ROANOKE, Va. – For the purpose of this Friday morning weather article, we’ll start with the details regarding Super Bowl Sunday’s wet and wintry system.
Then, we’ll back track and talk about other aspects of the forecast.
It’s been so warm recently, and we’re relying on a storm system above to “make” its own cold air Sunday.
That means that a difference of 1° both at the surface and a few thousand feet above will determine where you see snow vs. sleet vs. rain on Super Bowl Sunday.
As you can imagine, this makes for a very tricky and potentially changeable forecast. Download our free 10 News and weather apps for the latest updates.
For now, it looks as though we’ll mostly see rain in Lynchburg and Southside with a mixed bag of sleet, rain and snow in/around the Roanoke Valley. A mix changing over to snow in the New River Valley and portions of the Highlands appears most likely.
This is an off-and-on event from start to finish Super Bowl Sunday. It likely starts before sunrise with rain near Southside and Lynchburg and a mix farther north. Snow will most likely start above the 3,000 foot level and in areas west of I-77.
Closer to midday, there may be some breaks in the action where a “dry slot” forms along and east of US 220.
Outside of that, it still looks like mostly rain near Lynchburg and Southside and perhaps the Roanoke Valley too if temperatures can rise enough.
A mix of snow and sleet will continue farther west of that.
The back side of this system has the most potential to produce accumulating snow in the New River Valley, higher elevations of the Roanoke Valley and portions of the Highlands. This comes as a colder pool of air above us moves from west to east.
It is possible that a brief burst of snow and/or sleet mixes in with the departing rain as far east as Lynchburg and Southside, though it would likely be tough to accumulate.
Snow and Sleet Totals
It is important to note that this initial forecast is subject to change, depending on that 1° difference I mentioned previously in this article. Intensity of precipitation will also dictate whether or not we can overcome the very warm ground. That said, what you read below is our initial stab at totals for Super Bowl Sunday’s snow and sleet.
If you’re looking for a snowstorm, your best bet is to be near and west of Interstate 77. Totals of 1-3″ will be possible in other parts of the New River Valley, higher elevations of the Roanoke Valley and parts of the Highlands (mostly north and west of Covington/Lexington).
Lower elevations of the Roanoke Valley and areas closer to I-81/the Blue Ridge Parkway likely wind up with a coating to an inch of snow and sleet.
Subtle shifts in the storm track will affect the temperature up above which, in turn, could affect what you see.
Stay with us for updates by downloading our free 10 News and weather apps.
Other Parts of the Forecast
Aside from Super Bowl Sunday, we do have a front splitting the area Friday. Because of that front, we’ll notice the wind still staying elevated at times. Peak gusts of 20 to 30 mph will be possible.
As the front moves farther east Saturday, we’ll notice temperatures dip a little bit. However, it’s not like we’ll have true cold, Canadian air ahead of Super Bowl Sunday’s system.
After Sunday, temperatures rise once again. We’re looking at highs in the 50s Monday and Tuesday and even some 60s by next Wednesday and Thursday.