Heavy snow set to impact much of southwest, central Virginia Sunday

Totals exceed half a foot in many locations

By Chris Michaels - Meteorologist

ROANOKE, Va. - Sunday's winter storm is set to have a significant impact on much of our area, as we've spoken about for over a week now. We'll break things down by totals, timing, impact, type of snow and tips. 

1. Totals (Starting north and going south)

We've noticed a shift north in the pattern, prompting us to shift our snow forecast north as well. Highest totals remain close to US-221 in Carroll-Floyd-Patrick line and into areas like Mt. Rogers and Whitetop.

This puts much of the area along and south of Highway 460 under 8-14" of snow. Areas from Keysville to Lynchburg to Covington are under the 4-8" range. Rockbridge, Augusta Nelson and the Highlands are in the 1-4" range.

2. Timing

Most snow Sunday morning starts out south of 460. As the day progresses, we'll notice it continue to spread north and become heaviest during the afternoon. By Monday morning, most of the area won't be seeing anything falling. 

3. Impacts

Travel will become very difficult at times during the day Sunday, even on main roads. We anticipate many school closings Monday morning. Power outages will be scattered along and south of Highway 460 Sunday into early Monday. Downed trees can happen, given the weight of the snow coming in.

4. Type of Snow

Since temperatures will be in the 20s to low 30s, the kind of snow we'll see will be the heavy, wet kind. This is good for snowmen, sledding and snowballs. However, this is not good for power lines. 

5. Tips

While the forecast snow totals have changed, we've had ample time to prepare for a storm. 

One thing we need to talk about is shoveling safety. If you have any injuries or heart/lung problems, seek help from others before you try shoveling. If you are able to, shovel early and often. That way, you avoid snow compacting and freezing over. Then, it becomes very difficult to move it out of your way. 

Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of water. 

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