UPDATE: Concern Turns to Icy Roads as Temperatures Drop - WSET.com - ABC13

UPDATE: Concern Turns to Icy Roads as Temperatures Drop

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A snowy Virginia Tech campus from Cheryl Thompson. A snowy Virginia Tech campus from Cheryl Thompson.
The storm system is still developing and will bring most of the snow to the area into the late afternoon and evening hours. The storm system is still developing and will bring most of the snow to the area into the late afternoon and evening hours.
There will be a sharp gradient of snowfall amounts, with southside seeing very little, and locations north of 460 seeing several inches. Clippers are tricky to forecast. There will be a sharp gradient of snowfall amounts, with southside seeing very little, and locations north of 460 seeing several inches. Clippers are tricky to forecast.
Denise Withrow sent us this picture from Alleghany County. Denise Withrow sent us this picture from Alleghany County.

UPDATE: 5:07 p.m.

Lynchburg, VA - By 7 a.m., the Lynchburg public works trucks were loaded and ready to go, but the snow took most of the day to start falling in the hill city.

The clipper brought several inches of snow to the New River Valley and the Alleghany Highlands, where several inches were reported.

The Roanoke area saw on again/off again winter weather throughout the day. It wasn't quite what was expected, but with a new batch of snow started falling late in the day.

The snow in the Star City changed over from a winter mix that started about 2:30 in the afternoon, although one initial wave of lighter snow came through the area about 8:30 a.m.

Many people were not taking chances as everything from school to town council meetings were canceled.

By 7 a.m. in Lynchburg, public works trucks were loaded and ready to go.

Once it started snowing around 2 p.m., the trucks began to hit the streets.

The Department of Public Works has 16 salt spreaders and snow plows that will be out all night.

So far, the trucks began salting the roads and will wait to see if more snow falls to begin plowing.

"Mainly I just came up my ward Campbell Avenue, just dropping right now a little bit of salt until more of the snow accumulates," said Public Works Employee Jay Johnson, as he was salting Campbell Avenue.

Meanwhile, back in Roanoke, businesses also elected to stay closed today while others did as much as they could before sending employees home not wanting to take any chances.

"It's always a hard call to make as to what you can do when the weather gets bad. But you gotta think about your employees and you have to think about patients and make sure everyone's safe. So after we see a few more patients we'll close for the day and let everyone go home and enjoy the snow," said Dr. Jonathan Lubeck.

VDOT reported no major traffic issues and Appalachian Power also has no trouble to report as of this writing.

Drivers who will be on the road Tuesday night or Wednesday morning should be very careful because there is a possibility for black ice as temperatures drop into the single digits and teens for lows.

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UPDATE:  2:00 p.m.

Lynchburg, VA - Many folks are still waiting on the first real flakes to fly across the Heart of Virginia, after predictions of accumulating snowfall in the forecast.

The system, a clipper, is in the process of combining with an arctic cold front, and is slowing down some.

Many areas west of Roanoke into the New River Valley and Highlands already have several inches of snow on the ground with it still falling.

To the east, however, despite a flurries, steady snow hasn't made it over the crest of the Blue Ridge yet.

That's expected to change late this afternoon into the evening as the core of the upper energy moves overhead.

The heaviest of the snow will fall between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., with snow showers continuing through 9 p.m.

Accumulation totals of 1-3" are still expected across the area. Higher amounts are already reported in the mountains where 2-6" are likely. Southside may only see a coating.

Keep in mind, this is a clipper, and not a gulf of Mexico storm. So the system may have a few surprises in store for the area. It's possible for some areas to end up with hardly anything, while other areas just a few miles away to get several inches of snow.

As the snow ends this evening, temperatures will drop fast.

Lows will be dangerously cold, in the single digits and teens for everyone, creating icy conditions on area roads and dangerous travel.

Stay with ABC 13 for the very latest.

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

Winter Storm Warning for Central Virginia, Greater Roanoke Valley, and areas to the north…Winter Weather Advisory for Southside Virginia...

This morning we have areas of light snow and flurries. Western sections have picked up around 1". This afternoon widespread light snow develops, possibly moderate at times.

Snow will likely start as a brief period of rain across Southside Virginia before changing over to all snow during the late afternoon. 

