Yes, temperatures will be well into the 60’s this afternoon and ground temperatures in the 40’s to near 50 degrees — but Mother Nature could throw us a surprise snow. It’s a very interesting setup. Cold air timing with heavier precipitation have to meet in order for this to work out.
Over the past few days, models were slowly introducing a coating of snow accumulation, however, it appears that there WILL be a wave of moisture that develops along the arctic, meeting the colder air behind it. There were hints about this last week, but temperatures trended warmer. We cautioned everyone that if models “suddenly” take everything away completely, it may not be totally correct. That’s why we stick to ensembles, which continued to show a minor accumulation — especially the European ensemble and has kept a small hint of accumulation every ensemble model run since last week!
7 AM TUESDAY – RADAR AND TEMPERATURES
Tuesday morning, the arctic front is crossing the mountains. Snow will develop across Southwestern Virginia. Even at lower elevations in Northeast Tennessee and Far Southwest Virginia (Bristol area,) snow will likely accumulate around an inch. Higher amounts will be confined to above 2,000 feet, up to 3 inches.
10 AM TUESDAY
By 10 am, the arctic front is pushing into Northern Virginia and east of the Blue Ridge. Temperatures are below freezing in Southwestern Virginia and portions of the New River Valley, with 40’s and 50’s in Central and Southeastern Virginia. A vigorous wave of moisture develops along the arctic front, east of the Blue Ridge. Rain will change to snow across Northern Virginia .
To the west, temperatures are trying to warm even after the arctic front has passed, into the upper 30’s. This is due to a “higher” sun angle. If the precipitation is on the lighter side, it cannot drag the colder air several thousand feet up down to the surface. However, in the Blue Ridge, it’s likely going to snow mid to late morning with up to an inch of accumulation possible.
12 NOON TUESDAY
Around 12 NOON on Tuesday, the arctic front will be near I-95 corridor. Although it’s showing green on the radar, this could be rain changing over to snow.
Temperatures around Noon Tuesday will be in the low to mid 30’s in Richmond to the D.C. area. This is a concern as precipitation comes down heavy. Slick spots are possible, especially bridges and overpasses.
4:00 PM TUESDAY
Rain will continue to change to snow across Eastern Virginia, Metro Richmond area and into portions of interior Southeastern Virginia. This looks to be moderate to heavy precipitation, so I am leaning more on snow than rain. Also, by this time, we are losing any sun angle.
Temperatures with moderate to heavy precipitation (again, leaning on that this is going to be snow) will be in the lower to middle 30’s. Lighter precipitation will be a rain/snow mix with temperatures in the upper 30’s to near 40 degrees.
7:00 PM TUESDAY
Most of the rain and snow mix will be along the immediate coast with temperatures in the 30’s. Very cold air across the mountains and Shenandoah Valley with gusty winds 20 to 35 mph, will put wind chills in the single digits and teens Tuesday evening.
Based on everything mentioned in this article, we are going with up to 1 inch of wet snow along I-95 corridor, east into the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.
Some slick spots are possible as temperatures drop during the heaviest precipitation, into the lower to mid-30’s — but most accumulation will be confined to grassy areas, colder surfaces, rooftops, car tops, trees, etc.