Arctic Outbreak Set to Arrive Monday
Brutal cold and dangerous wind chills are only hours away from the Heart of Virginia. Below is everything you need to know about what to expect over the next 24-48 hours.
RAIN/SNOW: Monday morning begins with showers, developing after midnight and lasting through 9AM or so. The rain will change over to snow showers for western counties. Where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect (Grayson, Smyth, Tazewell) 2-5" of snow may accumulate, generally along/west of I-77. Along and west of the Parkway could see a coating.. but in Central Virginia, snow will be limited. A few flurries possible.. to perhaps a dusting on elevated surfaces, if it all comes together just right. But the snow is by no means the big story here.
TEMPERATURES: Temps will be crashing throughout the day Monday, with Monday morning being the warmest part of the day. Wake-up temps will be in the 30s for Central/Southside, and probably already into the 20s for western sections. But, they won't stay there for long. Once the front comes through between 5-7AM, temps will rapidly fall, so that most of the day is spent in the teens across the New River Valley, and 20s elsewhere. Then overnight Monday, lows fall to near zero for many areas.. and low single digits even in the Piedmont. Tuesday afternoon, afternoon HIGHS do not get out of the teens, then we spend one more night in the single digits Tuesday night. Finally, the core of the cold begins to lift out beginning Wednesday.
WINDS: Wind picks up out of the West and Northwest once the front clears first thing Monday morning. Sustained winds will be up to 20mph, gusting to 30mph in the Piedmont, and up to 40+mph in the mountains through Monday night. It's still breezy through Tuesday afternoon, then winds finally relax by Tuesday night.
WIND CHILL: This is going to be the most dangerous part of the equation. Frost bite can happen in 30 minutes to exposed skin in wind chills of -20. From 5PM Monday to 3PM Tuesday, a Wind Chill Warning is in effect for along and west of the Parkway, where wind chills as low as -30 will be possible early Tuesday morning. The rest of the region is under a Wind Chill Advisory for the same time frame. Here, we could have wind chill values as low as -15 Monday night/Tuesday morning.
HAZARDS: Frost bite and hypothermia can easily occur. Make sure you dress in layers when you head outdoors Monday and Tuesday, and only spend time outside if it is absolutely necessary. If you must be outdoors- all skin should be covered! Don't forget about the pets-- any and all pets should be brought indoors. In addition-- any wet roads early Monday may quickly freeze over as temperatures fall fast. Be mindful of potential icy spots on the roadways Monday morning.