Snow falls short of expectations

Andrew Keller, of Strasburg, works his snowblower under this blooming plum tree along West Queen Street in Strasburg on Tuesday morning. Snow fell over the area Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

A nor’easter dumped between 5 and 7 1/2 inches of snow on the Northern Shenandoah Valley on Monday night, less than what many were prepared for or were expecting.

Isha Renta is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sterling.

“For Shenandoah County we have one report of 5 inches,” she said. “(In) Hardy, the highest report was 8 inches. Frederick we had three reports – the highest of 7 1/2 inches, one of 7 inches and one of 5 1/2. (For) Rockingham, we have two reports of 4 inches.”

Meteorologists had predicted on Monday that as much as a foot of snow could fall in the area. Sandy Myers, communications manager for the VDOT Staunton District, said the Virginia Department of Transportation was able to use this to its advantage.

“We had planned for a much larger event than the event that we got so we had enough people and enough equipment to handle the weather that came in yesterday,” she said.

Jimmy Brinklow, 78, clears the snow off his wife's car outside his home on Shenandoah Avenue in Front Royal Tuesday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

Renta and Myers both said that refreezing could be possible given chilly temperatures Tuesday night into this morning.

“The biggest thing that we’re concerned about this evening is the refreezing,” Myers said about Tuesday night. “Any surface that has any moisture at all can give you that black ice situation that can cause traction problems for vehicles.”

Myers said that VDOT workers will be deployed to combat any refreezing-related issues that might occur.

“The crews will be deployed this evening,” she said. “If we know there’s an area that has a problem, we can put abrasives down and if it’s on the interstate we can put chemicals down.”

The Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative was equally prepared and Preston Knight, public relations representative for the co-op, said there were only two reported outages across SVEC’s entire coverage area.

Mary Alex Combs, 5, left, and her sister Laurel, 3, right, put the finishing touches on a snowman outside their Kerfoot Avenue home in Front Royal on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

“We were prepared for a lot more obviously and we’ll take that low number any day,” Knight said.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com