Oh sNOw! It’s going to blow

Published 10:59 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

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Let’s just chill about the snow already.

More will come, and it will leave the region with some bone-chilling cold behind it, according to National Weather Service Wakefield meteorologist Roman Miller, but how much remains to be determined by a low-pressure system riding up the East Coast.

Temperatures will drop during the day Friday as the storm moves in, with rain coming before it shifts to snow Friday evening and continues snowing into early Saturday. By the time the storm moves up the coast, temperatures in the region will drop and by Saturday evening will be as low as they have been all season.

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How close the system gets to the coast will affect the amount of snow and the wind in Suffolk and the Western Tidewater region, Miller said.

The closer the storm system is to the coast, the more snow and higher winds that will come. If it passes by the southeast Virginia coast further offshore, snowfall totals will be lower and the winds will not be as strong.

Currently, there’s a winter storm watch for the region and a 70% to 80% chance that the city will see at least 2 inches of snow, he said, with a forecast of between 4 and 6 inches.

“That’s subject to change as the exact track of the low is going to play a huge role in how much snow we’re going to get,” Miller said. “If it’s further offshore, we’ll get less snow. And if it’s closer to the coast, there could be more snow.”

Winds will be sustained at 15 to 25 mph, with gusts of between 30 to 35 mph, and up to 40 mph. Temperatures during the day Saturday are not expected to rise above freezing, and lows Saturday night and early Sunday morning are forecasted to be between 10 and 15 degrees. Sunday’s high is forecast to be 34 with a low of 20 Sunday night, and Monday, temperatures are expected to reach near 44.

“We’re looking at a coastal storm that we expect to develop late Friday and then Friday night into Saturday as it moves up the coast, offshore,” Miller said. “It will remain offshore at this time, but we think it will be at least close enough that it will be able to push over the area beginning Friday evening and then continuing into Saturday.”

It’s unclear how long into Saturday the storm will linger. Miller said that depends on the track of the storm.

Miller said their different models are not handling this system particularly well.
“We’re seeing large discrepancies between different models and even with each run,” Miller said, “which is giving us lower than normal confidence.”