RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Friday ahead of the winter storm expected to move into Virginia over the weekend. 

According to officials, the National Weather Service forecast predicts significant snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain will impact the majority of the Commonwealth from the late night hours on Saturday, Jan. 15 through Monday, Jan. 17.

In addition, some areas in southwest Virginia are expected to receive up to a foot of snow, the governor’s office says.

“We expect this storm to have a significant impact in many parts of Virginia,” Northam said. “Declaring a state of emergency now allows our emergency responders to prepare, and to move supplies and equipment where they expect to need them the most. This also gives Governor-elect Youngkin the ability to respond to any storm needs swiftly. I urge Virginians to take this storm seriously and make preparations now.” 

Northam says he and the Commonwealth’s emergency officials conducted a joint preparation call on Friday, Jan. 14 with Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin — whose inauguration is scheduled for Saturday — and his team.

The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has been actively monitoring the movement of a major winter weather system heading toward the Commonwealth, with anticipated tracks reportedly showing impacts starting Saturday evening.

This news comes as parts of Virginia are still dealing with power restoration and significant debris removal from last week’s back-to-back winter weather events.

According to officials, this upcoming weather system is likely to result in additional downed trees, more electrical outages, and significant impacts on travel conditions. 

You can read the full emergency declaration by following this link.