W.Va.), area this weekend," Zinn said. "We do have an unusually cold air mass entering the area Friday afternoon, though."

Weather forecasters predict some chilly days and nights this weekend, Zinn said.

"The weather will turn much, much colder for Saturday," he said. "There is a chance of showers Friday with highs in the low 60s, then Saturday, the lows will be in the upper 30s, and the highs will be in the upper 40s."

Lawrence County residents should not be planning to build their first snowman this weekend, unless they’re prepared for a long drive, Zinn added.

"We’ve got some snow predicted for counties north of (the county)," he said. "But it will be snow flurries. We don’t anticipate any accumulating snow. The mountains in West Virginia might get an inch or two."

The cold weather definitely isn’t the norm, though. And area residents might want to consider unpacking the winter clothing a month early, Zinn said.

"We will have real blustery wind for Saturday," he said. "This weather is more typical of something you might expect a month from now. But it’s just one of the swings in the weather you get at this time of year."

The extra hot and dry summer might be a factor in the early cold, Zinn said.

"In the summertime, it was so warm due to the dryness and airflow from the southwest," he said. "This is a turn in the airflow. It’s being brought down from the northwest. It’s typical to get rapid swings in the weather from day to day due to the jet stream and the faster flow of the weather."

The sun is expected to shine again, but it won’t be anytime soon, Zinn said.

"It will be cold this weekend, and then it will warm up at the beginning of next week – it might get to the low 60s," he said. "Then we’ll have another shot of cold weather midweek. I don’t see it getting to the 70s next week, but, many times, we have a warmer spell into Thanksgiving. We just don’t see that happening down the road right now."

Cold weather is expected for at least the next two weekends, Zinn added.

"It looks like another cold air mass is trying to approach for the following weekend," he said. "But that’s stretching it too far for us to give an accurate prediction."