WINTER STORM WARNINGS are in effect for the entire WVVA viewing area starting tonight after sunset and lasting through early Friday morning.
High pressure to our northeast will be wedging colder air at the surface against our Appalachian mountains into tonight. Low pressure moving our way from the southwest will then bring warmer and moist air on top of this cold air- which will result in all different precipitation types as we head into early Thursday (snow, sleet, freezing rain, and plain rain in spots). Cloud cover will slowly build back in by this evening, and late tonight (mainly after 11 PM), we'll start to see snow showers develop across our area for several hours.
By 3-4 AM, snow will gradually transition over to sleet, freezing rain, and some plain rain west of I-77, as we head through sunrise. Road conditions will rapidly deteriorate overnight, as temps drop below freezing or to around freezing late tonight-early Thursday.
By Thursday afternoon, the mix will become more spotty/hit-or-miss, so road conditions could improve a bit in some areas as temps creep above freezing.
Into Thursday night, (though the precipitation is not looking as heavy as tonight) we'll see some additional development of the mix, changing back over to light snow showers across our western facing slopes into Friday morning.
PREPARE FOR SLICK TRAVEL AND POSSIBLE POWER LOSS DUE TO SNOW AND ICE tonight through the start of the weekend. Also not ruled out will be the possibility of flooding at the end of the week, thanks to the already saturated soil. Stay weather aware!
***FORECASTING NOTE: THERE WILL STILL BE SOME BUST POTENTIAL for this system. Uncertainties among model data remain in what time the transition tonight from snow to the mix will occur, so some areas might end up with more snow vs. ice, or vice versa than forecasted. Remember though, a quarter of an inch of ice can have just as much impact as several inches of snow for example, so we need to be prepared for anything!
Though not everything will fall at the same time, most of the precip does look to occur overnight and into early Thursday-this time frame no doubt, will be when conditions are at their worst. Most of our area, especially along and north of HWY 460 look to see anywhere from 3-6" of snow and sleet, with higher totals (and more snow vs. sleet overall) around and north of the I-64 corridor.
Freezing rain/ice will be of greatest concern along and east of I-77, where warmer air layers above our heads will be present. Anywhere from a glaze of ice to a quarter of an inch or higher will be possible, so prepare for sporadic power loss and tree damage in some areas.
We look to gradually dry out through Saturday, though highs on Friday & Saturday will only top off in the 20s and low 30s. A warm up could finally be in store for next week...make sure to tune in tonight to WVVA News at 5,6, 10, and 11PM for the latest full forecast!