Update: Snow Still in the Forecast for Friday, Forecast Accumulations a Little Lower
UPDATE 4:05 p.m.:
Lynchburg, VA - Computer models into the ABC 13 Weather Center have all backed off somewhat on exactly how much moisture our area will see from Friday's system, but it still looks like snow for the area Friday.
"The air is cold enough for snow, but is also very dry," said ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette Wednesday afternoon. "The forecast is slightly lower as far as accumulations go, but keep in mind the system is nearly 48 hours away still... and is still subject to modifications Thursday as it gets closer."
It still looks like it will snow enough to accumulate on Friday. Areas from Lynchburg to Roanoke south may see one to three inches of snow, while the New River Valley could see two to four inches. Amounts may drop off north of Lynchburg as the storm tracks to our south, across North Carolina.
One key player in what's keeping accumulating snow in the forecast will be the difference in snow type compared to last week's system.
Instead of a heavy, wet snow, the air will be cold enough to support a very fluffy and dry snow Friday. The snow should start sometime in the morning and continue throughout the day Friday.
During dry snow events, it doesn't take nearly as much moisture to put down an inch or two, maybe more in spots. The biggest obstacle is overcoming dry air, but once snow starts to fall it sticks fast, because the ground is colder.
In the meantime, some areas could even see a quick dusting of dry snow overnight tonight, as a fast moving "clipper" type system moves in from the northwest. The system will act to keep the cold air outside in place for Friday's event.
ABC 13 Meteorologists Sean Sublette, Lyndsay Tapases, Matt Ferguson, and Jamey Singleton all contributed to this story.
UPDATE: 6:36 p.m.
Lynchburg, VA - Now that the cold air has arrived, low temperatures Tuesday Night are expected to bottom out between 8 and 14 degrees across the ABC 13 Viewing Area.
As the cold air sits over the area, two systems may bring some snow to the area.
The first will be a fast-moving "clipper", that may put down some very light snow for a few areas Wednesday Night.
"A few locations will have a dusting or a coating before the sky clears by daybreak Thursday," said ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette.
The second system is headed our way for Friday. At this time, it looks like enough cold air will be in place for mostly snow starting in the morning Friday and continuing into the day before tapering off late in the day.
"At this time, snow is expected in all parts of the viewing area. Timing and specific amounts still need to be refined, but 2-4" seems likely by dusk on Friday," Sublette said Tuesday afternoon.
UPDATE: 1:34 p.m.
Lynchburg, VA - Temperatures continue to hold nearly steady for the Lynchburg area with readings generally in the middle 20s this afternoon. In the New River Valley, readings are in the teens, and the colder weather will move over the area and become entrenched over the ABC 13 Viewing Area into the rest of the work week.
New computer model information just into the ABC 13 Weather Center points to at least a wintry mix for Friday. As of this writing, it looks as if locations along and north of Highway 460 could see mostly snow from Friday morning into the day, before ending by Friday evening.
Locations south of Highway 460 may see snow change over to sleet or freezing rain Friday.
With ground temperatures cold all week long, whatever falls will stick fast, and make for difficult travel Friday, potentially for the morning commute.
There will not be a lot of moisture with Friday's system, but because the air is so cold, the snow that falls is expected to be dry and fluffy. It may not take much moisture to give some people a good coating to a few inches by the time the system moves out Friday.
Regarding ice: remember, it only takes a trace amount to create travel problems.
UPDATE: 10:34 a.m.
Lynchburg, VA - The cold, arctic air has made it over the mountains and is now moving through central Virginia on gusty NW winds. Temperatures for many of us today have already reached their highest values, and may actually remain steady or actually fall into the afternoon Tuesday.
Wind Chill Advisories are up for the Alleghany Highlands near West Virginia through noon on Wednesday for wind chill readings of -5 to -15 along with 30 mph winds.
Wind chills in the single digits to near zero are possible at times for the rest of the area into Tuesday night.
The cold air will get a reinforcing push from the jet stream Wednesday Night into Thursday.
Behind the cold air, a storm system will tap moisture from the south. At this time, the latest computer models into the ABC 13 weather center indicate a good chance of snow or ice, or perhaps both on Friday.
With the ground already cold this week, even a small amount of snow or ice will likely stick the roads Friday, making for hazardous travel late this week.
ABC 13 Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases.
"I think it is safe to say the cold air will be parked over us at the surface. But we need the air to be cold enough to support snow all the way from the cloud to the ground. So the questions will be more of how much, if any, warm air sneaks in aloft to produce sleet and/or freezing rain as opposed to all snow," said ABC 13 Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases.
Tapases also said the amount of moisture is still in question and the details will likely not become clearer until Wednesday or Thursday Morning.
"Since the ground will be much colder leading up to this event, any accumulations would occur more rapidly than they did with last week's storm," Tapases added.
Lynchburg, VA - A strong surge of arctic air will move into the ABC 13 viewing area as early as Monday Night, and continue to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains on gusty winds Tuesday.
While the heart of the cold air will remain to our north Tuesday, temperatures locally are still only expected to be in the teens early Tuesday, with highs only topping out in the 20s during the day. The mountains west of Roanoke may not even see 20 degrees Tuesday.
The coldest of air will be in place Tuesday Night, as lows drop into the lower teens across the Lynchburg and Roanoke areas, including south side. The Alleghany Highlands could see single digit low temperatures by Wednesday morning.
As the cold air arrives, the wind will increase to 10 to 20 mph with gusts in the New River Valley to 35 mph at times. With temperatures expected in the teens late tonight, and 20s Tuesday, a Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for the New River Valley late Monday Night into Tuesday.
Behind the cold air, there is the potential of a wintry mix by Friday.
Stay with ABC 13 and www.wset.com/weather for the very latest on the forecast.
ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette will have updated forecasts throughout the afternoon and evening Monday.