Pinpoint Weather: A dry and cold day ahead of a high-impact winter storm for Sunday

Weather Blog

This is the day to finalize your preparations ahead of Sunday’s winter storm.

On Saturday, skies will be mainly cloudy across the area. A few flurries can’t be ruled out for areas mainly west of Route 220 and south of Route 460 but those should be few and far between.

Temperatures will be cold with highs largely in the 30s.

As we head into Saturday night, we’ll remain cloudy but as we continue throughout the overnight hours, we’ll notice snow starting to move in from the south and southwest. Our southwestern-most communities could see the snow develop as early as 3 or 4 a.m.

Overnight lows will fall back into the 20s for most of us, though some teens will be possible into the mountains.

Then, a Winter Storm Warning goes into effect for the region and will continue through early Monday.

As we head into Sunday, the full impacts of the winter storm will be moving in.

During the morning, we’ll see periods of snow moving in from the south. Snow will likely be heavy at times.

As we progress through the day, we’ll notice some warm air aloft that will likely change some of that precipitation to a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow.

To make matters worse, winds will be ramping up as well – gusting between 10-25 mph – maybe up to 40 mph at higher elevations which will cause areas of blowing and drifting snow. Into the mountains of Highland County, there is a chance for some near-blizzard conditions possible.

Highs in the area will likely remain in the 20s for most of us, though parts of Southside could top out into the lower 30s.

Total snow accumulations will be highest along and west of I-81 with totals dropping a bit as we head further east.

Where snowfall totals will be lower, the ice accretion totals will be higher. This includes locations such as Danville, South Boston, Brookneal, Appomattox, Charlotte Court House and Drakes Branch. where we could be dealing with up to 1/4″ of ice possible which will bring the risk of downed trees and power lines. Further west, there is also a chance for some ice accretion, though lower ice totals will be likely.

Into Sunday night, we’ll gradually start to see the precip pushing out of the region but the winds will still continue.

Lows won’t drop off much at all as we’ll see 20s for lows, but when you combine the wind, we’ll have some dangerous wind chill levels across the area, likely into the single digits for many of us.

A few mountain snow showers will still be possible on Monday. There could be a few snow showers a bit further east later in the day.

Gusty winds will continue. We’ll keep highs mostly into the 30s east of the Blue Ridge but 20s will still be likely on Monday further west.

We’re still dry into Tuesday and we’ll also see a bit more sun across the area but cold temperatures will be sticking around as highs should top out into the 30s for most of us – maybe some lower 40s further east.

A weak cold front approaches on Wednesday bringing in the chance for some rain showers at lower elevations with a mix of rain and snow showers into the mountains. Highs will range from the 30s in the mountains to the 40s further east.

We’re dry and cold as we wrap up next week with highs in the 20s and 30s.

So, again, take today to wrap up your preps ahead of Sunday’s winter storm. Sunday will be a day that you won’t want to be out on the roads. Prepare to stay inside and stay warm. If you absolutely do have to venture out, remember to have an emergency kit in your car should you become stuck.

Simply put, Sunday will be a miserable day with snow, sleet and freezing rain – combined with gusty winds.

Gary Boyer

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