Coldest air of the season is coming! How cold, could we set any records, and what about snow?

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BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) - Temperatures will be well below average Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. The 'polar express' is charging down from Canada to bring a big chill to the Mountain State. Only a little snow shower / flurry activity is expected.

A strong cold front sweeps down from the north on Thursday night. Lows dropping into the 20s for most locations to start Friday.

This is the time of year where we talk about 'lake effect' in the forecast. What is that you may ask? It's when cold air picks up moisture from Lake Erie that brings certain weather downstream. First it makes clouds, then it (can) make snow showers. That will be the case this time around. However, most lake effect snow gets dumped out on northern Ohio where it accumulates. There is some moisture leftover for a few flurries as far south as our area.

We are not anticipating accumulation of snow in the lower elevations of NCWV. There could be some light accumulations in the mountains. Best chance will be Preston, Tucker, and Garrett counties. That is because they are closer to the lake than mountain locations farther south. More importantly, the trajectory from Lake Erie will favor these counties. This process will come to an end Friday afternoon as high pressure moves into the region. This will cut off the wind flow from the lake.

While it will be cold Friday morning, it will be even colder Saturday morning. This is because the aforementioned high pressure will clear out the skies for Friday night. It will also allow the wind to go light and eventually calm. With very cold and dry air in place, the loss of sunshine will allow heat to escape quickly to space and lows to fall into the teens for many places. It looks like we'll be just out of reach of record low temperatures. Elkins will come the closest (see the associated graphic).

This cold air will move out by Saturday afternoon. It will still be chilly, but not as far below average. This is because of abundant sunshine and the winds coming from the southwest where it is warmer.