UPDATE: Freezing rain to make for a slick Friday morning commute
Pockets of freezing rain may lead to slick roads and school schedule changes Friday morning
ROANOKE, Va. – UPDATED: 4:33 PM
We enjoy a brief reprieve from the active weather Thursday, but it is cold! Temperatures start in the 20s and rise into the 40s by the afternoon under lots of sun. Later Thursday night, clouds increase from south to north.
As moisture overrides colder air, freezing rain will become likely in parts of the area. This starts out light and in areas closer to the North Carolina-Virginia border, but will quickly make its way into the Roanoke Valley and New River Valley.
This will progress farther north throughout the morning. A brief period of freezing rain will be possible in Southside and Lynchburg, leading to a light glaze early on. It will last a few hours in parts of the NRV, Roanoke Valley and Highlands.
This freezing rain could last through about 11 a.m. or Noon. Other areas may either start to dry out, or will see a cold drizzle/rain develop.
By the afternoon, most (if not all) of us will have changed over to a cold rain. A soaking rain continues through the night into parts of Saturday morning.
Overall, we expect anywhere from a glaze to a tenth of an inch of ice to accumulate Friday morning. A few isolated areas could see upwards of two tenths of an inch. Areas in Southside could see a quick glaze before sunrise, but because temperatures will be running close to 32° - you’ll likely see a change to just a cold rain before anyone else does.
Now, a glaze to a tenth of an inch may not seem like much. However, this is ice on a cold ground. While we don’t expect this to be crippling, it could make for a slippery commute Friday morning. We aren’t superintendents, but we’d have to think that given this forecast - school schedule changes will happen. Power outages don’t typically start until ice accumulation reaches a quarter of an inch, so we’ll keep that threat on the low end.
Once we change over to a cold rain, road conditions will gradually improve throughout the day. Still, watch for isolated slick spots and/or hydroplaning. We’ll gradually dry out this weekend, with afternoon temperatures in the upper 40s and lower 50s.
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