Quantcast

UPDATED: Thick Fog a Concern Along I-77, High Winds to Follow Su - abc27 WHTM

UPDATED: Thick Fog a Concern Along I-77, High Winds to Follow Sunday

Posted:
Tammy Newcomb from Lynchburg is seeing sleet, coming down hard at times, she says. Tammy Newcomb from Lynchburg is seeing sleet, coming down hard at times, she says.
Areas in light blue are seeing the snow today. Between 1-3" of snow and sleet is likely in the blue counties only. That area is under Winter Weather Advisory through Saturday. Areas in light blue are seeing the snow today. Between 1-3" of snow and sleet is likely in the blue counties only. That area is under Winter Weather Advisory through Saturday.
It's been a snowy scene in the Highlands today.  Angela Flenner had 3/4" in Callaghan VA (Highlands( Saturday morning.) It's been a snowy scene in the Highlands today. Angela Flenner had 3/4" in Callaghan VA (Highlands( Saturday morning.)
The ABC 13 Forecast, made by Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette days ago now, has been right on the money so far. The ABC 13 Forecast, made by Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette days ago now, has been right on the money so far.
Marsha Mathieu sent in a snowy picture from Low Moor in Alleghany Co. Saturday morning. Marsha Mathieu sent in a snowy picture from Low Moor in Alleghany Co. Saturday morning.

UPDATE: 12:30 a.m.

Fancy Gap, VA - Visibilities of less than one mile are making it very hard to see for anyone traveling the roads into Sunday.

In several locations, especially in Hillsville, the visibility has been observed at 1/4 of a mile.

One viewer in the Hillsville area described the fog so thick, that you "couldn't see ten feet in front of you."

The thickest fog is right along I-77 and near Fancy Gap, an area that has become notorious for dense fog and historic pile-ups in the past when dense fog forms.

VDOT signs along the Interstate warn of the fog and for sudden slowed or stopped traffic.

Anyone traveling I-77 through Fancy Gap may want to take an alternate route, or wait until the fog burns away later Sunday morning.

The rest of the area will see windy weather Sunday with a return to some sunshine. Winds will be strongest in the New River Valley and the Roanoke Valley.

Snow flurries are also likely in the NRV during the day Sunday, but shouldn't cause any problems.

----------------

UPDATE: 5:00 PM

Heaviest precipitation has exited to the east. Any lingering showers will taper off over the next few hours. Temperatures will be near steady, and close to the freezing mark, or even above the freezing mark, most of the night.  As a result, road surfaces are expected to remain wet. However, areas of thick fog may develop. 

Winds pick up out of the West and Northwest on Sunday following our departing storm system. Clouds will also break for more sunshine, with highs in the 40s. 

A little colder, but generally clear, on Monday, then temps will be seasonable Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. A mild stretch looks to arrive by late week, bringing a return to temperatures in the 50s, before the next chance of rain arrives the following Saturday. 

UPDATE: 3:00 PM

The precipitation is beginning to wind down along and west of the 81 corridor this afternoon. It will continue, heavy at times, for Central and Southside Virginia through sunset. It is largely rain at this point.. with a few pockets of sleet mixed in here or there. If you did happen to see snow earlier today and have photos to submit, please send them to weather@wset.com for consideration for the 6PM newscast. Kindly include your location and name for on-air credit.

UPDATE: 12:00 Noon

Lynchburg, VA - Depending on where you live, there is either snow, sleet, freezing rain, or just rain falling from the sky.

The tricky scenario has been in the forecast for days. Cold air in place at the surface, combined with warmer air riding in from the south and combining with a storm system to add moisture to the cold air.

The snow/mix/rain line in the cloud has meandered through the central part of the ABC 13 Viewing Area all day, as forecast.

Many areas are seeing sleet and freezing rain continue after a little snow Saturday morning. Some areas, mainly in Southside are just getting cold rain.

For a little while early Saturday, it looked like parts of the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas could see some snow, as the thickness of the cold air remained a variable that computer models had a hard time pinpointing to within a few miles.

Instead, most areas are only wet, with some ice sleet mixed in as heavier bands of moisture move through.

Still, the forecast may be been complicated, but it was not a miss. All along, the ABC 13 Weather Team has been saying that many areas would end up with nothing Saturday.

