- Last Updated on 04:58 PM 03/02/14
- BY The Gazette-Virginian
What does bright sunshine, 70 degree temperatures, rain, snow, sleet and an arctic blast all have in common?
Mother Nature having mood swings? Perhaps. It’s all possible within a 24 hour period.
In other words, winter isn’t over yet.
A winter weather advisory for snow and sleet has been issued for the county in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.
The national weather service in Blacksburg has forecast snow and sleet will fall with snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches and sleet accumulations of up to 1 inch.
The west to east oriented arctic front will sag slowly south into the region moving southward toward the North Carolina border by Monday afternoon.
Very cold arctic air will spread into the region behind the front. Meanwhile, associated surface low pressure areas will track along the boundary.
Precipitation will develop southward Sunday night and early Monday. In advance of the arctic front, temperatures will be well above freezing, and the precipitation will fall as rain.
However, as temperatures quickly plummet below freezing following the passage of the arctic front Sunday night and Monday from north to south, the precipitation will change to snow.
A period of sleet is also possible across the Piedmont before all precipitation changes to snow, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
Northeast winds of 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph is forecasted with temperatures around 45 at daybreak but falling to the mid-20s to upper-20s by noon and then into the upper teens north to lower 20s south by 6 p.m.
Untreated roads and surfaces will quickly become slick and hazardous Monday, the weather service warns.
A winter weather advisory means periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties as roads become slippery.
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Lynchburg District is preparing to face this round of winter weather with crews checking equipment and supplies to ensure that all is ready.
Crews will be unable to use brine on major roadways ahead of the storm because the precipitation is expected to begin as rain before transitioning to freezing rain/sleet and then all snow.
Temperatures will drop rapidly with this storm and remain low, possibly hitting single digits in some areas, into Wednesday. Icy conditions are likely, and travel may become dangerous at times.
Motorists are advised to delay travel if possible. If travel is necessary, use extreme caution and follow these winter driving tips:
• Know the conditions before you go! Check www.511virginia.org, call 511 and/or check local media.
• Make sure your vehicle is winter ready — be sure to completely clear all windows, lights and side mirrors before driving.
• Keep an emergency driving kit in your car.
• Wear your seatbelt and don’t drive distracted.
• Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles.
• Allow extra time for travel.
• When driving on ice, don’t slam on your brakes. Travel gently. Turn slowly. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin out of control.
Winter precipitation will again be possible at times Thursday through Saturday, according to National Weather Service forecasts.