The complex storm system that has been marching across the country this week has made it to Virginia.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the snow and wind for a good portion of our viewing area. A Winter Storm Warning is in place for areas that may receive about 4 – 6″ of snow, mainly on west-facing slopes and higher elevated locations. The entire area will see snow, the highlighted areas are expected to get more.
The event started out as rain and changed over to snow region-wide around midnight. The roads are slick from the snow, but also there is a chance for us to see some ice form as the rainwater freezes under the snow.
The amounts have been varied as far as forecast accumulations go and the range is anywhere from one inch to eight inches. The general thinking is that 2 – 4″ of snow will accumulate in the NRV (a few higher elevated locations may see 6 – 8″), while the rest of the viewing area will see a 1 – 3″ measurement. The good news is that the snow is expected to end before sunrise, but the damage will be done as far as icy and or snowy roadways are concerned.
The other factor we should be dealing with tonight will be the chance for some power outages. If the snow is heavy enough to weigh down tree limbs, they may crack off and pull down power lines. Always a concern with heavy and wet snow. Also, the winds will pick up early in the day Thursday so there may be the chance for the branches to break off in the wind. This is always a hit or miss type of scenario, but something to keep in mind.
As for the temperatures we will be looking at highs Thursday in the 20s and 30s. I expect the winds to be in the 20 mph range, so wind chill values will be in the single digits well into the middle of the day. The snow on the ground will reflect most of the Sun’s energy making it more difficult to warm up.
Cold air will arrive and linger into the weekend. Highs will be in the 30s and 40s this weekend with lows starting out in the teens and single digits. Stay aware of the cold weather and prepare properly for the wintry pattern.
Friday and early Saturday will see the opportunity for sunny and dry weather, but Saturday night into Sunday another winter storm is on the horizon. Details are yet to be ironed out but it may be more of a rain, snow, freezing rain event.