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Snow bands advancing into the region overnight

Get the latest timing and snowfall totals for your area
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 3:49 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 10:07 PM EST
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It will be a battle of the colder, drier air to the north against the warmer, wetter air coming from the south tonight and Friday. As of this update, a few snow bands are already making their way along the western edge of the western part of the state with little progress northward until the air becomes more saturated. That could take much of the night.

Most of the night will be cloudy with thickening clouds and temperatures holding steady in the low 30s.

Models continue to place the heaviest burst of snow along the VA/NC border and Interstate 77 corridor Friday (Grayson, Carroll, Patrick counties), extending down into the mountains of North Carolina. By late morning or early afternoon, the moisture may move far enough along the US 460 corridor, which for now, appears to be the dividing line between seeing some snow (south) and not seeing much snow at all (north).

The National Weather Service has issued Winter Weather Alerts for part of our region. The blue counties (Grayson/Patrick/Carroll) are where we expect the greatest impacts from the snow. The lighter purple areas are Winter Weather Advisories, where lighter snow is expected.

Winter Weather Alerts have been issued from Midnight tonight through Midnight tomorrow night...
Winter Weather Alerts have been issued from Midnight tonight through Midnight tomorrow night for the highlighted counties.(WDBJ)

TIMING: Any moisture should enter from the south around or before sunrise Friday and may take some time to saturate the atmosphere before it becomes steady along the VA/NC border first. Roads may become slick in areas within the Winter Storm Warning (see graphic above).

Snow will continue to advance northward during the day and may make it as far north as the 460 corridor before mixing with rain at times.

TODAY’S MODEL DISCUSSION: If we were to see the forecast trending one way or another, it would most likely trend on the lower side of our ranges. However, we forecast snowfall ranges for a reason. Snow is one of the hardest precipitation types to predict for our area. There will always be these very finicky setups where one little shift can remove snow entirely from an area. It happens. To have it go on the higher side of the numbers, we’d need to see either the storm strengthen some or a dramatic shift northward. Neither have been indicated in most models.

The highest snowfall totals will be right along the VA/NC state line down into the North...
The highest snowfall totals will be right along the VA/NC state line down into the North Carolina mountains.(WDBJ)
TRACETRACE to 2″2″ to 4″4″-6″
Hot Springs
Lexington
Raphine
Covington
Iron Gate
Lewisburg
Fincastle
Roanoke
Rocky Mount
Bedford
SML
Fincastle
New Castle
Wytheville
Independence
Galax
Blacksburg
Martinsville
Danville
Stuart
Radford
Bluefield
Mount Rogers
Mountains of North Carolina
**We may see this area expand
to include parts of the VA/NC border
near the Southside if the storm shifts north.

ROAD IMPACTS: Road pavement temperatures will likely be near or slightly above freezing during the onset of precipitation early Friday morning. Slick spots are possible and roads may even be snow-covered toward the VA/NC border, closest to the storm.

The highest totals will be across the VA/NC border counties and along the I-77 corridor.
The highest totals will be across the VA/NC border counties and along the I-77 corridor.(WDBJ7)

THE WEEKEND

The weekend remains quiet with mainly sunny skies and seasonable conditions as highs reach the mid and upper upper 40s.

ANOTHER STORM NEXT WEEK?

The pattern remains very active with a dynamic jet stream guiding in several storms over the next 7-10 days. At the same time, moderately colder air stays nearby, meaning we’ll need to follow each storm closely as it moves in from the south.

I have a feeling we’ll see plenty of near-hits with these, but most would be smaller events if they do materialize. There are signs the second half of January will be rather cold, so there’s always a chance the moisture and cold air meet up.

Mountain snow remains possible with the Tuesday system.
Mountain snow remains possible with the Tuesday system.(WDBJ7)