Icy conditions, possible power outages Sunday
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 03:09:34 PM CST
There's a lot going on over the next seven days. Everything from unseasonably warm temperatures, to a late-weekend ice event.
The weather will take on many faces the next several days. Starting with warm temperatures Thursday, rain late Friday, followed by an arctic front Saturday and ice potential Sunday. Let's break it down.
FRIDAY NIGHT RAIN
The steadier rain will be slow to move in Friday. The morning commute looks rain-free as will most of the day. We anticipate the steadier rain will hold off until around the afternoon/evening commute home.
Around 6PM, rain will overspread the region from west to east and continue through much of Friday night and early Saturday morning. It should be out of the area by sunrise Saturday.
Rainfall through Saturday morning will generally be in the .25" to .50" range with isolated higher amounts.
Colder air will rush in behind the arctic cold front Saturday. Highs will take place in the morning, with temperatures dropping to the low 40s by Noon and upper 30s by the late afternoon.
The day should remain dry, with some clearing. Still more clouds than sun.
Sunday will be the troublesome day. Low tempeatures start in the upper 20s/low 30s, below freezing for most areas. At the same time, rain moves up from the south around sunrise Sunday.
The result will be aa brief period of sleet and snow, followed by an extended period of freezing rain Sunday morning through late Sunday afternoon. Temperatures will struggle to climb above freezing for most of Sunday.
While very little wind is expected, the freezing rain alone will likely impact travel and potentially the power grid Sunday.
[ GREATEST ICING TIME ] Sunday morning through Sunday Afternoon (areas north of Roanoke/Lynchburg may experience icing through Sunday night).
[ AREAS AT GREATEST RISK ] Much of the New River Valley, Roanoke and Lynchburg have an increased risk of icing. This includes the vicinity of Smith Mountain Lake. The greatest risk of icing will be along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Bent Mountain and through the Alleghany Highlands.
The heaviest ice will be along and north of a line from Blacksburg to Lynchburg, with lesser amounts to the south toward Danville and far Southwest VA
[ ICE ACCUMULATION ] Significant icing of .25" to .50" (freezing rain) on trees and power lines would be a good estimate at this point. Also, a brief period of sleet may fall and accumulate prior to the freezing rain. Snow/sleet would likely be less than an inch before the changeover.
WHAT TO DO
Ice storms are notorious for causing problems in southwest Virginia. Even the smaller ones. Here's a few things you can do so prepare. Anytime you get ice on trees and power lines, you have power outages. Bridges and overpasses would also ice over. Treated roads may fair OK, unless there's snow/sleet that fall before the changeover.
- Continue to monitor the weather very closely in the coming days.
- Prepare for at least some power outages. Remember, it WILL BE COLD, so an alternative heat source is a good idea.
- Don't stock up on too much milk, or other perishable items, they go bad if the power goes out.
- Know the forecast for where you're traveling. If you're headed north of Roanoke on I-81 Sunday, there's a high likelyhood you'll be running into icy conditions. Same thing for I-64 from West VA to Charlottesville.
Warmer air moves in Sunday night, with any ice threat ending area-wide by Monday morning. After a brief warm up Monday, another blast of colder air arrives Tuesday through Thursday with highs only in the 30s.
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