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Presidents' Day Storms

The winter weather storm is not that unusual in the mid-Ohio Valley, but doesn't always deliver.

Ask anyone in the Mid-Ohio Valley, and they'll tell you horror stories about bad snowfalls that caught them unprepared.

These days, we can see a storm developing, and the computer models can project where and how much could be possible.  So, there really isn't any reason to be caught unprepared for a winter storm passing through the region.

A couple of the biggest have included 1993 and 2003, some 9 and 19 years ago.  Heavy snowfall impacted power lines, snarled traffic and kept people indoors for days, waiting for the snow to melt or temperatures to warm enough to thaw somewhat.

As an old Michigan school boy, I don't recall the fear and worry surrounding a good snowfall, as they seem to be very common in my memory.  Oh, I recall the winter drift behind our house that stood some 8-9 feet tall, and the fun we had digging through the middle of it.  But that just came with winter... once.

That also reflects my approach to winter storms.  It's part of winter, and so, I'm never surprised by a snowfall that is more than a couple of inches.  That just seems normal to me.  Heck, we even learned to drive on ice, up in Michigan.  So, it really doesn't bother me.

Not so in the MOV:  Just a few inches of snow can exceed many communities' ability to cope with the roads and hills become slick and slippery with just a brief snowfall.

So, I suppose it's not unusual for some schools to call it early and often, especially early in the season.  But now, with more than half the winter season gone, any unused snow days can be brought into play for lesser amounts of snow.  I leave those calls to the school officials.

For my part, I start thinking of snowfalls as something for the ski industry to celebrate.  I have had several good experiences skiing in WV as a result of a winter storm that rolled up the Canaan Valley and dumped on Timberline or Canaan State Park.

And this weekend, it looks like Sunday is going to be one of those times when the heavy snow comes to those highest elevations.  Even southern and central West Virginia look like they are in for it on Sunday.

So, it pays for those who are driving south to stay aware of the storm and projections, if only to time your trip and not get caught.

But for the rest of us, we celebrate winter.  How about you?

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