Winter Storm Warning issued for our area

Impact to travel, possibly power, this Sunday

By Jeff Haniewich - Chief Meteorologist, Jonathan Kegges - Meteorologist, Chris Michaels - Meteorologist, Beverly Perry - Meteorologist

ROANOKE, Va. - Since our first-call snow map was released Wednesday, we've not seen any need to make changes to our forecast.

However, given the fact that we're now closer to the storm's arrival - the National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a Winter Storm Warning from mid-day Saturday through Sunday afternoon.

Totals

Our forecast, as shown above, calls for more snow along and north of 460, with more of a snow/ice mix farther south. Keep in mind that a shift 25 miles north would lower snow totals, and a shift 25 miles south would increase them. 

Even if you see your area getting less snow, that is not cause to celebrate. Ice is far more difficult to remove and can be far more impactful to travel and power. That's especially the case for parts of Southside and the I-77 corridor (Galax, Hillsville, etc.).

Timing

Whatever falls during the day Saturday should be fairly light and shouldn't provide too much of an impact to the road. That's because the incoming system will be fighting a lot of dry air. In fact, areas along and south of 460 should be dry for most of Saturday. 

The most intense precipitation arrives overnight Saturday into Sunday morning, falling mainly in the form of snow from Roanoke and Lynchburg northward. Some freezing rain and sleet, however, will be possible closer to the NC-VA line.

Precipitation ends as light snow Sunday afternoon and evening, with a few light snow showers and flurries caught up in the mountains Monday morning.

Impacts

Roads will become quite messy Sunday and perhaps Monday as well, leading us to believe that there will be school schedule changes come Monday. The better chance for scattered power outages will be in areas where we are expecting freezing rain to accumulate. It typically takes 0.25" of freezing rain on power lines for there to be a lot of outages.

Be sure to stay tuned with WSLS 10 on air, online, on social media and on our StormTeam 10 app for updates throughout the weekend.

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