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Flurries likely this weekend, cold temperatures next week

Cattle graze in a snow-glazed field behind Signal Knob Middle School in Strasburg. Expect some flurries this weekend, and colder temperatures next week. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Katie Demeria

Though the hazardous weather outlook issued for the area on Friday may not have had much of an impact, the Shenandoah Valley can expect another freeze next week.

The National Weather Service's hazardous weather outlook was meant largely for western Maryland and Potomac highlands, according to meteorologist Heather Sheffield.

"We're calling for close to 2 inches out there, which would almost be an advisory," Sheffield said. "Usually if the conditions get near to the criteria for our watches, warnings or advisories, we'll issue an outlook for the area."

Weather outlooks cannot be issued for each individual county, she continued. The valley will at times be included when a large amount of accumulation is only expected toward the west.

Area residents probably would see under an inch of accumulation after sunset Friday night, Sheffield said. It likely would only be visible on grassy surfaces, and may not stick to the roads.

"Temperatures will be just above freezing, so there might be a chance of some rain and snow mix at the start, but then turning to all snow around midnight," she said. "But there's not much moisture with this system, so there won't be much accumulation."

The system is expected to bring in some cold temperatures this morning. The wind chill will be in the teens, according to Sheffield. A wind chill advisory may be issued, but, again, it will be focused on Maryland and the Potomac highlands.

But the valley may see its share of cold weather in the middle of next week, though temperatures are not likely to reach the same intensity as the polar vortex that hit the area earlier this month.

"There will be some cold temperatures in the area by the middle of next week," Sheffield said. "It might not reach 30 degrees."

More snow is expected to hit the region before those cold temperatures arrive, she added.

"We do have another system moving through late Saturday night, early Sunday, but similar to the one we'll see tonight, there won't be much moisture, so it'll just be flurries," she said. "It will be cold enough, though, so it will just be snow, not mixed with rain."

Sandy Myers, of the Virginia Department of Transportation, said crews were prepared to go out at 8 p.m. Friday.

"We have full salting crews in the Northern part of the valley, which seems to be the area that is likely to get some snow," Myers said.

She added that VDOT is prepared to treat the roads regardless of how serious the forecast.

"If we know there is a chance of any kind of frozen precipitation, the crews are expected to be called out, and they're always out prior to the time that it is supposed to start," she said. "Sometimes not much is forecasted and it turns out to be more. Safety is the primary thing that we're after."

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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