Win­try mix in week­end out­look

Snow, freez­ing rain and sleet ex­pected late Satur­day through Sun­day night, with a slight chance of snow Mon­day morn­ing

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - By Bill Atkin­son, As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor [FILE PHOTO]

That dreaded four-let­ter word — snow — is in the week­end fore­cast, but how much of it we get de­pends upon any shifts in the snow rain line that is ex­pected to hover over the Tri-City area.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is pre­dict­ing snow­fall for parts of Vir­ginia be­gin­ning Satur­day af­ter­noon and evening, with the bulk of the pre­cip­i­ta­tion com­ing on Sun­day. What falls from the sky, though, re­mains to be seen.

"We're ex­pect­ing a lit­tle bit of snow and mixed pre­cip­i­ta­tion to be­gin late Satur­day," said Mike Rus­nak, a NWS me­te­o­rol­o­gist in Wake­field.

Snow is ex­pected to fall after 1 p.m. Satur­day, but the NWS only is putting a 20-per­cent chance of it dur­ing day­light hours. The pre­cip­i­ta­tion chance in­creases after dark to 80 per­cent as the storm moves closer. Snow will mix with freez­ing rain un­til 4 a.m. Sun­day, then sleet will be added to the mix to fall through­out Sun­day into evening, then all snow is fore­cast be­fore the storm ta­pers off. To­tal pre­cip­i­ta­tion ac­cu­mu­la­tion is likely to be around 1.5-2 inches.

There still is a 30-per­cent chance of snow Mon­day morn­ing.

The week­end's ex­pected snow to­tal is mi­nor com­pared to what the area got early last month, but that does not make ex­pected con­di­tions any less dan­ger­ous.

"We won't see not as much snow, but mixed pre­cip­i­ta­tion can make things just as sloppy," Rus­nak said. Also,

post-storm tem­per­a­tures are not ex­pected to climb out of the 30s for the next week.

"It's go­ing to be cold to start the week," Rus­nak said, "dry but cold."

The Vir­ginia

De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion al­ready has be­gun pre-treat­ing area road­ways ahead of the week­end storm.

The area def­i­nitely has some re­cent his­tory with Jan­uary snow­fall.

2018 was only a few days old when 3-5 inches of snow fell in the im­me­di­ate Tri-Cities and as much as 9 inches came down in out­ly­ing ar­eas.

That storm was re­spon­si­ble for one area death, when a child sled­ding in the Ch­ester area slid into the path of a pick-up truck and was killed.

In early Jan­uary of last year, any­where from 3-9 inches of snow fell over the Tri-City area. Fore­cast­ers say this week­end’s ex­pected storm will not have as high ac­cu­mu­la­tions as the one that hit us last month, but con­di­tions will be no less dan­ger­ous.

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