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Arctic Blast: Near-record cold settles in after mix of rain, snow

Temperatures plummet into the teens, low 20s by Wednesday morning

ROANOKE, Va. – Some January and February-like air settles in behind a passing cold front late Tuesday into Wednesday.


As the front passes through, we'll see a mix of rain, sleet and snow Tuesday morning in areas near and to the west of the Parkway. This won't negatively impact the commute for most of us, as the road is quite warm. Parts of Hwy 221/the southern Blue Ridge of Floyd and Carroll County may have a few trouble spots, though. 

As the front passes east, some colder air above may help mix in some sleet and snow in parts of Southside by midday. Even still, little to no impact is expected on the road.

All in all, the greatest chance of seeing snow greater than an inch will be on area mountain tops and perhaps along the southern Blue Ridge. Other than that, a dusting on the grass is possible in the NRV and Highlands. Little to no accumulation is expected in Roanoke, Lynchburg or Southside. 


The most important part of this system is the cold. The 's' word tends to grab more attention, but is not the main concern with this system.

Tuesday's temperatures tank into the 30s, with the wind making it feel colder than that. 

The wind may let up to only 5-10 mph overnight, but that still will make a difference. As temperatures fall into record territory overnight, it may feel like the single digits in areas near and west of the Parkway. 

Make sure you disconnect the garden hose, let the faucet drip/gently stream, give the pets a warm place to stay, check on the elderly, move objects away from the heater and fill up your tires with air beforehand.

This is big-league cold we're tracking over the next two days. If you have any reports to pass along, send them to our Facebook page.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.