Pinpoint Weather: Prepping for our first taste of winter as snow is expected late tonight and early Monday; much colder temperatures ahead

Weather Blog

In less than 24 hours, we’ll go from feeling like early fall to the middle of winter.

First, a Flood Warning is in effect for the Clinch River in Tazewell County where 1-3 inches of rain fell overnight. As of Sunday morning, minor flooding is occurring in Richlands. Locations downstream can also expect some minor flooding into this afternoon.

Big changes are in store for us. Let’s look at what’s ahead.

During the day today, rain will exit the area, though a few spotty showers could linger into the afternoon. A stray rumble of thunder is also possible in Southside as well.

Sunday’s highs will range from the 50s in the mountains to the 60s elsewhere.

Winds will also be picking up a bit as well across parts of the area.

Tonight is when things get interesting. First, a Winter Storm Warning will go into effect at 3 a.m. Monday morning for much of the region. It is set to expire at 12 p.m. Monday. There is a Winter Weather Advisory for Patrick, Henry, Halifax and Charlotte Counties for the same time frame where slightly lower snowfall totals are expected. The rest of the area is under a Winter Storm Warning.

We’ll start as rain during the evening. Overnight, we’ll see a transition from rain to snow before changing to all snow around or just before daybreak.

Lows will bottom out into the 20s in the mountains and around freezing elsewhere.

Model forecasts are all over the place. The GFS has us getting clobbered with several inches of heavy, wet snow (8-12 inches in many areas). Other models are a bit less (2-6 inches).

In-House Model

GFS Model

Areal Futurecast Snow

Coverage-wise, the highest totals can be expected at the highest elevations of the Blue Ridge.

Road surface temperatures are mild due to several days of very warm temperatures, so it’s going to take some time for road temperatures to cool down enough to hold the snow onto the surface. I think we may get there because the rate of snowfall will be heavy at times.

On Monday morning, we’ll likely see snow across the entire region until around mid-morning or so. Then, the snow will start to exit the area. During the afternoon, we’ll likely squeeze out some sunshine.

Winds will still be an issue as they’ll be gusting in the 15 to 30 mph range.

Highs will struggle to make it out of the 30s, so it’s going to be a big adjustment as we’ve been in the 60s and 70s for several days.

Beyond that, we’ll remain much cooler than we have seen. Tuesday looks sunny with highs in the 30s and 40s.

Clouds return on Wednesday with highs in the 40s to near 50.

A few showers become possible again on Thursday with highs largely in the 40s – maybe some upper 30s in the mountains.

Then we’re blustery and cold to end the workweek on Friday with highs in the 20s and 30s.

Keep checking back and monitor our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on the impending winter storm.

It’s a safe bet, some of us will likely need to do some shoveling come early Monday morning. This will be a heavy, wet snow. It’s going to be a fairly quick-mover which will also help to lower the accumulations just a bit. Still, expect a white Monday morning across the area.

Gary Boyer
Meteorologist

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