Saturday, March 26, 2011

Winter Weather Update Saturday Morning

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for western parts of Virginia for this evening through Sunday afternoon for a developing storm system in the Southeast US that will expand a winter mix of precipitation into the Commonwealth tonight into Sunday. Snowfall of 1"-3" is expected in the purple highlighted counties, but elevations higher than 2000 feet can expect snowfall accumulations as high as 4"-5" by Sunday evening.

Much of the rest of central Virginia will experience a winter mix of wet snow and rain Sunday, too. Precipitation will expand into central Virginia from the southwest late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. Most temperatures will still be in the upper 30s to around 40 degrees with the onset of wet snow and cold rain. These air temperatures combined with mild ground temperatures will inhibit a big snowfall accumulation.

There may be some sleet (ice pellets) that mix in with the snow and rain in the pink areas.

Temperatures will be in the 30s above freezing Sunday while the slushy snow is falling and melting at the ground, except for northern locations from around Tappahannock to Charlottesville and north through Fredericksburg.

That is where more snowfall could stick to the ground and elevated objects when temperatures there fall below freezing Sunday while the snow is still coming down. Snow and rain should taper off from northwest to southeast during the afternoon. Notice the temperatures in the afternoon are in the mid to upper 30s where the snow is still falling, so some of that will melt on its way to the ground.

Here is the potential accumulated snowfall for Sunday, with most of this sticking to the grass and elevated objects:

Notice that the Metro Richmond area is right on the 1" borderline for that wet snow. Our surface temperature will be very close to freezing for a few hours Sunday. If we can get to the freezing mark, that will help more of the snow to stick on the grass and objects off the ground.

Any wetness on pavement Sunday night that doesn't evaporate will freeze for Monday morning as low temperatures plummet into the mid to upper 20s. This will likely create black ice and slick spots on the roads for your Monday morning commute. But any snow that does stay on the ground into Monday morning will melt off quickly Monday afternoon with highs in the upper 40s and low 50s in central Virginia. Stay with CBS 6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm.

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