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Despite warm weather, no new records yet

Jan. 27—By GREG JORDAN

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Low cloud cover and moisture in the air has been keeping the region's winter temperatures warmer than usual, but some snow and cooler temperatures along with a flood watch are expected later this weekend when the cloud cover passes by.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. issued a flood watch Friday which is set to start at 1 p.m. today and continue until 7 a.m. Sunday, according to meteorologist Patrick Wilson. A low-pressure system brought the region some rain Thursday. Another pressure system coming from the Gulf of Mexico region and the lower Mississippi Valley is bringing more precipitation with it.

"We're expecting up to an inch or so of rain," he said.

Forecasters were concerned when recent snowfall started to melt, but almost all of it will be gone by the time rain arrives; however, the ground will still be saturated, so a flood watch was issued since streams and rivers are now a little higher than usual, Wilson stated. Some short term, localized flooding of small streams and creeks is possible.

There is a 100 percent chance of rain today and about 80 percent tonight along with a winter mix. Rain and snow and then snow is possible Sunday and Sunday night, but accumulations of less than a half inch are expected, according to forecasters.

Forecasters are monitoring the region's temperatures to see if a new record may be set. Wilson said that besides watching for record high and record low temperatures, the National Weather Service watches for "our coolest highs and our warmest lows."

A record "warmest low" was possible over Bluefield on Friday, but forecasters would have to wait until midnight to see whether this happened. The previous warmest low was 54 degrees. The high Friday over Bluefield was 61 degrees.

Sunday and Monday will see temperatures return to winter lows with a high Monday of 36 degrees and nighttime low of 25.

"It won't be like the deep freeze we were having earlier when we were testing zero," Wilson said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com