WEATHER UPDATE: Ice Ends, Rain Continues
UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.
The rest of today is cold, with periods of rain. Highs only in the mid to upper 30s. Tonight will be cloudy, with light rain, drizzle and some fog. Temperatures hold steady around 36.
A stronger storm system moves through Saturday. This brings rainy weather pretty much all day, with heavy downpours possible. Rain comes to an end Saturday evening. Rainfall totals will be around an inch and some locations up to an inch and a half. It's partly sunny and breezy Sunday. Monday looks great, as temperatures top out in the 60s.
By Tuesday a cold front brings more rain to the region. Anticipate a return to much colder weather Wednesday and Thursday.
UPDATE: 8:30 a.m.
Lynchburg, VA - Icy roads from freezing rain have been reported as far west as Wythe County and Montgomery County, where numerous accidents have been reported by ABC 13 Viewers.
Floyd and Carroll Counties are reporting extremely slick conditions with some roads blocked, according to viewers.
Other icy areas include Roanoke County on Bent Mountain and Montvale in Bedford County. While main roads like 220 and 460 are okay, the side roads are slick.
Nelson County viewers report slick roads and accidents there this morning as well.
VDOT says there is minor icing on 29 North between Lynchburg and Lovingston and on 501 between Lynchburg and I-81.
Sections of Main Street near 7th Street in Lynchburg became icy earlier, but crews put down sand to help out.
The highest elevations are actually starting to see temperatures climb a little.
The trend will continue into the mid morning with most areas turning from ice to just rain by 9 a.m.
Still, be especially cautious on bridges and shady areas on country roads this morning.
Everything should melt away between 9 and 10 a.m.
UPDATE: 7:39 a.m.
Lynchburg, VA - Areas of rain and freezing rain have developed over the ABC 13 viewing area this morning and some roads are very slick.
Lynchburg Communications reported numerous accidents on Main Street near Church Street and 7th Street earlier as the roads have become very slick and icy. Avoid the area if possible.
Crews have put down abrasives to help drivers get traction, our photographer on the scene reports.
In Nelson County, roads are slick with several accidents reported within the past half hour.
In Montgomery County, viewers report so many accidents that crews are having trouble keeping up with them around Ellison and Shawsville.
In Pulaski County and Dublin, the main roads are okay, but a viewer reported driveways and sidewalks very slick.
In Bedford County, 460 in Montvale was just wet, but sideroads were reported slick.
Route 100 in Wythe County is reported to be extremely slick. The Sheriff's Department is clearing numerous accidents in the Fort Chiswell and Austinville areas.
There are likely additional slick spots that are just as dangerous but haven't been reported yet. The ice is hard to see and looks like water. If you have to be out, be very careful!
Bridges and overpasses are likely iced over as well as temperatures and falling just below freezing in sections of the city and throughout the viewing area this morning.
Generally only trace amounts of ice are expected, with 0.10" or less of ice possible. But it only takes a little amount to potentially cause slick roads in sheltered areas and bridges.
Temperatures are right at the freezing mark, or even a few degrees above freezing at the surface, but with the moisture setting in, the temps are expected to lower into the upper 20s for a few hours this morning.
If you must be out, exercise extreme caution while driving.
Eventually, the temperatures will rise above freezing after 9 a.m., but until then, the list of icy roads is expected to grow.
Freezing Rain Advisories continue for most of the ABC 13 Viewing area except for Southside through 9 a.m. today.
After 9 a.m., temperatures will climb safely above freezing, and a milder rain will set up for Saturday.
Lynchburg, VA - Freezing rain could make for a slick morning commute early Friday.
A Freezing Rain Advisory has been issued for the entire ABC 13 Viewing Area through 9 a.m. Friday.
While temperatures reached the 40s in many locations Thursday with sunshine, temperatures are going to fall again after sunset before the moisture approaches from the south late tonight.
"Once the sun goes down, temperatures will drop fast tonight," said Chris Fisher, a Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.
The timing of the system is of particular concern to forecasters because many will be on the roads trying to get to school or work early Friday.
"The trickiest conditions will certainly be in the morning," explained ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette.
The air is also still relatively dry and the ground is very cold from the recent historic Arctic air outbreak, when temperatures dropped to zero and below for lows and stayed in the teens Tuesday.
The rain will be moving in after midnight lasting through much of the day Friday. More rain is likely Saturday.
During the first few hours of rainfall early Friday morning, ice is expected.
Once any rain falls into the dry air, evaporation will lower the temperature by a few degrees, locking in below freezing air for a few hours Friday morning.
When the rain makes contact with the cold ground, including some roads, the water will freeze up into a dangerous glaze in some spots.
Drivers may be caught off guard by driving through wet areas, then suddenly over icy spots Friday morning. It's important to not make any sudden moves while driving, watch your speed, and be aware that the ice may not even be visible at all.
"Use caution. You don't know if the roads have been treated or not. Leave extra time and space between you and the car in front of you," Fisher added.
Rain will fall, then freeze as a thin, yet slippery glaze of ice on decks, sidewalks, bridges and overpasses, and some roads before sunrise Friday.
As we experienced last Sunday, it does not take a lot of moisture to create dangerous travel. With ice, it doesn't matter if you have front wheel or four wheel drive.
"We are expecting very light amounts," Fisher said. "It only takes trace amounts of ice to cause some issues. We're looking at a couple of hundredths Friday morning."
As temperatures climb above freezing, a cold rain will fall. However, areas of ice may stay on roads into the late morning.
"Last Sunday, it was mainly the Piedmont that had the ice," Fisher said. "This time, the New River Valley and Highlands are also in play for ice."
ABC 13 is watching the developing weather situation closely. If the roads turn bad, or the freezing rain advisory is expanded, we will let you know online and over the air.
Keep it on ABC 13 and wset.com for the very latest.
Below is the official National Weather Service Statement on the Freezing Rain Advisory in it's original text:
"...LIGHT COATING OF ICE EXPECTED TONIGHT INTO EARLY FRIDAY...
.AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE WILL CROSS THE REGION OVERNIGHT.
ASSOCIATED PRECIPITATION WILL FALL INITIALLY AS A MIX OF RAIN OR
SLEET...AND THEN TRANSITION TO RAIN OR FREEZING RAIN...DEPENDENT
UPON THE LOCAL TEMPERATURE. WHILE LARGE AMOUNTS OF ICE ARE NOT
EXPECTED...THE LIGHT COATING THAT DOES OCCUR WILL CAUSE SURFACES
TO BECOME SLICK AND HAZARDOUS...ESPECIALLY ELEVATED NON-TREATED
SURACES LIKE BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES. A LIGHT COATING OF ICE IS
ALSO EXPECTED ON TREES AND POWER LINES.
330 PM EST THU JAN 9 2014
...FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG HAS ISSUED A FREEZING
RAIN ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM
* LOCATIONS...MUCH OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA AND PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST
* HAZARD TYPES...SOME SLEET...BUT PRIMARILY FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS...UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH OF SLEET...UP TO
FIVE HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH OF ICE.
* TIMING...MIDNIGHT TO 900 AM FRIDAY.
* IMPACTS...ICY SURFACES...ESPECIALLY ELEVATED ONES SUCH AS
BRIDGES...OVERPASSES...TREES AND POWER LINES.
* WINDS...SOUTHEAST 5 MPH OR LESS.
* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 30S.
A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR
FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING."