Let’s talk about snow, baby

Concerned about snow in the Richmond metro this weekend? I don’t think you have a lot to worry about.

Alright, kids, you’ve probably heard people throwing around the s-word in various contexts this week, and I know you’ve only got one question: “Is it gonna snow in the eight-oh-fo’?”

After a high of 79 yesterday, temperatures have continued to fall, and we’re now at a much more brisk 46 degrees. Our temperature at 1am, 54, will likely be the high today. (The climate day starts at 1 – it’s a daylight saving thing.) Temperatures will moderate some during the peak of the day, heading back up to near 50, before falling into the low 40s tonight. Rain will pick up starting this afternoon as an upper-level trough approaches and an area of low pressure develops off the Virginia coast.

The real increase in precip happens overnight as things start to ramp up. With temperatures above freezing to close to 10,000 feet aloft, there should be plenty of warm air to keep any precip that does fall in liquid form. Don’t be surprised to see some frozen precipitation mixed in, either in ice or snow form. However, with the warm surface temperatures, anything that does fall will quickly melt, and no accumulation should be expected. Areas to the west, up into the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge, will definitely see some frozen precipitation out of this. Accumulations will vary significantly with elevation – areas along the Blue Ridge north of Roanoke and above 2000’ will likely see accumulations of multiple inches of wet, heavy snow – which will easily bring down tree branches, trees, and utility lines. In Richmond, temperatures stick in the low 40s all day, and the rain begins to taper off Saturday evening as the low deepens and moves to the north towards New York and New England, where significant snow totals are expected for inland areas. Temperatures will fall into the mid 30s Saturday night.

High pressure moves back in on Sunday, clearing skies and allowing temperatures to jump back up into the mid 50s on Sunday, and fall into the low 40s Sunday night. This high pressure system is going to stick around through most of next week, giving us a break from the unsettled weather.

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Weather Dan

Dan Goff is now a two-time former Richmonder, having departed the River City yet again in favor of southwest Virginia, where he is working on degrees in geography and meteorology at Virginia Tech. Have a question about the weather or weather-related phenomena?

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