As I pointed out in yesterday’s blogpost lightning and thunder was possible out of this storm and so far I’ve seen reports this morning of thundersnow in Orange, Stafford, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties. The surface low has definitely begun its intensification process and the heaviest precipitation and strongest winds are still to come. I’ve already seen reports of over a foot of snow near the Blue Ridge mountains in Madison county, and more is on the way. In fact, here’s the latest NWS Sterling snow accumulation forecast map:
Notice that Fredericksburg’s totals have been upped to 10-14 inches while King George is now in the 8-10″ region. The models have been trending colder surface temperatures which pushes the rain/snow transition line further east than originally thought and allows a longer period of snow versus rain over the area.
Unfortunately the combination of heavy wet snow and increasing winds is creating power outages as tree limbs weaken and break under the stress, helping bring down power lines. The “good” news is that temperatures today and tonight will hover in the low 30′s (F) so that it won’t get really frigid like it could be if this was January or February. Of course that’s not much comfort to those who lose power and shiver in the cold, so keep an eye and ear on your neighbors as best you can during this weather event.