Wintry mix heading to the Commonwealth Tuesday morning


Mountain snow and valley rain are likely Tuesday morning creating some travel issues for the morning commute.

Ahead of what will be a blast of bitter cold air for the middle of the week will be some rain then snow.  A cold front is slated to push through the region early Tuesday and give us a blast of bitter cold air for the next several days.  Considering we are supposed to be in the 60s and the temps will be in the 30s Wednesday, that would count as a blast of wintry weather.  Also, there is going to be rain that will transition to snow and or a wintry mix of rain and snow during the morning hours of Tuesday.  The morning commute will be a bit slick along 64 (east of Covington) and 77 (north of Wytheville) as fat and wet snow may accumulate on the bridges and overpasses.  The rain first may be allowed to generate some pockets of ice on some of the higher elevated roads in the Appalachians, but since the ground is not frozen it will be hard to do.  The grassy areas in our Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Highland, Summers, Monroe, Mercer and Tazewell counties may see about 1 – 2” of snow.  Other areas will see the snow, but it will not stick to the ground much, if at all.  There are a couple of models that suggest a bit of a wintry mix to appear on the back side of the event as the precipitation exits the viewing area so some mid-day mix of snow may fall in Halifax county as the cold air and the precipitation coincide with each other.  Really low chance, but a chance none the less.

Once the rain and wintry mix of rain and snow push on to the east, the winds pick up and the cold air takes over. There will be temps in the single digits Wednesday morning in some of the mountain locations and teens most others.  The air will not warm up much on Wednesday as I am expecting 30s for afternoon highs regionwide. There may be a few records fall for lows on the 13th as Roanoke has a record low of 19 and I am forecasting an 18. 

We all need to prepare for some bitter cold conditions this week. Do you have the heaters squared away?  Do you have enough wood for the fireplace or wood burning stove? Have you got any extra blankets or hay for the pup outside?  Don’t forget to check in on the elderly this week as they may need some supplies or just a kind word.

Not much in the way of rain or snow expected after Tuesday, but we have to watch a system moving along the coast on Friday.  That may give us some more snow or ice along with some rain if it gets close enough to the coast.  Time will tell on that one.

As of 3 pm Monday, a Winter Weather Advisory is in place for the western counties as well as those along the Blue Ridge south of Roanoke.  One to two inches of snow may fall, which is not really advisory worthy, but since it is the first of the season and it may also be during the AM commute the National Weather Service has gone with the Advisory to alert folks of this Autumn snow. Also the winds will contribute to the winter scenario as well making it feel much colder than it actually is. The dangerous winds will be the last to the event, kicking in Tuesday afternoon and a wind chill advisory may be issues for more regions than Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties.

Stay Safe.

John Carroll
Chief Meteorologist

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