Download our app! Winter storm to make things messy at times Sunday

Snow, sleet and freezing rain move through the area prior to midday Sunday

Snow accumulation forecast for Sunday 1/31/2021

ROANOKE, Va.Click here to download our app.

The winter storm we’ve been forecasting is on top of us as we write up this article.

Snow starts us out this morning. With warmer air above the surface coming in from the south, however, we’ll see things change over to sleet and freezing rain south of US 460.

Storm timeline for Sunday, 1/31/2021

As energy from the storm is transferred from the Ohio River Valley to the coast, we’ll find ourselves in a bit of a dry slot for most of the afternoon. However, the roads will still be quite messy. After sunset, moisture wraps around the system. This means scattered snow showers into the first half of Monday (mostly west of the Blue Ridge Parkway).

The most snow accumulation will be from areas like Blacksburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg to the north.

Snow accumulation forecast for Sunday 1/31/2021

As snow accumulation drops farther south, the potential for ice goes up. That’s especially the case the closer you get to the North Carolina-Virginia line.

Ice accumulation map for Sunday, 1/31/2021

All it takes is 0.25″ of ice on powerlines for power outages to become a possibility. That’s because that much ice adds about 500 lbs of weight onto the lines.

Power outage threat Sunday

While we don’t expect outages to be a widespread issue, messy road conditions will be. That’s especially the case during the first half of the day. We’ll stay slick at times during the afternoon and night. The hope is that, with a dry period of weather, crews can get most main roads in good shape.

Commute impacts for Sunday, 1/31/2021

Scattered rain and snow showers will be around at times Monday. Any additional accumulation, however, would likely be less than an inch. The more substantial snow comes Sunday morning. Many of us will still have to plan on virtual work (if you can) Monday, as side roads and neighborhoods may still be tough to get around.

Come Tuesday, we’re dry but windy. Any snow leftover could blow around, especially in the mountains.

Tuesday's wind (02/02/2021)

About the Authors:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.