Seasonable stretch of weather prior to possibility of snow this weekend

It’s too soon to get into specifics, but this weekend’s weather pattern yields the chance for snow

What we're tracking through 1/16/2022

ROANOKE, Va. – Tuesday starts off very cold once again, thanks to a Canadian airmass in play. The air is bone-dry, so make sure to drink plenty of water and bring the moisturizer/lip balm if need be.

Despite sunshine, high temperatures will only reach the 35-41° range Tuesday afternoon. Thankfully, the wind won’t be as much of a bother throughout the day with high pressure overhead.

High temperature forecast for Tuesday, 1/11/2022

As high pressure moves offshore, the clockwise wind around it will give our temperatures a boost Wednesday afternoon. We’ll reach the upper 40s and lower 50s.

Temperatures rise a bit by Wednesday afternoon

A weak storm system moves through late Thursday into Thursday night, giving the chance of snow to some of our west-facing slopes. A few flurries and/or snow showers may make their way into the New River Valley and Highlands Thursday night. Little to no accumulation is expected.

Odds of winter weather through Friday, 1/14/2022

Most of the area is dry through Friday.

Come Saturday, we’ll already have cold air in place. At the same time, a storm system dives down from the north. This is a pattern that’s favorable for snow in the Eastern U.S.

How much, however, depends on the storm’s a) location b) strength and c) speed.

What we're tracking by Saturday, 1/15/2022

Forecast data is struggling with the specifics, as is usually the case at this point in the forecasting process. When you’re 4-5 days away, you can tell whether or not a storm is likely. It’s not until 2-3 days from the event that you start to get a better handle on things.

The general process of forecasting winter weather

This storm system, in particular, is still over open waters in the Pacific. Weather balloons have yet to be launched into it. These balloons collect information that then gets fed into forecast data.

How weather balloons work

It may be Thursday before we get a good grasp on this, so keep checking back for updates. We’ll post them/air them as needed.

You can download our app for the latest updates/alerts when we’re not on the air.


About the Author:

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.