Parts of West Virginia and neighboring states prepared for widespread disruptions from a heavy blast of snow, which could reach three feet in some regions, as precipitation from Hurricane Sandy collided with cold air from the west Monday.
More than a foot of snow had fallen in the higher parts of West Virginia by Monday night, and snowplows were out in anticipation of more, after forecasters expanded blizzard warnings. Fourteen inches of snow had fallen in Bowden, W.Va., while Beckley, a city of about 17,000 residents, was expected to get 22 inches.
Although the greatest accumulation was expected in higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains, snow also could cover hilly swaths of southwestern Virginia and western Maryland.
“The bull’s-eye of the heavy snow is going to be south of Pennsylvania, in West Virginia and Maryland,” said Joe Palko, a Pittsburgh-based National Weather Service hydrologist. He said he had been monitoring snow that started to fall Monday in Tucker County, W.Va., and high-elevation areas.
The weather service issued a rare blizzard warning that included high winds, heavy snow and low-visibility conditions in several counties in West Virginia and Maryland. “I can’t ever remember a hurricane causing a blizzard warning,” said Mr. Palko. “It’s unusual to have a hurricane with such cold air.”