Spotty freezing drizzle is possible along Interstate 95 and east into the Middle Penninsula, Northern Neck, Southern Maryland, and portions of Delmarva. Some areas of freezing drizzle are also possible in the mountains. Due to melting today, refreezing and light freezing drizzle will create slick travel. The timing of the spotty freezing drizzle will be from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. After 10:00 a.m., temperatures will rise above freezing and high temperatures will reach the mid-40s to lower 50s.
We’ll have increasing cloudiness on Thursday, ahead of a low-pressure system across that will move into the Tennesse River Valley. A new low is expected to form off the North Carolina/Virginia coast late Thursday night into Friday morning and move northeast. Snow is expected to develop across Southwest Virginia by Thursday evening with temperatures falling from the 40s into the mid-20s by evening.
As low pressure across the Tennessee River Valley transfers its energy to a new low off the Mid-Atlantic coast, the snow could become heavy at times overnight with 1 inch per hour rates. The ground is much colder compared to the last system due to the recent snowpack and colder temperatures and accumulation is expected to happen shortly after the transition. As colder air moves into the region behind the low-pressure system, snow ratios may become higher, from 8 to 10:1 to possibly 12:1 to the north and west. South and east of Richmond, temperatures above freezing could keep the precipitation mainly rain for a prolonged period. Most of the moisture will be moving off the Delmarva coast by early Friday morning. Skies will become mostly sunny by Friday mid-morning with gusty winds and much colder temperatures behind the low-pressure system.
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Computer models differ with the storm track which will determine where the heaviest snow accumulation will occur. The GFS and European models agree on heavier snow across the mountains, but differ on how much snow falls along the coast. The GFS is further south, while the Euro is further north, but a bit weaker. The Canadian model is in the middle of both solutions.
VWP Snowfall Accumulation Forecast
Since this is a “quick hitter,” there’s not much time to accumulate a lot of snow. This storm will be moving off the North Carolina and Virginia coast by Friday morning. There’s about a 6-hour window for accumulating snow. However, if low pressure off the coast can get organized fast enough, some of the snow rates could approach one inch per hour before ending. Some models have this solution, with a few other models weaker or in between. Regardless, it’s another snowfall for the Lower Mid-Atlantic, just not as much as Monday’s snowstorm. Locations northwest of U.S. Route 360 will see accumulations 2 to 3 inches or higher, with locally 6 or more inches across the higher elevations. Pavement and elevated surfaces will become slick and snowcovered. School closings are likely again on Friday.
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