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One more dry day Wednesday before a Christmas Eve soaking

A soaking rain Thursday with some snow showers early Friday
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 3:50 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2020 at 6:42 PM EST
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WEATHER HEADLINES

  • Winds diminish; 20s/30s overnight
  • Rainy & mild Thursday
  • Cold, windy Christmas with snow showers

Winds continue to diminish into the evening. Temperatures drop to the upper 20s to low 30s tonight. We remain quiet Wednesday with pockets of heavier rain Christmas Eve day. An Arctic front will move through early Friday changing any leftover rain showers into snow showers.

Clouds moved in on schedule yesterday evening and were quite thick, blocking the viewing of the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn for most. Peter Forister managed to snap a photo of it in Charlottesville before the clouds rolled in.

WEDNESDAY

More sunshine builds in Tuesday and lingers into the start of Wednesday along with afternoon highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. The forecast remains dry until late Wednesday night as a very strong cold front moves toward the region. We could see some scattered showers develop after midnight, but the bulk of the rain arrives during daylight hours Thursday.

Rain showers move in late Wednesday into early Thursday.
Rain showers move in late Wednesday into early Thursday.(WDBJ)

CHRISTMAS EVE (THURSDAY)

Thursday will be quite soggy from start to finish. This means a soggy day for last-minute Christmas shopping or checking out the lights Christmas Eve night. We could see anywhere from 0.50″ to 1.5″ of rain as the front exits.

This is a dynamic storm system with lots of energy meaning we could see some rain falling heavily at times with strong, gusty winds. There could even be some damaging wind gusts as the front moves west to east through the region during the late afternoon.

A soaking rain arrives Christmas Eve and will continue through around midnight before tapering...
A soaking rain arrives Christmas Eve and will continue through around midnight before tapering off.(WDBJ)

As temperatures rapidly drop into the 20s after midnight, we could see flash freeze, meaning any leftover moisture (rain/snow) on the roads may not have enough time to evaporate before the temperatures drop below freezing. This could lead to some slick spots later Thursday into Friday.

We also have to watch for the potential of a few scattered snow showers overnight Thursday into Friday morning. Any accumulation would likely be in the mountains.