All precipitation ends between about 6-9pm, although some lingering snow showers may hold on across Southside Virginia as late as 11pm. 

A general 1-3" expected in Central Virginia, 2-4" northward into Nelson County and westward to the Roanoke and New River Valleys.  A coating to an inch across Southside Virginia. Isolated amounts to 6" are possible in areas north and west of Lynchburg City.

Temperatures will fall through the 20s this afternoon, and down to near 10 degrees overnight.  As a result, travel will become treacherous starting this afternoon, and remain difficult through Wednesday morning. Many surfaces will become icy once the sun sets this evening. 

Dry and cold for the rest of the week, with highs in the 20s to lower 30s, and lows from 5-15 above zero. 

The weekend looks not as cold with highs creeping into the 40s, and right now, both days look dry.

UPDATE: 5:36 p.m.

Lynchburg, VA – After several systems that have only given the ABC 13 Viewing Area a hint of snow, a stronger than normal "clipper" will move in Tuesday.

As of this writing, the National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for a good part of the area, except for Southside, where Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for Tuesday.

Most of the storms that give the area significant accumulations come from the Gulf of Mexico, but this system is special.

If not for a strong, Arctic cold front linking up with the clipper and just a little more jet stream energy than usual, a decent amount of lift and moisture (snow) is expected Tuesday.

"Right now, the timing of the system would have the snow starting after sunrise Tuesday," said ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette. "The snow will get heavier into the afternoon, and the evening commute will be very tricky on the roads."

Sublette is referring to the bitter cold that will follow the snow Tuesday, moving in Tuesday night and Wednesday. Lows will be around 10 and highs only in the lower 20s Wednesday, so whatever falls will be around for a while.

Since the track of the system isn't coming from the Gulf of Mexico, instead from the west-southwest, there will likely be a sharp gradient in accumulations by Tuesday night.

Locations near the North Carolina border may only see a trace to an inch, while the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas could see a solid 1-3".

North of Highway 460, snow totals of 3-6" are possible.

It should be noted that clippers have a mind of their own sometimes, and tiny features within the system (mesoscale features), can create isolated higher amounts of 4-5" even in the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas.

In other words, the snow forecast map is a general forecast. There will be isolated areas that see more snow, if the low tracks through Tennessee and North Carolina as expected.

"Warmer air to the south will not cool off across the Southside (Martinsville/Danville areas) until after the colder air makes its way in," National Weather Service Meteorologist Nick Fillo said. "So, actually the Southside will start off as rain. Also, the drying NW winds will start to kick in into the day, shutting the snow off earlier than locations in the north."

The gradient is expected to be sharp, between small amounts south to major amounts north of 460.

The snow will come down heavy at times during the afternoon Tuesday, reducing visibilities and likely causing slick roads.

The snow will be a very wet snow, sagging down tree limbs and power lines.

By the evening, the snow will still be falling, but starting to taper off. However, very cold air will instantly freeze the wet snow.

"Chemicals don't work on the roads at temperatures below 20 degrees," Sublette added. "So any evening travel will be very slick and potentially dangerous.

"This is going to be the most major snow this year," explained National Weather Service Forecaster Nick Fillo. "For some, it will be first measurable snow fall they've seen… so take it easy by driving, safety. Allow extra time and extra difference between you and the car in front of you."

Stay with the ABC 13 Weather Experts for the latest Forecast.

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A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Lynchburg, Roanoke, Blacksburg, Lexington and surrounding areas for Tuesday.

Tomorrow looks to bring the most snow we have seen all winter. A strong Alberta Clipper delivers snow to all locations, as temperatures hold in the 20s to low 30s. The snow begins first across western sections early tomorrow morning. Snowfall develops across Central and Southside Virginia late morning into the early afternoon. The snow will be mainly light, however periods of moderate snow are possible. Snow continues through the late afternoon, then tapers to flurries by early evening. All snow should end by midnight. Right now 3 to 5 inches are likely across the mountains and New River Valley. Look for 2 to 4 inches in Roanoke and Central Virginia. Along the Southside anticipate 1 to 2 inches.

The rest of the week is frigid. Wednesday through Friday are partly to mostly sunny, blustery and extremely cold. Afternoon temperatures only rise into the 20s and lower 30s, with overnight lows in the 10s and 0s.

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