39ºF

Wintry weather favors southern portions of our area Friday

Snow accumulations will be greater the closer to North Carolina you go

FutureTracker - late Friday morning
FutureTracker - late Friday morning

ROANOKE, Va. – Since last weekend, Your Local Weather Authority has been tracking the potential for wintry weather this Friday. Winter weather alerts are in effect throughout the day Friday for areas closer to the North Carolina-Virginia line/south of U.S. 460.

Winter weather alerts for Friday, 1/8/2021
Winter weather alerts for Friday, 1/8/2021

Totals

This is what everyone wants to know whenever the ‘s’ word is mentioned and it just so happens to be the most difficult thing to forecast.

Our storm system is undercutting us to the south, meaning it’s not riding up the coastline or coming straight from the Gulf. That means there will be a cutoff between snow on the ground and not much.

Dry air along and north of U.S. 460 is going to be the limiting factor for snow. We think that most areas in the white and baby blue (0-1″ and Coat-2″) will see the lower end of their forecast totals Friday.

Snow accumulation forecast for Friday, 1/8/2021
Snow accumulation forecast for Friday, 1/8/2021

Two to 4 inches of snow is forecast for areas like Danville, Martinsville, Stuart and Floyd. Higher totals will be possible for areas like Galax, Hillsville, Troutdale and perhaps Rural Retreat.

Timing

It may very well be that some of us wake up Friday morning with not much going on. The exception to that will be areas near I-77, US-221 and the North Carolina-Virginia line.

As we head toward midday and the early afternoon, the moisture begins to push slowly to the north. This may mix with rain in parts of the area at the beginning, before completely cooling the surface.

FutureTracker - late Friday morning
FutureTracker - late Friday morning

After that, intermittent snow will continue in the southern half of the area throughout the day before tapering off near the North Carolina-Virginia line after sunset.

By Saturday morning, our storm is likely going to be too far east to continue producing precipitation for us. Rather, we’ll see clouds decreasing throughout the day.

Whatever snow is on the ground will begin to melt, thanks to sun and daytime temperatures above freezing.

Shaded areas that see snow Friday will likely hold onto it for a little while longer.

Impacts

Given our forecast (as of Thursday morning), it’s possible that we see snow on roads especially in parts of the New River Valley and in Southside. While this will be what we consider a wet snow, we don’t anticipate widespread power outages. The air from top to bottom in the atmosphere will be near or below freezing, so we don’t expect any freezing rain/icing issues.

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