ROANOKE, Va. – The first half of January has been more typical of early January in Dallas, Texas. That is about to change, starting Friday, as we see high temperatures “only” get into the 40s. Clouds increase overnight, but colder air gets wedged into the region by Saturday morning.
A storm system to our west will pull in just enough moisture to get some light freezing rain (and a brief burst of snow and sleet north of I-64) going between 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday.
Around or just shortly after midday, we’ll see pockets of freezing rain develop near and west of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This includes parts of the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley and Highlands. However, the late arrival also means some of us may have already warmed to 33°. This would negate the possibility of freezing rain for some of us, even in the NRV, Roanoke Valley and Highlands. So, we’ll have to keep a close eye on that.
Above-freezing air at the surface will help change things will begin to change to a cold rain throughout the afternoon. That transition happens last in areas near and north of I-64, where the colder air stays bottled up the longest.
While accumulations won’t be Earth-shattering, this will still be enough to cause some of us to break out the ice scrapers. A few slick spots will also be possible, especially on sidewalks, driveways, side rails, side roads as well as bridges and overpasses. This likely won’t be enough to cause any power outages.
Once this storm system passes east, we’ll see temperatures drop throughout the day Sunday with the wind picking up once again. That wind will still be enough to make things feel very cold Monday morning. It may feel like the single digits first thing Monday morning in parts of the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley and Highlands.
While this is the coldest air of the season so far, we’ll gradually thaw out a bit through mid-to-late next week.