Weather Alert Day: Sunday forecast more soggy than snowy
Accumulating snow and sleet are possible Sunday for parts of the region
- Cooler but seasonable Saturday
- Wintry mix moves in overnight Saturday into Sunday
- Alert Day Sunday: Winter Weather Possible
REST OF TODAY
Plan for a much colder (but seasonable) day with clouds. Highs will be in the upper 40s and low 50s. Clouds will continue to increase through the day.
By tonight, we begin to see the precipitation from the coastal low inch closer to the region from the south. Looks like precipitation will start to work in around midnight hitting our southern counties first, then traveling north. Anything falling overnight would be rain or a mix.
For a majority of the region, this is going to be a widespread rain event. There’s tons of water with this system with more than 1″ of rain expected across the region Sunday into Sunday night. The storm will likely drag cold air into the storm at times producing a wintry mix or even a period of snow. However, we want to set realistic expectations that this will NOT be a widespread winter storm.
- Lots of Water: This storm is bringing lots of moisture that under a “normal” winter setup would deliver a wintry scene. Unfortunately, we’re going to be too warm.
- Temperatures not in our favor: To have a widespread winter storm you need lots of deep, cold air. We don’t have it. This storm will actually have to “pull in/down” some cold air for us to see snow. In the event that makes it in, we’ll have accumulating snow/sleet. Elsewhere, a cold rain is likely.
- Warm Ground Conditions: It has been very warm. Ground temperatures have been in the 50s/60s lately. The only way to overcome a very warm ground is you have to throw down some cold precipitation. Only areas that have the highest snowfall rates would have to worry about sticking snow and poor travel conditions. Roads will likely be wet.
SUNDAY MORNING: Rain mixed with snow & sleet should be underway by sunrise Sunday. Roads will still be warm so we don’t anticipate on slick travel for the morning.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The afternoon will be the greatest window for snowfall coverage and accumulation. Expect higher rates in the New River Valley and Highlands during the afternoon.
SUNDAY EVENING: Any showers (rain and snow) become more intermittent as we head past sunset. We do expect lows to dip close to freezing for many late Sunday night into Monday, so there could be a refreeze overnight. Watch out for slick spots overnight Sunday and into early Monday.
The best location to see a plowable snow (3″+) is reserved for the higher elevations of North Carolina into Grayson County. This is the only area under a Winter Storm Watch.
Areas in the New River Valley along the I-77 corridor toward Marion, Wytheville and Galax and along the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Floyd and Bent Mountain may see upwards of 1″ to 2″. There could be locally higher totals, but aim for low-end amounts. The Western Alleghany Highlands may also have the potential for an inch or so of snow/sleet.
Roanoke, Lynchburg and Danville will likely remain mostly rain with some mixing taking place, but little accumulating snow/sleet is expected.
Impacts will vary from place-to-place as conditions will change throughout the day.
- This will mostly be a rain event. Watch for ponding water when driving!
- Road temperatures are very warm and snow would need to come down heavy to overcome the warm road temperatures to stick. IF that happens, it would only be for a few hour time frame Sunday afternoon.
- Church impacts are possible Sunday morning as precipitation begins, but roads likely wouldn’t get bad (if at all) until the afternoon.
- May have some precipitation lingering for Super Bowl parties and temperatures will drop to near-freezing overnight, so a refreeze is possible into Monday morning. Be careful for some slick spots.
- Keep an eye on the forecast as subtle changes are possible leading up to the onset.
Any thoughts of wintry weather blow out the door next week as another very warm stretch of weather moves back in. Afternoon highs will be in the 50s and 60s late in the week, so our warming trend continues!
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