SPECIAL REPORT: Winter Weather Outlook
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- It's the big question on everyone's mind this time of year; how much snow are we going to get this winter?
In the Heart of Virginia, we are all familiar with Mother Nature's onslaught of winter weather.
What's considered a normal winter for our area?
Lynchburg averages 16 inches of snow per year, while Danville averages only five inches. Roanoke averages around 19 inches, while Blacksburg averages 25 inches of snow annually.
So, how often will you need this information and how much exercise will you get shoveling your driveway this winter?
The officials winter forecast from the National Weather Service indicates a weak LaNina weather pattern will persist.
This means the northeast will be colder and wetter than normal. The south will be warmer and drier, which leaves Virginia in between. This drier weather in the South affects us in Virginia because it's more difficult for large winter storms to develop and move up from the south.
If this pattern holds, we would see fewer major winter storms.
But, with colder and wetter weather in the northeast, fast-moving "clipper type" systems are more likely to impact our weather. These smaller, fast moving systems move over the mountains giving us several opportunities for light to moderate amounts of snow.
How much snow will we see this winter?
The highest snow amounts will fall in the mountains and higher elevations, although there could be a sharp contrast between higher snow totals in northern Virginia with little winter weather in the south.
Right now, the forecast is a total snow amount in Lynchburg between 10 inches and 18 inches, which is close to normal.
For Danville and the Southside, the forecast is between three inches and eight inches of snow.
The highest local amounts of snow should fall north and west of Lynchburg: Roanoke 15 inches to 25 inches and Blacksburg 20 inches to 30 inches.
Overall, this winter will be near normal. There will be a handful of cold, snowy days, but also milder weeks in between.