Wintry weather rolls back into area
On the heels of the season’s first snowstorm, some parts of the Northern Shenandoah Valley could see more winter weather this week. Rain and sleet were expected to fall Monday night, and then freezing rain today.
This latest storm, according National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Hofmann, was expected to start Monday night as temperatures fall into the 30s as a cold front that will “stall just to the south and east” moves into the area.
Precipitation from this system was likely to continue for 24-36 hours, Hofmann said. The precipitation — a mix of sleet, snow, rain and freezing rain, will likely become more scattered toward the end of that period.
Hofmann noted that this latest batch of winter weather will predominantly feature freezing rain and that it could accumulate about 1⁄10 of an inch of ice.
Although the accumulation is significantly less than last week’s snow, Hofmann said that much freezing rain can still be a problem.
“It doesn’t take much ice to cause a hazard,” Hofmann said.
He noted that the biggest concern with winter weather like this will be on the roadways. “The main hazard would be slippery roads, especially untreated surfaces,” Hofmann said.
Hofmann also said icy accumulation on untreated roads “could mean the main roads, but usually it is more the secondary roads.”
At the same time, he said that warmer temperatures seen today could affect ice accumulation.
With temperatures expected to reach no higher than 31 degrees tonight, Hofmann said those conditions could make accumulation more likely.
As for the timing of this weather, Hofmann said, “The winter weather that we’ve been seeing is a bit ahead of schedule.”
For the weather service, the winter season starts Dec. 1 and not the Winter solstice of Dec. 21. “That three-month period [December to late-February] has the lowest temperature curve, on average,” Hofmann explained.
Last week, the region saw a range of snow accumulation, according to www.weather.gov. Totals ranged from 71⁄2 inches in Fort Valley in Shenandoah County to 51⁄2 inches in Page County, 5 to 51⁄2 inches in Warren County, 31⁄3 to 71⁄2 in Frederick County and 8 inches, the highest reported, in Clarke County.
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Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org