Yep, a real winter storm is coming…maybe

A pedestrian leans into blowing snow on Oxford Street.

If everyone has advanced their clocks one hour ahead overnight, then they know it is 6:28 a.m. as I write this and we are looking at the worst snowstorm this season moving into the area late Sunday night and into the daylight hours of Monday.

The National Weather Service office in Blacksburg has a “Winter Storm Warning” out, starting at midnight Sunday night for 24 hours, ending at midnight Monday:

Action Recommended: Make preparations per the instructions

Issued by: Roanoke/Blacksburg – VA, US, National Weather Service,

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO MIDNIGHT EDT MONDAY NIGHT… * WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches, with localized amounts up to 8 inches, are expected. * WHERE…Portions of central, south central, southwest and west central Virginia, northwest North Carolina and southeast West Virginia. * WHEN…From midnight tonight to midnight EDT Monday night. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Monday. Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1. In addition, this is expected to be a heavier, wetter snow than past snows this winter for the most part. As a result the weight of several inches of snow could bring down some trees and power lines, especially any that have already started spring budding. &&

More Information

A complex storm system will develop over the southeastern US today then begin moving northeast tonight and Monday, eventually toward the North Carolina coast later in the day Monday. While there remain some uncertainties, confidence is increasing that this storm has the potential to bring moderate to heavy snow to much of the forecast area, especially near and west of the Blue Ridge, Sunday night through Monday morning.

Adds Roanoke Times Weather Guru Kevin Myatt:

It really isn’t saying much to suggest the snowfall Sunday night and Monday will probably be Roanoke’s largest of the 2017-18 “winter” season (technically already spring on the meteorological calendar) when the previous largest snow is 2.1 inches (Jan. 17) for Roanoke. But it is well within the realm of possibility that Roanoke’s seasonal snowfall total — up to 5.4 inches with 3/10 of an inch in Thursday’s snow squalls — could double with this almost mid-March winter storm, coming a little more than two weeks after the hottest February day on record at 84 degrees and 10 days after 60 mph winds knocked power off for thousands.

In a way, this is business as usual, based on this winter so far.  It has been rollercoaster from the frigid temperatures of January, the incredibly mild February and the unpredictable March.

Stay tuned. Things could change quickly for the better or the worse.

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© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse