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Storm Team Forecast: Winter storm will bring rain, snow and wind to Hampton Roads

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Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 14:44:46-05

Tracking rain, snow and wind….We are gearing for a significant winter storm to impact Hampton Roads and NE North Carolina over the next few days. But tonight will be the calm before the storm, so start preparing now.  The weather will be fairly tranquil, with increasing clouds and overnight low temperatures in the mid 20s.

Then, all eyes will be on an area of low pressure that will move up the coast from the southwest. As the low moves into some very cold air already in place, snow will develop from southwest to northeast, starting mid-morning to midday Friday in inland North Carolina first. The snow will then cross the state line into Hampton Roads, again as all snow.  Areas along the Albemarle and Outer Banks, though, will more than likely see rain. Then, through the day, as low pressure moves closer to the area, it will drive in slightly warmer temperatures, which will cause the snow to transition into rain for most areas. However, our northern communities, especially along the Peninsulas, may see a slower transition to rain than the rest of us, meaning you could see a little more snow on Friday.

Saturday will start with rain across most of the area. But later in the day, once the low exits the coast, colder air will wrap around the backside of the low, causing the rain to transition back to snow. Some wintry weather could stick around into early Sunday morning before all of the moisture pushes offshore.

Please keep in mind that the forecast will all be dependent on the precise track of the storm. Right now, Southside, the Eastern Shore and parts of inland North Carolina could see anywhere from 1 to 2″ of snow. Most of our communities along the Peninsulas could see between 2 and 4″ of snow. However, we’ll have to watch some of our northern Peninsula communities. If there is any shift in the storm’s track, we could see areas like Williamsburg, Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex counties receiving between 4 and 6″ of snow.  The Albemarle and the Outer Banks will likely see snow. So stay tuned.

In addition to the snow and rain, we will see very strong winds. Winds will start to crank up on Friday with gusts to near 30 mph. Gusts could reach to 40+ mph on Saturday and Sunday. Winds will start from the NE but shift to the north. This could create some coastal and tidal flooding issues, especially for parts of the Southside.

For next week, we’re expecting the sunshine to return, with highs back in the upper 40s and lower 50s.

Tonight: Partly to Mostly Cloudy. Cold. Low temperatures in the mid 20s. Winds: N 5-10 mph.

Friday: Cloudy Skies. Snow to Rain (90%). Windy. High temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s. Winds: NE 10-20 mph, gusts 30-40 mph.

Saturday: Mostly Cloudy. Rain Likely, then transitions to snow (80%). Windy. High temperatures in the mid 40s. Winds: N 15-25 mph, gusts 35-45 mph.

Today in Weather History (NWS Wakefield)

1918 Record Low -9F at Salisbury

1985 Record Low -3F at Norfolk

1996 Flash Flooding Central Virginia

Dominic Brown

Meteorologist

WTKR-TV NewsChannel 3

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