The Times West Virginian

February 18, 2014

Winter weather ‘makes good memories’

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT —  As the Times West Virginian received several great pictures of snowmen built by residents, it was tough to choose the best.

The winner of the newspaper’s snowman building contest was sent in by Fairmont resident Dana Gribben. The snowman was built last Thursday by her daughters Anna, 7, and Kate, 8.

With all the inclement weather these past few months, many school students have been out in the snow. Gribben said her two daughters have taken advantage of their days off from school.

“We have built a number of snowmen and we do a lot of sled riding,” she said. “They both just really like being out in it and playing in it.”

Gribben said although the winter weather has been a headache at some points, it’s also been enjoyable.

“It’s been a hassle with schools having to close and getting around in it,” she said. “But we also embrace the snow and have fun in it.”

She said she, too, plays in the snow along with her daughters. She said her family likes to enjoy the snow before it’s gone.

“They keep me young and I figure in a couple months we’ll be complaining it’s too hot,” Gribben said. “We might as well have fun in it.”

Neighbors of the Gribbens’ also take part in embracing the several inches of snow this season. She said her daughters will meet up with their neighbors for a fun-filled day of sled riding.

“They like to invite their friends over for sled riding parties,” she said.

Gribben said she doesn’t remember having this much snow in a winter other than when she was a child.

“You make good memories with it,” she said.

The Gribben family will receive a Family Fun Pack courtesy of Valley Worlds of Fun.

Other snowman pictures that were entered will be featured in Thursday’s Times West Virginian and online at

More winter weather could be on its way to North Central West Virginia, giving residents more opportunities to build snowmen.

A winter storm that hit late Monday evening and continued into Tuesday added to the more than 40 inches of precipitation this area has seen this winter.

Brian Edwards, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, said this storm won’t have as big of an impact as earlier winter storms have. Monday evening’s storm will produce mostly a wintery mix for the North Central West Virginia area, according to Edwards.

“It looks like (North Central West Virginia) will get a mixed bag of precipitation,” he said. “The places that stay all-snow will stay north of the area.”

In the morning hours, Edwards said, there will be enough precipitation to cause some travel issues. He said the storm will hit the area quickly but drop from 1 to 3 inches of a wintery mix.

“It’s a mix of snow, sleet, rain and even freezing rain that the area will see,” he said. “When people are waking up (Tuesday), there still may be a little freezing drizzle outside.”

Edwards said after this system passes through, temperatures are looking to rise in the following days. He said even today will see temperatures in the 40s.

“The 40-degree temperatures will probably continue through Wednesday,” Edwards said. “By Thursday, we’re going to be ahead of another storm system and we’ll probably approach the 60-degree mark.”

The inconsistency of these temperatures is due to the position of the jet stream. Edwards said the jet stream has been south of West Virginia, which has made the temperatures drop.

As the jet stream moves north, warmer temperatures will set in.

As for the long range forecast, Edwards said temperatures could stay below average until May because of the inconsistency of the jet stream dipping and then rising again.

“In March, we’re expecting it to still be stormy and with temperatures near or below normal,” he said. “Going into March and April, it still looks like an up-and-down pattern.”

Email Emily Gallagher at or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.