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Powerful front brings multiple impacts Thursday

A soaking rain Thursday with some snow showers into early Friday
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 3:51 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 4:43 PM EST
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WEATHER HEADLINES

  • Increasing clouds tonight
  • Rainy & windy Thursday afternoon with localized flooding
  • Snow showers later Thursday into early Friday
Periods of heavy rain could lead to localized flooding.
Periods of heavy rain could lead to localized flooding.(WDBJ)

TONIGHT

We’ll see increasing clouds with lows in the 30s to low 40s. The forecast remains dry until early on Thursday morning 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.

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 1″ to 2″ of rain as the front exits. Flash flooding is possible with the heaviest rain moving in for the afternoon hours.

Flash Flood Watch begins Thursday afternoon.
Flash Flood Watch begins Thursday afternoon.(Grey)
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)

There could even be some damaging wind gusts within a few strong to severe thunderstorms as the cold front moves through. Main issue with any stronger storms would be damaging wind gusts.

SPC Outlook for Thursday afternoon.
SPC Outlook for Thursday afternoon.(Grey)

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 Thursday evening into Friday morning. We could see several inches of accumulation in the mountains. Other areas could pick up a quick coating to an inch or two.

Winter Storm Advisory and Winter Storm Warning go into effect late Thursday.
Winter Storm Advisory and Winter Storm Warning go into effect late Thursday.(Grey)
Snow showers could add up for some as we head into Christmas Eve.
Snow showers could add up for some as we head into Christmas Eve.(WDBJ)

Winds will be increasing and become gusty as the front moves through. Winds look to remain gusty overnight into Friday morning.

Winds increase and cold air moves in late Thursday.
Winds increase and cold air moves in late Thursday.(Grey)

CHRISTMAS DAY (FRIDAY)

We are looking at a very cold start to the holiday with early morning temperatures in the teens and 20s. Winds will remain gusty so wind chills will be in the single digits and teens. Temperatures in the afternoon look to reach the 20s and lower 30s.

WEEKEND

Sunshine will be with us for the entire weekend. We’ll still be cold Saturday with highs in the mid to upper 30s, but we should climb back into the upper 40s by Sunday.