Central Virginians are likely to see several inches snow and sleet over the next couple days as winter’s icy reign continues.
Much of the area, including Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle and Nelson, are under a winter storm warning beginning at midnight Thursday and lasting until 1 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
Per NWS, snow accumulation between two to four inches is expected across Central Virginia and ice accumulation from freezing rain will range from around one to two tenths of an inch to one-quarter inch.
Precipitation is expected to begin early Thursday morning as snow in Charlottesville before transitioning into freezing rain and sleet by 3 p.m. NWS warns that the sleet could become heavy at times and between one and three inches of snow and sleet could accumulate.
Freezing rain and sleet, possibly mixed with snow might continue into Thursday night and new ice accumulation of around a tenth of an inch and snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
There is a chance of snow before 10 a.m. Friday followed by a chance of rain. Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing during the day Friday, a trend that will continue into the weekend.
Charlottesville city government offices and the city circuit court and clerk’s office will delay opening until 10 a.m. Thursday. Albemarle County said the County Office Buildings will be physically closed but virtual services will remain open.
Charlottesville City Schools will be closed all day with all programs, including virtual learning and meal delivery, cancelled. The school board meeting has been rescheduled for Monday at 5 p.m..
Albemarle County Schools also will be closed, and all programs, including virtual learning and meal delivery, cancelled, according to the division website.
In preparation for the inclement weather, the Virginia Department of Transportation is urging residents to get ready in advance.
Travel – even essential travel – is likely to be difficult and dangerous during the storm, according to VDOT, and all preparations for the storm should be made Wednesday.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is advising residents to prepare for possible widespread and lengthy power outages due to ice felling trees and power lines.
Though travel is discouraged, for those who must be on the road, VDOT recommends drivers clear their vehicles of all snow and ice including the roof; reduce speed and increase following distance, brake gently and make smooth, precise movements.
VDOT’s free 511 tools can be used to check road conditions along routes and VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports.