A slow-moving storm system will finally clear the eastern U.S. by Thursday morning. This Wednesday morning, though, rain continues to track northeast through the western and northern parts of our state, producing some flooding problems in low-lying areas and along creeks and streams. Storm total rainfall should range one to two inches in this part of Virginia, which is why a Flood Watch will remain in effect until 7PM.
For the southeastern half of Virginia, rain totals will remain an inch or less, with the lowest totals at just a quarter-inch in Hampton Roads.
As the surface cold front sweeps southeast this afternoon and evening, much colder air will surge into the region behind it. Winds will shift to the northwest behind the front, with deep, cold air reaching western Virginia before the precipitation ends. This will change the rain to snow, allowing for as much as three to six inches of snowfall accumulation in elevations above 1500 feet! Therefore, a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for that part of Virginia through tonight.
It still looks like the rain will end in central Virginia before the deepest, cold air can settle into the region. There will be a tiny window of opportunity between 10 PM to just after Midnight for the ending rain to briefly change over to snow. Nothing will stick, though, as both air and ground temperatures will still be well above freezing in central Virginia, and remain above freezing into Thursday morning. Here's one forecast demonstrating what snow may fall, but likely not all of this will end up sticking (except in the higher elevations of western VA):
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--Meteorologist Carrie Rose