Snow Kidding

Published 10:36 pm Thursday, December 17, 2009

Those hoping for a white Christmas may have to move up their schedules a little, as Suffolk could see some snow as early as Saturday evening — part of a weather system moving up from the Gulf Coast.

National Weather Service models show Suffolk to be on the “tail end” of another nor’easter that could bring one to three inches of snow late Saturday.

“Right now it’s tough to target any accumulations, but there is a chance for some Saturday night,” said Andy McLaurin, a meteorologist with the NWS in Wakefield.

Forecasts show clouds and rain — part of another nor’easter — rolling into the Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater areas Friday afternoon and evening, with rain and wind dominating the weather Saturday.

“It looks as if there could be an inch to an inch and half of rain and winds from the north at about 20 miles per hour,” McLaurin said, adding the area could see gusts as high as 30 miles per hour.

Suffolk city spokesperson Debbie George said city manager Selena Coffee-Glenn “met with the Emergency Management Coordinator and Operations Department Heads today on this topic.”

She added that city departments already have made preparations for the weekend weather and that the city leadership will meet again Friday.

George added that public works has “readied their snow equipment and supplies, police and fire departments have directed emergency vehicles to be gassed and readied …”

She also said Emergency Management is “participating in regular conference calls to obtain up to the minute weather forecasts …”

While the chance of snow, and the occasional flurry, is not uncommon for this area this time of year, the short time between nor’easters is.

“I would say that is unusual to have another nor’easter so close to another one,” McLaurin said. “This one is not expected to be as powerful as the one in November, but it will be an event.”

McLaurin said the “wraparound” motion of the nor’easter will bring cold air and winter weather back into the area after Saturday’s rains. He added the area should begin to dry out Sunday as the system moves north.