UPDATED: Amounts as well as impact on power outages
We've gotten a lot of questions lately regarding the ice storm forecast for Sunday. While we've answered a lot of them on the social media posts, we thought it would be helpful to also organize them in a story online. So here are the questions, and the answers follow. These will be very quick answers, meant to give an overview. The full forecast discussion can be found by clicking the article link in the left column.
WHEN WILL THE ICE STORM START & END?
It will start around 6AM Sunday as a brief period of sleet/snow, before changing to all ice (freezing rain). The freezing rain will continue for most areas through early Sunday evening, then become spotty after midnight. Lows will remain cold in the low 30s Sunday night.
WHICH AREAS WILL GET THE WORST OF IT?
Depicting just who will see the highest amounts is tricky, even just hours leading up to the storm. Nearly the entire region has a high likelihood of one-quarter inch to a half-inch of ice.
Botetourt, Rockbridge, Alleghany Highlands, Roanoke Valley, New River Valley, Nelson and Amherst counties and Smith Mtn. Lake area may see a half-inch to isolated areas up to 1 inch of ice. This also includes areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway into Bent Mountain and Floyd.
Lesser amounts (glaze) to as much as .25" toward Danville and South Boston, as well as towards Galax and Marion.
HOW MUCH ICE CAN WE EXPECT?
Not everyone will see the same amounts, generally .25" to as much as .50" of ice possible, clinging to everything from trees and power lines. The event may also start as a brief period of sleet/snow before changing over. Any snow/sleet would be around 1" or so.
WILL WE HAVE POWER OUTAGES?
Yes, NUMEROUS to WIDESPREAD power outages are expected with an ice storm of this magnitude. It's tough to pinpoint just where the worst outages will be. Winds will be out of the east around 5-10mph with some gusts up to 20mph. Outages will be based on weight of ice on power lines, and trees that snap onto power lines. It's best to PLAN AHEAD FOR OUTAGES just in case. Have an alternative heat source. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST OUTAGES FROM AEP
COULD THE ROADS GET SLICK?
Roads will likely be treated with a salt solution, which lowers the freezing point of water. This means it would need to get colder on the roads to form ice than it would on things like trees. However, bridges and overpasses are always the first to freeze. Next would be untreated secondary roads. We do expect slick roads, but if history repeats itself, the interstates and main roads may have slick spots, but passable. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, ALLOW LOTS OF EXTRA TIME!
- If you're headed north of Roanoke on I-81 Sunday, there's a high likelihood you'll be running into icy conditions as well as sleet and snow.
- Driving I-64 from West VA to Charlottesville you'll find the worst road conditions, with ice along with sleet and snow.
- Going south on I-77, it may be slick toward Fancy Gap and in to Western North Carolina, but generally conditions will become less icy the farther south you go
COULD THIS CANCEL CHURCH?
Yes, church closings are likely Sunday morning. It's likely the event will already be underway before church time. WDBJ7 will crawl the latest closings on the TV screen as well as updated on our 24/7 CLOSINGS AND DELAYS page on WDBJ7.com
I HAVE A CHURCH OR BUSINESS, HOW CAN I GET IT ON THE CLOSINGS/DELAYS LIST?
We have a sign-up form (CLICK HERE) that you complete and someone will reply to you with a specific closing code. It normally takes several days to get this done, but we will be expediting the process due to the upcoming winter storm. WDBJ7 will crawl the latest church closings on the TV screen as well as updated all closings/delays on our 24/7 CLOSINGS AND DELAYS page on WDBJ7.com
COULD WE GET OUT OF SCHOOL MONDAY?
We knew that one was coming. It's possible we'll have some delays or even closings Monday morning. Students, take time Sunday to do your homework. It appears warmer air will arrive late Sunday night and into Monday which would take temperatures above freezing. However, icy spots are possible even early Monday morning, not to mention possible power outages. WDBJ7 will crawl the latest closings on the TV screen as well as updated on our 24/7 CLOSINGS AND DELAYS page on WDBJ7.com
I HAVE A PERSONAL QUESTION, CAN YOU ANSWER IT?
We'll do our best to answer questions. We'll be checking our Facebook and Twitter accounts The best way is to post it in the comments section below. It does require you be logged in to Facebook. We'll check this often and get to as many as we can leading up to the event.
Chances are, your question might be answered below.