Update: 11:30 a.m. Friday:
This afternoon is very windy and cold. Winds will average 15-30 mph, with gusts to 50 mph (60 mph in the mountains). Make sure all loose outdoor articles and decorations are secure.
Temperatures will hold mainly in the 30s, with wind chills in the 20s. While there are some breaks of sun, skies are mostly cloudy. Passing light snow showers and flurries continue, but accumulating snow will hold in the mountains.
Saturday and Sunday both look mostly sunny and cold. Gusty winds will still be around on Saturday, but will decrease substantially on Sunday. Highs in the 40s to near 50 both days.
Some light rain or sleet is possible Monday, and Christmas Day is expected to be dry with times of clouds and sun. Rain, with snow and ice is possible Wednesday into Thursday of next week.
Update Thursday 5 p.m.:
From Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette:
Expect a soaking rain Thursday evening, with about 1/3 to 2/3 of an inch as a general rule. Winds will begin to pick up after midnight as the cold air races in first thing Friday morning, which works out well since astronomical winter starts 6:12 am (ET) Friday.
Friday will not be the end of the world, but it will certainly be the beginning of the coldest day so far this fall/winter season.
In Greater Lynchburg and Southside Virginia, there will be big variations in sky cover. Morning will bring sun, but clouds will fill back in as the winds increase further from the northwest. As those clouds fill in during the afternoon, we expect a couple of small snow showers or flurries passing through, but nothing that should last more than about 15-30 minutes, and no accumulation will result. We would put the chance of that snow shower at about 40% in any one particular spot.
Wind and cold will be the dominant issues on Friday. Afternoon temperatures will not be much past 40 degrees, and wind speeds will average 15-35mph. Gusts to 50mph are likely, and we expect a small scattering of power outages to develop as the winds hit their peak during the early afternoon. Windchills much of the day will be in the 20s.
Secure all outdoor articles (i.e. Christmas decorations) before these strong winds getting rolling in full force on Friday. And it's probably a good idea to have the flashlight nearby in case power goes out.
Blacksburg, VA - Strong winds of 40 to 60 mph are expected to impact a large part of the ABC 13 viewing area late Thursday Night into Friday and Saturday.
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a High Wind Watch for the following counties: Bedford, Franklin, Patrick, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Botetourt, Alleghany, Bath, Craig, Giles, Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski, Wythe, Carroll, and Grayson.
The High Wind Watch does not include Lynchburg City.
The winds are expected to pick up behind a strong cold front that will be moving through the area on Thursday.
Behind the front, the strongest winds will occur Thursday Night into Friday.
Winds in the watch area could be strong enough to cause some power outages, minor structural damage, and tree damage.
Stay with the ABC 13 Weather Experts for the very latest.