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Beyond The Forecast: Taking stock of winter thus far, plus an early look at Thursday’s snow potential

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Happy Monday! The chilly rain we’ve dealt with today is a reminder that, yes, it’s still January.

Depending on your definition of winter (either astronomical or meteorological), we’re either nearly halfway or more than halfway through the coldest season of the year. That means it’s as good a time as any to take stock of the winter we’ve had up to this point.

I would imagine most people believe that this winter hasn’t been too bad from a cold perspective. There have been some blasts of frigid air, Christmas comes to mind for me, but overall, most of our region has been WARMER than average this winter.

As you could probably assume, the warmer temperatures are keeping our seasonal snowfall lower than average. Blacksburg is the only climate site meeting its snowfall average to this point in winter. Roanoke, Lynchburg and Danville are all having bottom-50 years for the white stuff to this point.

There is good news for Southwest and Central Virginia snow-lovers... winter isn’t over!

We can’t just write off the season with a month or two left. In fact, there’s a chance for snow on the horizon.

We’re tracking a quick-moving system that’s expected to work in tandem with a cold high pressure over the upper Midwest to produce rain, then snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

While this isn’t going to be a major winter storm, I bet some of you would be excited to wake up to a little snow on the ground Thursday!

The most significant snow accumulations will come west of the Blue Ridge, although we can’t rule out some snowflakes for anyone in the region at this time. Here’s our first call snowfall forecast.

We will be fine-tuning the snow map as this system gets closer.

In addition to this shot at snow, there’s another opportunity for wintry weather in the forecast over the weekend! We hope you’ll keep up with us as we get better details on that one.

Before our next chance of snow arrives, we have some spring-like warmth to enjoy on Tuesday!

Meteorologist Chris Michaels has a look at those 60s in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg, the New River Valley or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

If you prefer your weather information delivered by social media, you can follow Your Local Weather Authority on Facebook and Twitter.

-- Justin McKee


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.