ROANOKE, Va. – The wind will calm down a bit Thursday night and Friday, with bone-dry air settling into the region. Eventually, more clouds move in Friday with daytime temperatures about 10-15° lower than Thursday.
By Saturday, we’ll keep an eye out for a brief period of wintry weather. This may start with a quick burst of snow or sleet north of 460 early Saturday morning. The better chance for a period of freezing rain comes after sunrise through early Saturday afternoon in areas near and to the west of the Parkway.
Timing is everything in this case. An earlier start time would mean colder air and a higher likelihood/longer period of freezing rain. A later start time would mean the air getting just above 32°, which would eliminate the threat for freezing rain.
We think most areas near and west of the Parkway will be able to see a quick glaze up to a tenth of an inch on side rails, windshields, elevated surfaces, etc. Keep in mind that this may change, depending on timing.
Some of us will have to use the ice scraper Saturday, and there will be the potential for slick spots. However, we don’t anticipate many power outages, things shutting down or you having to raid the bread and milk aisle. This is not going to be a crippling storm for us.
As the afternoon and evening go on, we’ll see a gradual changeover to all rain. At this point, whatever light ice accretion we see will melt and conditions will improve a bit. The wind will become strong at times (again) Saturday.
As an area of Arctic high pressure moves east, some of the coldest air we’ve felt this winter will settle in for early next week.
Highs next Monday and Tuesday will be in the 30s, with lows at night falling into the teens.
We don’t anticipate any additional wintry precipitation during this time frame, as high pressure leads to sinking air (less cloud cover and less precipitation chances). Instead, we’ll see more sunshine through the middle of next week.