Update for March 24 storm: Cold, wet, and white

This much we know: Sunday and Monday are not nice days.

Precipitation will spread southwest to northeast across the viewing area during Sunday morning, and we expect about 70-80% of the storm total precipitation to come down during the daylight hours of Sunday.

There will be substantial differences in snow on the ground from northwest (high) to southeast (almost none) when all the precipitation finishes by Monday midday.

There will be multiple precipitation types. Generally, snow, sleet, and rain. Even some partially melted and refreezing snow.

After the first wave of precipitation ends Sunday evening, the colder air wraps into the storm, changing the remaining precipitation to snow. However, most of that precipitation will be lighter and in the northern half of the viewing area (north of US460).

This is March, so there is a higher sun angle in the sky, making it difficult to accumulate snow during the daylight hours. Temperatures are in the lower 50s today, and will probably not fall much below freezing tonight. We expect temperatures most of tomorrow between about 30-34.

General outline in the map below. Use as a general guide.  Narrative follows:

snowagain

Our station’s forecast for snow/sleet accumulation. Most accumulation will finish by daybreak Monday. Melting will follow quickly.

Greater Lynchburg (including Counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell): Mixed precipitation breaking out Sunday morning… primarily sleet and snow… even with a little rain.  Precipitation transitions to primarily snow into the evening, but cuts back in intensity and consistency. An inch or so of slushy accumulation on the ground by dusk, with 1-3″ total by daybreak Monday.  Although there will be snow showers and some drizzle on Monday, no further accumulation is expect during the daylight hours of Monday. Note that in the higher elevations of Amherst and Bedford Counties, the totals will be 2-4″.

Southside Virginia (including Counties of Charlotte, southern Franklin, Halifax, Henry, and Pittsylvania): Mixed precipitation breaks out Sunday morning… but mainly rain and sleet.  Some snow, but likely to melt on contact with paved surfaces.  Changeover to snow is late in the evening, and by then, most precipitation has either ended or shifted to the north. By dusk, up to an inch is possible in areas near the Staunton River, but very little at all on the ground in areas near the North Carolina state line. Daybreak accumulation on Monday generally less than one inch.

Greater Roanoke Valley (including Counties of Botetourt, northern Franklin, and Roanoke): A mix of sleet and snow developing in the morning, transitioning to all snow during the evening.  Again, consistency and intensity of precipitation dropping dramatically after dusk.  And occasional light snow will continue Monday morning.  Accumulation of 1-2″ by evening, with storm totals of 2-4″ by daybreak Monday.  Highest elevations may come away with six inches. No additional accumulation during Monday.

New River Valley: Snow and sleet developing in the morning, with the steadiest precipitation ending by dusk.  Occasional snow overnight into daybreak Monday. An inch or two by evening, with storm totals of 2-4″ by dawn Monday.  Flurries on Monday, but no additional accumulation.

North and West (including Counties of Alleghany, Bath, Nelson, and Rockbridge): Wintry mix of snow and sleet… with rain mixing in toward lower elevations of Nelson County. Transitioning to all snow and becoming less consistent Sunday night. Snow showers on Monday, but no further daytime accumulation.  Accumulation by sunset on Sunday of 1-3″, with storm total of 3-6″ by dawn Monday… but slightly lower amounts in lower elevations of Nelson County.  Winners will be the highest elevations of these counties, where 8″ is possible.

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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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