First Warning Forecast: Tracking the potential for a major winter storm

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 23:42:27-05

***A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for all of Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina from Friday night to Saturday night***

The First Warning Storm Team is tracking the potential for a major winter storm. We have upped our storm totals, but would like to remind everyone, that it is only Thursday and there’s still a potential for these snow totals to change. We are constantly making changes day and night with each model update.

But first, as we head into tonight, we’ll continue to see increasing clouds as an area of low pressure travels up the coast, giving us a few rain showers. We could see some of that rain transition into a little bit of snow heading into Friday morning as temperatures dip into the 30s. The best chance for seeing snow will be areas along the Eastern Shore and the Middle Peninsula. Any snow accumulation will be less than 1” in these areas.

Once that system moves out Friday, we’ll see a mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low to mid 40s.

Now for our next system. The one that everyone is talking about. A low pressure system that will move from the western Gulf States and off the southeast coast. Models are still not in excellent agreement, but they are agreeing more than they did yesterday, so we have actually upped our snow totals. The track of this low will have a huge impact on what we see. A small shift in this system could mean the difference between major snow and no snow.  As of now… 6” to 10” of snow is possible for SE Southside and Northeastern North Carolina, 6-10″ for a portion of Inland Southside (Isle of Wight, Franklin, Hampton) 4” to 6” for the rest of inland Southside, 4” to 6” for the Peninsulas and Eastern Shore, with some higher amounts possible. Rain will likely mix in for the southern Outer Banks limiting snow totals.  We’ll continue to monitor this system as well. Again, a shift in the low could change our forecast estimates.

By Sunday,  we’ll see sunshine, but it will be cold! Once we factor in the winds, it will feel like the single digits. We will also have to keep in mind that many roads could still be snow-covered and slick. Highs will be in the lower 30s.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Rain/snow mix overnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Winds: SE/N 5-10 mph.

Friday: A slight chance for a rain/snow mix early, then a mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 40s. Winds: N 10-15 mph.

Saturday: Cloudy with snow developing early and becoming heavy at times. Windy. Highs in the lower 30s. Winds: N 15-25 mph, gusts to 30 mph.

April Loveland
First Warning Meteorologist
WTKR-TV News 3
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