Hampton Roads' snowfall 'twice the normal' for January

Hampton Roads has had a lot of snow in the past two weeks.

Not anything record-breaking, but a lot of snow.

Wayne Albright, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service station in Wakefield, said the region’s current January snowfall of 12.8 inches — officially measured in Norfolk — is “twice the normal” for the month but still short of the cumulative 14.2 inches that fell in January 1966.

The year started with a significant accumulation Jan. 4, and as soon as that was gone, the region was hit with a smaller amount Wednesday when about 2 to 3 inches fell.

But don’t expect another 2 inches to break that record.

“The rest of the month we’re expecting to be at or above normal temperatures,” Albright said. “We’re not anticipating any additional snow for a little while. We’ll have a milder period for the next two or three weeks, through the end of the month.”

The snowfall that began on Wednesday afternoon, while less substantial than the previous one, still caused some disorder in the area.

Sgt. Michelle Anaya of state police said troopers responded to 179 traffic crashes between 3 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday in southeastern Virginia. None of the crashes resulted in fatalities.

Paula Miller of the Virginia Department of Transportation said the interstates and primary roadways remained largely clear this week and required far less work than the previous storm, which dropped between 5 to 15 inches on the region.

“We weren’t pushing the snow away like we did last week,” Miller said. “This time we were able to get the job done mostly by just treating the roads and the pavement beforehand. There was some slush to deal with, but nothing too difficult.”

Miller said the snow presented a challenge to VDOT crews, but because the weather was anticipated, they were able to replenish supplies as they were being used.

“Back-to-back storms kept us moving — that’s for sure,” she said. “We kept re-stocking, so we were never depleted our materials to treat the roads. We were in good shape there, and we just kept rolling. It helped that that we a little breathing room between the two storms.”

Newport News Public Schools announced Thursday that all high school course exams would be canceled after students missed seven days in January due to snow.

Final grades for the semester will be calculated using the first and second marking period grades.

After students missed five days due to the Jan. 4 snow storm, the exams were reordered during the testing days of Jan. 23 through Jan. 25. Those days will now be full days for high school students.

Jan. 26 will remain a teacher workday for students, but Jan. 29, previously planned as a staff professional development day, will be a regular school day for all students.

There has not yet been a decision on the state-mandated Standards of Learning tests scheduled for middle and high school students this month, which still will be administered but in an amended schedule to be determined by each school.

Daily Press staff writer Jane Hammond contributed to this story. Holtzclaw can be reached by phone at 757-928-6479 or on Twitter @mikeholtzclaw.

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