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Wednesday weather could bring up to 5 inches of snow, sleet, rain and ice

Wednesday may be a good day to work from home.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for all day Wednesday, with predictions of snow followed by freezing rain and sleet and then more snow and sleet followed by rain and snow and then snow and freezing rain.

The regional watch extends from 7 a.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday. The day is expected to bring periods of heavy snow and sleet, a mix that could accumulate to between 2 and 5 inches across the Charlottesville area.

“Precipitation will likely become heavy at times as it overspreads the area Wednesday and Wednesday night,” weather service forecasters said in discussions on the service’s website.

But wait, there’s more. Meteorologists say there’s also a chance the sleet and snow combo could come with a side of ice, as much as a tenth of an inch of accumulation.

“Snow, freezing rain and sleet before 2 p.m., [and] then rain, possibly mixed with freezing rain between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. [and] then rain after 3 p.m.,” forecasters said. “On Wednesday night, snow [is likely], mainly before 10 p.m.”

Meteorologists said snow is most likely to accumulate along the Blue Ridge Mountains and in other high elevations. How much will fall depends on how quickly the weather system — which includes cold and dry Canadian air, a jet stream bringing warm and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and a low-pressure area coming in from Tennessee — moves off to the northeast.

“The best chance for some freezing rain is across Central Virginia, but confidence remains low because the rapidly intensifying coastal low may make it more of a rain versus sleet and snow setup,” meteorologists said.


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