RICHMOND, Va. -- A new winter storm will sweep through the Plains and Mississippi River valley and then move into our area late Sunday night. Snow will spread in from the south and west after midnight, and will be affecting the entire area by daybreak Monday. Temperatures will be in the teens and 20s, so all the precipitation will be snow.
Here is an hour-by-hour breakdown of the precipitation. The computer models tend to push Arctic air out too quickly in situations like these, so the changeover to freezing rain (pink) and rain on these maps may be a few hours premature:
Warmer air will try to move in during the day, but it will be battling the Arctic air from the weekend.
Temperatures near the ground will stay near or below freezing into early Monday afternoon, but temperatures above the surface will rise above freezing. This will cause the snow to melt into rain, but that rain will freeze into ice once it makes contact with the ground.
We may see a brief period of sleet (ice pellets) between the snow and freezing rain.
Surface temperatures will gradually rise above freezing Monday afternoon into Monday night, switching all precipitation over to just plain rain. This will occur first across far southeastern Virginia, and then this process will move slowly northwest across the metro and then west of I-95.
Snowfall accumulations will be highly dependent on the timing of the transition periods over to freezing rain and then plain rain.
A shift in the storm track of just 50 miles may speed or delay these transitions, so we will continue to update the accumulation forecast as the storm gets closer.
The freezing rain will add some ice accumulation on top of the snowfall, but as temperatures warm up and the precipitation changes to all rain, the snow and ice will all melt.
- The lightest accumulations will be across southeastern Virginia (light blue shading on the map above), where a coating to an inch or so will be possible.
- From the Northern Neck back through the metro and for areas west of I-85 (medium blue shading), an accumulation of a few inches (1"-4") will be possible before the changeover to freezing rain.
- Areas farther north and west (purple shading) will likely see 2"-5" of snow, but could see some higher amounts depending on the exact timing of the changeover to freezing rain.
- Far western and northwestern Virginia (gray shading) have the best chance of seeing over 4" of snow, and totals may exceed 6" if the cold air hangs there long enough.
Here is a summary of how the storm will affect us during each time period:
Snow across all of Virginia with some accumulation. Travel conditions will deteriorate rapidly. Temperatures in the teens and 20s, which will make the snow very powdery.
MONDAY - NOON:
Snow will transition to freezing rain, mostly south and east of the metro. Far southeastern Virginia may even switch to all rain by this point. Areas well west and northwest of Richmond will likely still be all snow.
All rain across far southern and southeastern Virginia. A period of freezing rain in the metro with a glaze of ice possible, followed by plain rain by late afternoon or early evening. Areas well west and northwest of Richmond will gradually transition from snow to freezing rain by late afternoon or early evening. There may be a brief lull in the precipitation mid to late afternoon.
Plain rain with temps above freezing in the metro and southeast Virginia. Areas well west and northwest of the metro will see primarily freezing rain with ice accumulation.
All rain for central, eastern and southern Virginia. Colder areas to the west and northwest will see freezing rain transitioning to plain rain as temperatures rise above freezing. Metro temps will warm into the 40s.
Morning rain for most areas. There could be some freezing rain closer to I-81, especially in the higher elevations. Rain will end from west to east from late morning into early afternoon.
Stay With CBS 6, The Weather Authority, for further updates.
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