CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Temperatures dropped 10 degrees in 10 minutes Monday morning in the Kanawha Valley, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
And it kept dropping throughout the day, as temperatures were forecasted to reach minus 2 degrees overnight Monday and Tuesday night, said meteorologist Joe Merchant.
Daytime temperatures weren't expected to provide much relief either, he said. The high Tuesday and Wednesday is 16 and a wind chill advisory is in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Wind chill values could get down to minus ten Tuesday morning, Merchant said.
"We have a really cold air mass moving in," he said.
As the temperature quickly dropped Monday, schools in Kanawha and Boone counties announced they would dismiss students an hour early because of the weather. As of 9 p.m. Monday, 51 counties including Kanawha and Boone had canceled school for today.
A Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatcher said heavy Monday morning snows that quickly covered roadways contributed to 13 accidents between about 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. No one was injured, but drivers were urged to drive carefully.
Between 5:45 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. Monday, the temperature dropped from 46 to 31 degrees, Merchant said.
The Southbound lanes of Interstate 77 were shut down at mile marker 106 near Sissonville at about 8:30 a.m. Monday because of the extremely bad road conditions. Capt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said cars weren't able to move because of icy conditions.
The sudden snowstorm left road treatment crews struggling to clear highways and secondary roads for school buses and commuters.
"All we can do is do what we do best, and that's try and clear the roads," said Charleston Public Works Director Gary Taylor.
A typical route takes a salt truck about three hours to complete, but many times another storm will cover roads again before crews can finish treatment.