A area of low pressure will move from the Tennessee River Valley this morning, into the Mid-Atlantic region this afternoon. A surface low pressure system will develop off the coast.
The axis of the moderate to heavy bursts of snow will be across the Highlands, Northern and Central Virginia Piedmont, and the Northern and Central Shenandoah Valley region. The latest models show a moderate to heavy burst of precipitation just north of the warmer air. As the precipitation moves over the colder air at the surface — and warmer air injects northward — we expect a burst of snow to develop, which could come down moderate to heavy at times from late morning through mid afternoon.
The evening commute will be impacted in Northern Virginia. Snow rates could reach or exceed one inch per hour, which will reduce visibility less than one half mile and snow will accumulate on roads and elevated surfaces.
Temperatures this morning are in the 20’s in Northern and Central Virginia, but already in the low to mid 30’s in far Southwestern Virginia. During the mod-morning, temperatures will slowly rise into the upper 20’s to near 30 degrees. Building clouds and precipitation will keep temperatures from rising. Temperatures will drop a few degrees once the precipitation moves into Northern and Central Virginia.
To the south and southwest, warmer air will move in across Southwestern Virginia and portions of the Southern Piedmont. The warmer air will change snow over to sleet and some freezing rain — ending as a brief period of plain rain. Light amounts of icing are possible and will cause slick spots on untreated surfaces.
Here’s a region by region breakdown for Virginia.
Across Southwestern Virginia, snow will develop between 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and mix with sleet and some freezing rain by mid-morning. Snowfall amounts look to range generally 1 to 2 inches, with slightly higher amounts along the Virginia / West Virginia border and higher elevations. Untreated surfaces will be icy from snow, sleet, and pockets of freezing rain. Roads could have slick spots, especially secondary roads.
Across the Shenandoah Valley and Highlands, snow will develop between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Snow may mix with sleet and some freezing rain by mid-morning across the New River Valley and Roanoke area. Where it’s colder and all snow, several inches could fall across the Central and Northern Shenandoah Valley and Highlands. There is a higher risk for hazardous road conditions across the Central Valley, where the heaviest snowfall is expected to develop and accumulate for several hours. Across all other areas, untreated surfaces will be slick and roads will likely have slick spots, especially secondary roads.
In the Virginia Piedmont, snow will develop between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. south of US 460 and after 10:00 a.m. north of US 460 corridor. Snow may will mix with sleet and some freezing rain by mid-morning across the Southern Piedmont. The wintry mix will end as a period of rain. North of US 460, it will remain colder throughout the duration for all precipitation to fall in the form of snow. Several inches could fall near and along the Blue Ridge and just east of the Blue Ridge in the Central and Northern Piedmont. There is a higher risk for hazardous road conditions across the Central Blue Ridge, where the heaviest snowfall is expected to develop and accumulate for several hours. Across all other areas, untreated surfaces will be slick and roads will likely have slick spots, especially secondary roads.
Along the I-95 Corridor, snow is likely Tuesday afternoon and evening across Northern Virginia, mainly north of Ladysmith in Caroline County. A few inches of snow is enough to cause slick spots, especially on untreated surfaces. This will likely impact the evening commute. A mix of rain and snow is likely in the Richmond Metro area with little accumulation expected. Along I-85, mainly rain, with some mix possible.
A very light snow accumulation (less than one half inch) is possible across the extreme northern portion of the Northern Neck (Colonial Beach area.) A mix of rain and snow is possible as far south as US 360 along Tappahannock and Warsaw, but little snow accumulation is expected at this time. Otherwise, the rest of Eastern Virginia will see plain rain.