ROANOKE, Va. – Sunshine and a gusty wind continue to be the two main players in our weather Monday, resulting in highs in the 40s in the NRV and Highlands. The rest of us top out in the 50s. Overnight lows drop into the upper 20s and lower 30s, which is important as we have a weak storm system moving our way.
Here are a few key notes you need to know about this system.
1. It is not going to be a major snowstorm by any stretch of the imagination.
2. It is a quick-mover, so while it may be mildly inconvenient for a few hours - it’s not going to have long-lasting impacts.
3. Impact to travel on main roads should be minimal, as this is hitting during daylight hours.
4. Still some things may change. It came on land near Washington and Oregon yesterday, so weather balloons are still sampling the system for data.
We’ll start to see some sleet and light snow developing near I-77 around, or just shortly after sunrise, Tuesday. A wind out of the east and southeast will rise up the mountains and possibly get some snow showers going around that time in parts of the Highlands too.
Sleet and snow will be quick to advance north and east throughout the morning, arriving in parts of the Roanoke Valley and Lynchburg near mid-morning. Temperatures across Southside will be borderline, which may result in a mix of snow, sleet and rain throughout the morning.
By lunchtime, the system is already beginning to pull away. The precipitation will taper off in the Highlands and Lynchburg area during the early afternoon.
By Tuesday afternoon, we may actually see sunshine breaking out and temperatures rising into the upper 30s and lower 40s. Any little bit of snow that may have fallen could start to melt, with the exception being more sheltered/shadowed locations.
As you can imagine, we’re not talking about snow you can shovel with this storm.
Most of the Roanoke Valley, New River Valley and Lynchburg see less than an inch mainly on the grass. Some higher elevations west of the Parkway may see 1-2″ of snow from this quick-hitter. Covington and Lexington will likely see less than an inch, while higher elevations like Callaghan, Goshen and Bath and Highland Counties see 1-2″ (isolated 3″).
As far as impacts go, we think most main roads will be fine. They’ve been warm the last several days, and most of this storm happens during daylight hours. If the snow comes down heavy enough for a brief moment, then the roads may briefly get covered before things melt. While we aren’t superintendents, it’s possible that changes are made to the school schedule in parts of the area for Tuesday.
Once this system passes north and east, the wind picks up again late Tuesday into Wednesday morning, resulting in wind chills in the teens for the NRV and Highlands and 20s elsewhere first thing Wednesday.