Winter weather returns

With the spring equinox set to occur on Saturday, area residents will experience at least one last bit of winter weather.

Shenandoah, Warren, Frederick and Clarke counties were placed under winter storm watch Thursday night through early Friday afternoon.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Snyder said accumulation will depend on elevation.

“It will be a pretty wide range across the area. It could be as low as 1 inch, particularly in lower Shenandoah County.”

There could be as much as 3 inches of snow in the “northern part of the county and on the ridge tops,” Snyder added.

“It’s going to be a very slushy, wet-type of snow,” Snyder said, but added that the chance of the wintry mix sticking to the roads is low.

“If we get some heavier rates before the sun comes up, then you could see some accumulations just about anywhere,” he said, “But for the most part, I would think it to be more on the grass and elevated surfaces likes decks.”

Snyder explained that, because of the warmer temperatures on Thursday, the road surfaces will be warm enough to make it “difficult to stick” for any snowfall.

“Even if it is cloudy this time of year, the sun is getting high enough in the sky that enough radiation gets through that it can warm things up,” Snyder explained.

At the same time, Snyder added, “Any snow that falls while it is still dark at least has the potential to accumulate on roads, particularly side roads which aren’t very well traveled.”

The precipitation, Snyder said, is expected to subside by 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. in the afternoon. “By Friday afternoon, it might be more rain than snow.”

According to Snyder, there is a small chance for a another system developing on Tuesday that could “scoot by to our south” or bring some slight wintry mix.

“Right now, it looks like our area will be dry, but if any precipitation is able to work up into our area, temperatures would be close to where it could be a rain-snow mix,” Snyder added. “I think the probability of that right now is very small.”

Although temperatures are technically expected to “remain below normal for the next two weeks,” Snyder noted that will mean high temperatures near the “low-to-mid 50s.”

Friday’s high is expected to reach no higher than 39 degrees, with an overnight low of 34.

The weather on Saturday will return to the spring-like conditions, with a high of 60 degrees expected that afternoon.

As temperatures continue to spike, Snyder said, “I would say the odds [of more snowfall] are decreasing with each passing week, especially once we get into April.”

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