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Winter Storm: Timeline and accumulation forecast

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 06:24:51-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Sleet and snow will continue moderately to heavily for areas well north and west of Richmond overnight.  Wind speeds will increase with some gusts over 30 mph and visibility will drop to below 1/2 mile at times.

On Saturday, colder air will sweep across the area from west to east.  Snow will continue west of Richmond, and any rain or mix in the metro will change back to snow.  Areas far southeast of Richmond will see any rain transition to a mix and then snow.  It will be windy with gusts over 30 mph and some 50 mph gusts possible, especially near the coast.  Blizzard conditions will be more likely across northern Virginia.  We will see multiple hours of accumulating snow Saturday afternoon.

How long will the snow last? Updated hour-by-hour look at winter storm in Virginia





By the time the storm exits, final accumulations will be heaviest well north and west of Richmond, where over one foot of snow will fall.  The Richmond metro area will easily see 5-6" of snow will the potential for some one foot totals.  Some of the accumulation will be difficult to measure as Friday's snow may get packed down by the wintry mix, and will drop if any rain develops.  However, additional snow on Saturday will add additional accumulation.  Areas far south and east of Richmond will see the least amount of snow, ranging from a trace to 4".




Other storm threats will include blowing and drifting snow through Saturday night, coastal flooding, and the potential for power outages.  The combination of accumulating snow on trees and power lines, gusty winds, and the potential for sleet and freezing rain may cause some power lines to fall.  This map shows where the potential for power outages will be highest, but outages are still possible elsewhere.


Sunday will be dry with some sunshine and highs well above freezing.  The week ahead will feature highs in the 40s and many dry days.  A few scattered showers are possible Tuesday.   Although we will see the snow melting quite a bit during the week, temperatures will be below freezing each night, so there will likely be icy conditions at night and in the morning for at least Monday and Tuesday.

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