Weather Alert Day: Wintry mix this morning ahead of Friday’s flash freeze
A strong storm brings wintry impacts into the weekend
- Mix of precipitation types Thursday morning (Winter Weather Advisories)
- Friday through the Christmas weekend: Big drop in temperature and strong, gusty winds
Rain continues to enter from the south. With temperatures near freezing this morning, there will be a transition to freezing rain with some sleet mixing in for the coldest areas, mostly in the mountains. Ice accumulation will be fairly light, with a glaze to .10″ possible in areas west of the Blue Ridge. The wintry mix will change back to rain for everyone by mid-morning as temperatures rise well above freezing.
We have issued Weather Alert Days for Thursday - Friday - Saturday.
THURSDAY ICE: About 1/10th of an inch is likely along and west of the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Some locally higher totals are possible along the highest elevations.
THURSDAY RAIN: Around .50″ to 1″ is possible. Rain continues into Friday morning before we see a switchover to light snow showers.
- Afternoon highs on Thursday will be in the 30s and low 40s across the WDBJ7 viewing area. Winds will start to pick up in speed late Thursday.
Thursday night into Friday another system pushes in. We will mainly see rain showers Thursday night and to start off our Friday, but this is a strong front that will cross through bringing a big drop in temperatures. Temperatures Friday morning will actually be our highs for that day in the low-mid 30s. Throughout the day on Friday temperatures plummet. Since cold air is rushing in rain will change over briefly to snow for the first half of the day. Drier, but very windy conditions build in during Friday afternoon.
- Right now it is still to early to give exact snow amounts, but most models are hinting at light accumulations mainly for areas west of the parkway. Typically, with these events, the higher snowfall totals will be along the VA/WV border toward Lewisburg and into the ski areas of West Virginia. Any windblown snow making it east of the mountains would be light. Check back for updates!
MAIN CONCERNS FOR FRIDAY
- FRIGID AIR: One concern for Friday is the possibility for a flash freeze thanks to the frigid temperatures speeding in. Wet roadways could freeze quickly and may become slick. Temperatures by late Friday afternoon will be in the teens in the mountains, to lower 30s across the piedmont east of Lynchburg/Danville. Temperatures keep falling overnight, likely reaching the teens for most by Saturday morning.
A Wind Chill Watch is issued in preparation for the below zero wind chills setting up for most hometowns.
- DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS: Strong winds push in mainly on Friday as a strong pressure gradient moves in with this front. Right now looks like wind gusts could top 40 MPH for most hometowns. This could lead to sporadic power outages, blowing snow, and dangerous wind chills. Models are hinting at wind chill values Friday afternoon to already read in the teens and single digits.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
We dry out but stay very cold for Christmas weekend. Saturday (Christmas Eve) will be windy with dangerous wind chills slipping below zero in the mountains. Some areas could even have wind chills drop to 15 below zero.
Sunday will feature slowly diminishing winds along with a very slight uptick in temperatures. Most still remain below freezing throughout the day. Looks like this could be the coldest Christmas we have seen since the year 2000.
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