The snow fell exactly where it was expected to, in the Alleghany Highlands. Most of our snow reports via Facebook, Twitter, and through weather@wset.com have showed the snow along and near the I-64 Corridor.

Whatever is falling, expect it to become heavy at times into the late afternoon as the core of the moisture and energy approach the area.

*Most everyone will just see a coating at best. Some areas will see just wet ground.

All along, the ABC 13 Weather Team has been saying that many areas would end up with nothing Saturday. When the ground is already wet, even if it snows some, it's very hard to get anything to stick. Sleet accumulates, but usually only enough for a thin white coating.

The exception is in the Highlands, where, Craig, Alleghany, Bath, Highland, and perhaps Nelson County could see 1-3" as a general rule (see map*).

Be advised that even for areas not under the Winter Weather Advisory, as the system puts down its heaviest moisture into the afternoon, many may see a quick return to some snow and wintry weather as the lift cools the air temporarily.

Also, where it sleets the hardest, roads may become slick in a hurry Saturday afternoon

Most of the moisture will be gone by 6 p.m. Saturday, leaving partly sunny skies behind along with windy conditions.

DON'T FORGET: if safe to do so, send you weather pics, whatever you have out your window to weather@wset.com . Be sure to include your name, the time the picture was taken, and the location of the photo. We may indeed use your picture on the web or on the air.

Stay with ABC 13 for further updates!

 

UPDATE: 7:00 a.m.

Lynchburg, VA - Snow, sleet and freezing rain have all been reported across the ABC 13 Viewing Area Saturday.

A very large and complex storm system continues moving in.

Winter Weather Advisories remain in effect for locations north of Roanoke and Lynchburg, where 2-4" of snow are possible in the counties of: Rockbridge, Craig, Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Amherst, and Nelson Counties. This area will be hit hardest today.

The rest of the area, including the Lynchburg area, Bedford, and the Roanoke Valley can expect a wintry mix throughout the day. Accumulations of a coating are possible, likely a combination of ice, some snow, and freezing rain Saturday.

Southside will see mainly rain today.

The New River Valley could see a coating of wintry mix as well, before changing to rain.

The wintry weather will continue on and off through Saturday, peaking as a steady period of a mix for most by noon to 4 p.m.

In areas, where the ice and snow have already fallen, ABC 13 viewers report slick roads, so be careful!

That being said, it is unlikely that main roads in Roanoke and Lynchburg would be a problem. However, anyone traveling I-64 today will want to watch I-64 for snow and very slick travel.

Don't forget to send your pics - we may use them on air - to : weather@wset.com . Be sure you include a name, the time the photo was taken, and the location of the photograph.

Stay with ABC 13 for the very latest!

-------------------------------------

UPDATE: 12:35 a.m.

Lynchburg, VA - As our next potential winter weather event gets closer, several computer models are putting the snow / rain line right over Lynchburg and Roanoke by the afternoon.

The newer models aren't too different in some ways. For example, it has looked to us like much of the area to the north would have a better chance of snow, instead of the ice we've been used to this year, before everything changes to rain.

The latest information, however, is now more detailed.

It looks now as if the morning Saturday will be relatively quiet, with only a few lighter areas of wintry mix around, but nothing too serious.

By noon, things begin to go downhill fast, however, as the core of the energy - the lift that creates the moisture in the first place, moves in.

The best window of seeing the heaviest moisture is from Noon Saturday through around 4 p.m.

During that window, the freezing line up in the clouds, that determines whether or not we see rain or snow will literally be right on top of the Lynchburg / Bedford / Roanoke areas.

The New River Valley will see mainly rain, as will Southside (locations south of 122).

However, the lift from the system could actually cool the air by just one, maybe two degrees.

With the rain/snow line right over us, the lift and the resulting cooling could be enough for a 2-3 hour period of heavy, wet, snow in northern parts of Greater Lynchburg and Roanoke, while areas just five or ten miles to the south get nothing but rain and some mix.

However, accumulations are still in question Saturday. The father north you go, the better chance of seeing more significant snowfall.

A lot can still change within the storm today, but know that the potential is there for a dramatic gradient from north to south as to who may need shovels by late afternoon Saturday and who just needs umbrellas.

