Snow day in Suffolk
A rapidly developing low pressure system moved into the area Wednesday night and was expected to dump 6 to 10 inches of snow on Suffolk.
“It’s a fast-moving storm, so we’re getting a quick hit, but it is a significant system,” National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Zimmerman said on Wednesday afternoon. “Conditions will deteriorate very quickly late tonight, with heavy snow and strong wind, especially right along the coast.”
Being closer to the water, North Suffolk may be more affected with the strong wind, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, Zimmerman said. Inland gusts will be up to 35 miles per hour, with sustained winds at 15 to 20 miles per hour.
The snow that does fall will stay there for a while. The high isn’t expected to be above freezing until Monday, when the high is expected to be 50 degrees with a chance of rain.
The wind chill on Thursday night could be as low as -4, the National Weather Service forecast Wednesday afternoon.
A slate of closures and cancellations were announced on Wednesday, with Suffolk Public Schools closing school for Thursday.
Also Wednesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency authorizing state agencies to assist local governments in responding to the storm. By declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“The bitter cold that continues to plague the Commonwealth will be joined by a potentially significant winter storm which will blast Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, Eastern Shore and other areas of Eastern Virginia with snowfall and blizzard-like conditions in some communities.” McAuliffe stated in the press release. “With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for the travel disruptions, power outages and other threats to health and safety that could arise during this significant weather event.”
All Sentara hospitals in Hampton Roads have inclement weather procedures in place, Sentara spokesman Dale Gauding stated in an email on Wednesday. Some clinical staff were expected to spend the night to ensure they were able to work on Thursday.
Suffolk libraries and recreation centers closed early on Wednesday, and schools had early dismissal.