Wintry mix expected to hit valley this weekend

The New Year has brought with it plenty of winter weather to the Shenandoah Valley. Resident could see more of the same this weekend.

The National Weather Service in Sterling is predicting a mixed bag of rain, sleet and snow starting this evening.

Meteorologist Brian Lasorsa said, “Expect precipitation to move in late Friday afternoon, early Friday evening.”

That precipitation, Lasorsa added, will “probably be in the form of snow or a mixture [of sleet and freezing rain].”

At this point, the weather service is calling for some areas north of the most recent rain/snow line to see anywhere between 2 to 4 inches of snow.

Lasorsa said they are expecting the rain/snow line cut-off to be near Strasburg.

Due to the cut-off, Lasorsa said that accumulation should apply to residents north of Strasburg, such as Winchester and Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Strasburg and areas south of that line could see an inch or less of accumulated snow.

Lasorsa added that there is also a chance of freezing rain to be mixed in with the snow.

“I don’t think you’ll have a lot of ice and freezing rain; you get a glaze of accumulation from freezing rain,” he said, “It’s not out of the question.”

Lasorsa added that, because today’s temperatures will be near freezing, “snow is going to be the most notable hazard at this point.”

He said the worst conditions “could be overnight Friday, into early Saturday morning.”

“It’ll end Saturday, probably as a wintry mix … and probably go into the late morning and afternoon hours,” Lasorsa said.

As with much of the latest winter weather, there is potential for this mix to have an effect on the secondary roadways as well as any untreated surfaces, Lasorsa said.

“This system is a little bit warmer than the one we had on Jan. 6 … the temperatures are going to be more marginal here,” Lasorsa explained.

Because of this, Lasorsa said that certainty on this forecast is low.

“Whatever comes in Friday evening, the effects might not be felt until later in the evening when the heavier precipitation comes in,” Lasorsa said.

The overnight low for today is expected to be 29 degrees, with a daytime high of 39 for Saturday.

A lot of the impact form this system, Lasorsa said, will depend on how the rain/snow cut-off develops.

The weather service is expecting some cold air making its way to the area by Monday night or Monday afternoon.

There is also a chance for some “winter precipitation” Sunday night, but Lasorsa said, “The main question will be how much moisture will be around when that cold air moves in.”

If there is moisture and precipitation left over, the worst of it will occur Monday evening, Lasorsa said.

“But there’s a lot to be ironed out at this point,” Lasorsa said.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com