UPDATED: 10:30 a.m.
The safety message for today is to be aware for icy spots on the roads. Re-freeze remains a threat – as any water on roadways will freeze in today’s frigid temperatures. It is still a very good idea to give yourself extra time to get to your destination and leave more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, as stopping distances will be greater in icy, slippery spots on roadways.
It came, it snowed and it blew out for the coast.
Central Virginia’s second snowstorm in a week came into town overnight, dropping between an inch to three inches of baggage and leaving for coast before daybreak and then a trip north.
The storm’s threat caused many schools and organizations on Thursday evening to close for Friday as a precaution. Many others are opening late.
“Snow continues to taper off,” National Weather Service meteorologists said on the service’s website, adding that the winter weather advisory and storm warnings that had been issued for much of the state have been canceled. “With temperatures below freezing combined with the previous snowfall, any untreated surfaces will be snow covered for the morning commute.”
As predicted, the storm lasted only a few hours with some short periods of intense snow. Unlike Monday’s storm, it did not overwhelm road crews who were able to stay ahead of the fall.
Virginia Department of Transportation officials said crews were able to stay ahead of the snow and most highways and main roads are either clear or in moderate condition, meaning the surfaces could be wet, slushy or have some snow cover.
The snowfall was nothing like Monday’s, which dropped as much as a foot on some areas of Central Virginia, with a heavy, wet snow that clung to tree branches and dropped limbs and trunks all about the roadways and powerlines.
An estimated 16,000 Central Virginians remain without power this morning, including about 12,000 Dominion Power customers, many of whom lost their power between 10:30 a.m. and noon on Monday. Dominion has the most customers of the four utility companies that serve the area.
For those without power, the snow may not be the worst of it. The snow is leaving behind some freezing Canadian air that is expected to push the temperature into the teens late tonight and into Saturday morning.
But wait, there’s more. The National Weather Service is tracking another weather front expected to come into the region over the weekend.
“Rain is likely, especially Sunday, however, there will be enough low-level cold air in valleys to cause freezing rain, especially if the precipitation moves in sooner,” meteorologists said. “While freezing rain amounts appear that they will be on the lighter side, this has the potential to be a higher impact event because of the very cold air mass that will be in place beforehand.”
That will be followed, meteorologists think, by more cold.
“A strong arctic high pressure system will build into the north-central [United States] Monday and eventually be overhead by Tuesday and into Wednesday,” they said on the weather service website. “This will bring what could be the coldest air of the winter into the region on Tuesday. Somewhat gusty winds across the area will make it feel even colder. Wind chills may struggle to get out of the teens on Tuesday as temperatures are only expected to reach the mid- to upper- 20s.”