ROANOKE, Va. – Even though most of us start out in the teens first thing Thursday morning, it’s only forecast to feel colder heading into the weekend.
Before we get there, though, we enjoy a decent amount of sunshine Thursday and highs of 40-45°. Temperatures drop into the 20s overnight as clouds increase.
We stay dry through much of the morning and early afternoon Friday. As an area of low pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere moves toward the Eastern U.S., snow begins to develop in areas along and west of the Parkway between roughly 3 and 6 p.m.
This may start as a brief period of rain closer to the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg area and Southside before changing to snow between roughly 6 and 9 p.m. Friday.
With temperatures in the 30s, this starts as a “wet” snow before turning a little more powdery as temperatures drop overnight into Saturday morning.
Because the moisture is limited (only about 0.1 to 0.2″ of liquid precipitation), most snow accumulation looks to be on the order of about an inch or two. Some isolated higher totals will be possible in the higher elevations and/or in areas east of US-29.
Regardless of whether you see half an inch, an inch, two inches, etc., any light accumulation will make roads slick Friday evening, Friday night and into Saturday. The snow itself won’t weigh enough to cause power outages, but the wind may be strong enough at times Saturday to cause some.
The wind starts to pick up late Friday night as low pressure strengthens offshore.
The wind stays strong at times with gusts of 30-40+ mph possible throughout the day Saturday. This leads to bitterly low wind chills during the day Saturday and even into Sunday morning as the wind relaxes a bit.
Make sure you dress for the weather, check on the elderly, bring your pets indoors, monitor any exposed piping, etc.
Highs bounce back into the 40s and 50s by the first half of next week.