Kinda sunny and warmer on this President’s Day holiday, but let’s call this the lull before another winter storm warning for our area.
The National Weather Service office in Blacksburg has another winter storm warning for Southwestern Virginia, starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, that could dump four inches or more snow by Wednesday evening.
“Next cross-country snowmaker is here,” declares a headline from the Weather Channel. “Waterlogged period being with Wednesday winter storm,” says Roanoke Times weather guru Kevin Myatt.
“Cold air will fight a mighty battle, causing the first chapter of this soggy narrative to, quite likely, be one of the 2018-19 cold season’s more significant winter storms for our region,” Myatt writes.
With high pressure banking cold air down the east side of the Appalachians, the first of several coming waves of dense moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be wintry. Our precipitation is likely to “hit for the cycle,” beginning as snow in the early morning hours of Wednesday, mixing with sleet, then changing to sleet, with that in turn mixing with freezing rain and eventually changing to freezing rain, and finally everything changing to rain by late Wednesday or early Thursday as mild air finally wins the battle after much struggle.
In its winter storm warning, the Weather Service adds:
…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON… * WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation possible. Total snow accumulations will vary from light amounts in the piedmont to heavy snows in Southeast West Virginia and Alleghany highlands of Virginia. The highest amounts of snow will occur in western Greenbrier where 4 to 8 inches are possible. Ice accumulations will range from a light glaze to around one quarter of an inch. * WHERE…Portions of southwest Virginia, northwest North Carolina and southeast West Virginia. * WHEN…From Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening commutes. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts. &&
…Winter weather expected from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday afternoon… .A strong area of high pressure will shifts east into the Northeast United States, this will result in cold air wedging down the Appalachians. As a winter storm lifts northeast across our region, precipitation will spread north over this shallow dome of cold air, producing a wintery mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain across our region. The storm is still evolving and the amounts and precipitation types will likely change over time.
After all this, we will get what we don’t need at this point: More rain, more rain and still more rain.