Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Totals & Storm Recap

The last band of light to moderate snow is now moving east of I-95 and should be out of the state by 11-11:30PM. Western and northern Virginia got the lion's share of the snow today. Here is a glimpse of some of the totals as of 9:30 PM:

Totals were much less in Central VA. Here are some of the totals reported on our weather chat in the Storm Room:

1.0" Hanover
1.0" West Henrico
1.0" Louisa
1.0" Buckingham
1.0" Appomattox
0.8" Woodlake
0.5" Powatan Courthouse
0.5" Tappahannock
0.3" Brandermill

Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s tonight, so untreated roads could become slick. You can find the latest road conditions at We're expecting temperatures to climb above freezing from 9 to 10 AM Thursday morning.

Mapping Out The Next 12 Hours

Here are some maps to help you plan the next 12 hours. The shades of purple represent snow, pink is a mix, green and yellow are rain and gray is cloud cover. You can see that most the the wintry weather will end just after midnight.

Updated Winter Weather Map: 12:30PM Wed

As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, this is the updated Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory map for central Virginia:

North-central Virginia counties are now included in the Winter Storm Warning, including Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties. This warning lasts until 4 a.m. in northern Virginia for heavy accumulating snow. The expected accumulations remain about the same in our area:

The change over to snow is already occurring in western Virginia at Noon as the potent upper low pressure system approaches. I still expect bursts of heavy, wet snow to occur this afternoon and evening as this upper system passes overhead. The Richmond metro is still on track to see the change over from rain to snow in the 4-7 p.m. window. Here's a snapshot of the upper vorticity max directly over central Virginia this evening at 7 p.m., when nearly all of central Virginia will have seen the change from rain to snow:

Snow will end from west to east tonight, exiting the state shortly after midnight. The wet pavement in the area will freeze by Thursday morning as temperatures dip into the upper 20s. This will create slick and hazardous conditions on the roads Thursday morning.

Wednesday 4:30AM Winter Weather Update

As of 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, here is the updated Winter Storm Warning and Advisory map for central Virginia:

Rain is falling in most of central Virginia right now, with the only locations receiving snow in northern Virginia around Fredericksburg and locations north and west. Surface temperatures where the snow is falling are still just above freezing, so much of this is likely melting as it reaches the ground, other than accumulating some on the grass and other elevated objects. We still expect periods of rain through the day Wednesday, so keep your umbrella handy. Deeper, colder air will begin surging into central Virginia this evening from west to east as our low pressure system tracks east and northeast of Virginia's coast, pulling that colder air into our region. As this colder air arrives, rain will change over to snow, which will be heavy and wet at times. The changeover to snow should begin in the western Richmond metro area beginning at 5 p.m., with the eastern Richmond metro at all snow as well by 8 p.m. This means that a heavy, wet snow may be falling in the metro during the Wednesday evening commute. Please prepare extra time to get to your Wednesday evening destinations, and be careful driving in what will likely be reduced visibilities because of the snowfall. Temperatures while this snow is falling will still be just above freezing, so some of this will be melting as it hits the roads. Here's what we expect for wet snow accumulation:

The snow should end in the entire area by 3 a.m. Thursday, but surface temperatures will dip below freezing into the upper 20s, allowing many icy patches to develop on any pavement. This will impact the Thursday morning commute with slick and hazardous conditions.