****To see just how close the metro areas are from either a cold and rainy wintry mix to wet snow, check out our in-house RPM graphic for 1:30 Saturday afternoon. The green is rain. Pink is mix. And blue is snow. The dark blue is heavy snow.

Accumulations generally will not be changed with this update. The trend remains the same. Areas to the north have a better chance of seeing more snow and having something on the ground compared to locations to the south, where nothing is expected to be on the ground.

That said, as the event unfolds, YOUR reports and photos will become part of our ABC 13 Forecast (what we call "NOWCASTING".)

We will be right on the edge. Literally half of our viewing area could have white ground by late Saturday afternoon, while the other half sees hardly any snow at all.

TO HELP US AND YOUR NEIGHBORS SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING and exactly where that pesky line is setting up, e-mail photos and reports with your name, address, location, and the time the pic or report was taken to weather@wset.com.

Stay with ABC 13 for further weather updates.

-----------------------

UPDATED: 5:45 p.m.

Lynchburg, VA - It looks like an accumulating snow is likely for many areas Saturday morning along with a wintry mix for most until conditions warm enough for just rain by afternoon.

With the storm system on the way, the National Weather Service in Blacksburg as issued a Winter Weather Advisory that goes into effect at 4 a.m. Saturday for the counties of Craig, Bedford, Botetourt, Alleghany, Nelson, Amherst, Rockbridge, Bath and Highland Counties, and lasting through 1 a.m. Sunday.

The main threats for areas in the advisory and areas close to the advisory, are minor snow accumulations of a coating to 2 to 3" in colder and higher elevations, mainly well to the north of Lynchburg Saturday afternoon.

Everyone will see at least some snow and wintry mix Saturday.

"A light mix of precipitation moves in during Saturday morning, with snow in Central Virginia and rain in Southside Virginia. A gradual changeover to sleet, then rain, occurs in most locations during the afternoon, and the precipitation turns more steady after midday," said ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette Friday evening.

(*See the map with this story for ABC 13's snow accumulation forecast BEFORE the change to sleet and rain Saturday afternoon.)

While there could be some slick spots on area roads early Saturday, surface temperatures are not going to be extremely cold, which makes a big difference in how mad travel could be if temps were colder.

"Temperatures will be close to the freezing mark, or even above the freezing mark during Saturday. As a result, road surfaces are expected to remain wet. Any accumulating snow remains confined to grassy and elevated surfaces," Sublette continued.

The common factors so far this winter are once again in place for Saturday: cold air at the surface is in place, while warmer air around a storm system likely moves in at some point, changing the wintry weather over to rain.

So many times this winter, we have had systems bring us ice with little snow, only to turn over to rain later.

That said, the very latest computer models** into the ABC 13 Weather Center have continued to  point to a thicker layer of cold air this time around during the morning Saturday, which would perhaps mean more snow than ice before noon for many locations.

If the cold air is indeed thicker Saturday morning, we have a shot at seeing at least some steadier wet snow, with some sleet and freezing rain possibly mixed in at times Saturday morning.

At this time, we do NOT expect a full-fledged "snowstorm" Saturday, though for a few hours, many places will see a decent shot at some light snow in the morning, with northern areas seeing heavier snow during the early afternoon.

The snow will start for most areas early in the morning Saturday around sunrise or so. The snow then will develop from the New River Valley areas into the Greater Roanoke Valley and even Southside, into Bedford and Greater Lynchburg by 11 a.m. Saturday.

Very soon after the snow starts to stick, warmer air aloft will quickly add sleet to the equation, holding down snow totals.

A mess of sleet, freezing rain, and just cold rain will turn the snow into slush will ultimately win the battle of weather types Saturday afternoon.

This will not be an all-day winter weather event.

Still, several hours of snow and wintry mix possible everywhere Saturday morning. Slick bridges and outlying roads are something to watch out for if you have to travel them. Conditions will be trickiest from 6 a.m. until noon Saturday.

Accumulations are expected to be light. Most areas may see a solid coating, under an inch. But some areas north of Roanoke and Lynchburg toward I-64 (see map) may see a couple of inches of snow before the rain takes over Saturday afternoon.

The system exits as just rain and breezy conditions Saturday evening, leaving us with a partly sunny but windy Sunday.

Stay with ABC 13 for the very latest forecast.

Powered by WorldNow