Rain is likely and the first snow of winter is possible in Central Virginia throughout Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District.
Motorists are advised to watch local forecasts and plan accordingly for travel through the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock.
Pavement temperatures across the region will be above freezing when the winter precipitation arrives, according to a news release from the department. Slushy or slick patches are possible especially on bridges, overpasses and roads at higher elevations.
An accumulation of snow is likeliest in the western counties of the advisory area along the Blue Ridge Mountains and on the mountain passes such as Interstate 64 and U.S. 250 in Albemarle County, Interstate 66 in Fauquier, Route 33 in Greene County and routes 211 and 522 in Rappahannock County.
Mountain areas in western and southwestern Virginia also are likely to receive a dusting, according to forecasts.
Snow will start earliest at the higher elevations including the Blue Ridge, around 9 to 10 p.m. or so Tuesday, with much of the rest of the area changing from rain to snow between midnight and 5 a.m. from west to east on Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
The wet roads should keep snow accumulation away from pavement, but crews will spread salt to melt any ice that forms on the road surface, according to the department. Trucks will begin to plow snow if it accumulates to about two inches on the road and will first focus on interstates and primary highways before shifting to secondary routes.
Drivers planning to travel early Wednesday morning should check road conditions using VDOT’s free 511 tools.
Additional information about winter-weather preparations and response can be found at virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp. Local updates are posted to Twitter.com/VaDOTCulp and on the district’s snow information webpage.