Winter weather is again en route to greater Williamsburg, but any snow it brings should be short-lived.
A storm expected to bring snow and rain will move into the area Wednesday evening, according to Jon McGee, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon due to the impending weather.
McGee said greater Williamsburg will see 1-2 inches of snowfall before midnight Wednesday, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark most of the day and into the evening. By early Thursday, rain should wash the snow away, he noted.
Agencies across the area are preparing all the same.
Craig Baller, streets superintendent for the City of Williamsburg, said crews are standing by to begin pre-treating roads, but they don't expect pre-treatment to begin until about 2-3 hours before the storm rolls into Williamsburg. He said snow removal equipment and more than 400 tons of sand/salt mixture is ready to be deployed.
William and Mary is checking generators and other equipment in preparation for the snow and making sure salt and sand are available, according to spokesman Brian Whitson.
"We continue to watch the track of the storm closely and are arranging the schedules of crews to make sure we have people available to respond in case the weather forecast changes and our area gets more than expected," he said.
WJC Schools is tracking the weather as well. Spokeswoman Betsy Overkamp-Smith said the division will be making decisions based on predicted and actual weather as the storm gets closer.
Should WJC announce another snow day, the entire school division will need to make up a full school day – which school officials said last week would be Monday, Feb. 17. If a second snow closure is announced, school will also be in session on Monday, April 21, previously designated as a regional holiday.
The school division has lost five full days due to inclement weather this year so far, though the secondary schools haven't needed to make up any time because they have longer-than-usual school days that allow them to exceed the 990 teaching hours required by law. In the elementary schools, the length of the school day has been extended by five minutes and recess time has been cut to 15 minutes in order to make up lost instructional time totaling 20 hours.
McGee said snow will begin to fall Wednesday evening and could affect the evening commute in Williamsburg and James City County. He said southern York County and Newport News should escape the brunt of the storm.
Snow will be followed by a freezing rain mixture, which will turn into rain. Temperatures will also warm overnight Wednesday with the high Thursday reaching 38 degrees.
Robertson can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342.
Christine Sampson and Steve Vaughan contributed.