ROANOKE, Va. – 2:50 p.m. UPDATE:
During a winter that’s been pathetic at best, snow-lovers will take any chance they can get. The chance for snow late Thursday afternoon into Thursday night has gone up, but the potential is even greater the farther south you go.
With a front stalled to our south, a system riding along that front will throw moisture over our newly-acquired cold air. That air has been very dry, therefore the moisture will have to overcome that through a process known as ‘evaporative cooling.’ It is likely that we will begin tracking snow around 11 a.m. for the New River Valley area.
From there, this fast moving system will bring in heavier snow to most of southwestern Virginia by 2 p.m.
While the snow will not remain this widespread throughout the entire event, the snow will be largely focused in Southside, which is where we expect the highest snowfall totals (more on that below). By 8 p.m., most of the snow is gone, though a few flurries will be possible at night.
Our forecast brings the highest totals (shaded in dark blue) to portions of Southside with an estimated 1″ to 3″ of snow possible. We’ve extended the coating to 2″ of snow (shaded in light blue) from the rest of Southside and into the New River Valley. This will include portions of the Roanoke Valley. The rest of us see 0-1″ (shaded in white). This forecast could still be tweaked a little bit in the next 12 hours, so stay with us for updates.
Here’s another view of our forecast that’s not in map form.
Snow of this magnitude, followed by some very cold air, can result in some slick roads Thursday night into Friday morning. It’s possible that we see some school schedule changes, but remember that we aren’t superintendents. We’re just letting you know of possible impacts given the current forecast. Winds will remain calm so we are not worried about visibility. Most of us won’t have to break out the generator with this storm.
By Friday afternoon, we’ll see sunshine and temperatures in the upper 30s and low to mid 40s. This weekend looks really nice, with sunshine and highs in the 50s each afternoon.