Precipitation mix meant less snow here than in other parts of the state
The winter storm didn’t dump a whole lot of snow or ice on Richmond, but there was just enough of either to cause issues with travel and power.
It began with snow on Saturday afternoon, then the Richmond area experienced a sequence of sleet and freezing rain on Saturday night, plain old rain and drizzle on Sunday, and more sleet and snow on Sunday evening.
As expected, the mix of precipitation types meant less snow here than in other parts of the state.
The bull’s-eye of heaviest totals hit Northern Virginia. Many areas from Washington to Winchester had up to 9 inches of snow at 6 p.m., with more falling.
Looking southward, amounts tapered to 3 to 6 inches around Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, and just 2 to 3 inches on the north side of the Richmond metro
area. The southern side saw about 1 inch. Saturday night’s snow cover around Richmond and points south was diminished by Sunday’s rain and 33-degree high.
By 4 p.m., the automated gauge at Richmond International Airport had 0.87 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation for the entire event.
Given the degree of difficulty that comes from being in the wintry mix zone, the forecast performed reasonably well. Snow amounts came in on the low end of the range.
Even though ice measurements were sparse, the freezing rain zone was evident from the map of power outages on Sunday: it was mostly an issue from Southside Virginia to Richmond. Some areas between Lynchburg and Danville had up to 0.3-inch of ice accretion.
The lingering clouds could produce some flurries across the region Monday, but with no additional accumulations.
Temperatures will range from the upper 20s in the morning to the mid- to upper 30s in the afternoon.
Expect a slow warming trend this week.
Things will stay dry until Friday, when some rain showers could move in.
Another system will bring plenty of precipitation to Virginia next weekend, but the snow potential is highly uncertain.
To illustrate the point, computer model ensembles showed an envelope of possibilities for Sunday morning ranging from 10 degrees to 63 degrees.
Even if that remote chance of warmth pans out, it would be fleeting. All signs point to a cold snap early next week.
Richmond residents Al Simmons and his wife, Marcia Dickinson, walked dog Jack as they braved a cold rain in Byrd Park on Sunday. Simmons said he was out to avoid cabin fever in spite of the wet and cold weather.
Ice covered a tree on Midlothian Turnpike near Courthouse Road in Chesterfield County on Sunday. Lingering clouds could produce flurries across the region Monday.