Quick thoughts on December 26 Rain and Ice

A large storm will impact Virginia on December 26.  While many locations get a cold rain, the areas north and west of Lynchburg are expected to get significant ice.

Even in Greater Lynchburg, there will probably be a brief spell of ice in the morning, but a changeover to rain will occur before midday, with a cold rain falling for the balance of the afternoon.  A small glistening on trees and elevated surface is expected, but temperatures should only drop to about 30, so the ice that forms should be soft, and road beds will largely be wet.  The exception being bridges and overpasses, which will be susceptible to slick spots.

Southside Virginia (all areas south of the Staunton River and Smith Mountain Lake) should get almost exclusively rain.

Amherst and Bedford Counties will have the ice last longer in the morning, especially toward the Parkway, where trees may begin to get weighed down, and there is a elevated risk of power outages. This is also expected to be the case for the more urban and suburban areas of Botetourt and Roanoke Counties (including Roanoke City).

New River Valley counties, as well as Nelson, Rockbridge, Alleghany, and Bath Counties have the highest risk of a genuine ice storm, with greatest concern in the elevated valleys of Rockbridge, Alleghany, and Bath Counties, where upwards of a 1/2 inch of ice are likely.  Conditions will probably worsen after nightfall on the 26th, as the ground temperature drops an additional couple of degrees.

Windy and cold in the wake of the storm on Thursday, so there is risk of trees coming down in those areas with the most significant ice (Rockbridge, Alleghany, Bath, Nelson Counties).  Milder with sunshine on Friday, with highs in the 40s, which should eliminate any lingering ice, even in Alleghany, Bath, and Rockbridge Counties.

Those places not getting ice will still get moderate to heavy rain, with 0.75-1.50″ the best estimate, so the moisture will help with the ongoing moderate drought.

Check in with ABC13 at 11pm Christmas Night for an update.

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About seansublette

Meteorologist at Climate Central. Broadcast meteorologist in Virginia from 1995 to 2015. Born and raised in Richmond, VA. Penn State alumnus. Loves baseball and the rock band Rush. Views are independent of my employer. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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