69ºF

Scattered bursts of snow accompanied by strong gusts and cold air Friday

Winter strikes back for a day or two before a stretch of more spring warmth settles in

Scattered bursts of snow develop in areas west of the Parkway Friday afternoon
Scattered bursts of snow develop in areas west of the Parkway Friday afternoon

ROANOKE, Va. – After days of spring warmth and blooming trees, winter decides to pay a quick visit. While not a major storm, some areas will see some snow and strong gusts Friday. We start out the morning dry, with a mix of clouds and sun around lunchtime. It’s around this time that snow develops above the 2500-3000 foot level.

Snow begins to develop in some spots above the 2500-3000 foot level
Snow begins to develop in some spots above the 2500-3000 foot level

As we head deeper into the afternoon, scattered snow squalls develop in the New River Valley and Highlands. A few may sneak their way into some higher spots of the Roanoke Valley too.

Scattered bursts of snow develop in areas west of the Parkway Friday afternoon
Scattered bursts of snow develop in areas west of the Parkway Friday afternoon

Accumulation, if any, would mostly be on the grass. The recent warmth and high sun angle this time of year will make it difficult for things to accumulate right away. If the snow is heavy enough, however, those two things won’t really be a factor.

Snow squalls continue in areas west of the Parkway through the evening. Keep in mind that while these are scattered, they may limit visibility from time to time.

Snow squalls continue in areas west of the Parkway Friday evening.
Snow squalls continue in areas west of the Parkway Friday evening.

Deeper into the night and Saturday morning, our disturbance will begin to move east. Some slick spots will be possible in areas that do see snow squalls. However, road issues are not expected to be a widespread concern.

Several inches of snow are expected on our west-facing slopes, with perhaps an inch or so in parts of Highland, Grayson, Wythe and Bland Counties. Any scattered accumulation in parts of the New River Valley and Highlands will be light.

Snow will taper off during this time, but the wind will only get stronger. Gusts in the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley and Highlands will reach 30-45 mph at times. This may down some limbs, but power outages will be isolated (if any).

The wind gets quite strong at times late Friday into early Saturday.
The wind gets quite strong at times late Friday into early Saturday.

As colder air pours in on the backside of this system, it will go to work with the wind to make things feel very cold Saturday morning. It will feel like the teens in areas west of the Parkway and 20s elsewhere. Some higher spots will only feel like the single digits!

Some spots will feel like the teens and single digits
Some spots will feel like the teens and single digits

This won’t be long-lasting, though. As high pressure takes control and moves slightly east, a warm breeze will develop Sunday. This will push temperatures into the 60s.

The jet stream rises to the north, allowing warmer air to camp out over our area starting Sunday
The jet stream rises to the north, allowing warmer air to camp out over our area starting Sunday

That kind of warmth will last well into next week, with occasional showers developing Tuesday through Thursday. The Climate Prediction Center’s temperature outlook through the middle of March indicates that temperatures will stay warmer than average (50s for highs).

The temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates the likelihood of above average temperatures through mid March
The temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates the likelihood of above average temperatures through mid March

With each day that passes, winter’s opportunity to make a splash dwindles; much to the dismay of snow-lovers in our area.


About the Author: