Snow expected to taper off by midnight

A winter weather advisory has been extended for the region through 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The snow could continue to fall through the evening, tapering down after midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Matt Scalora said that temperatures in the mid-to-upper teens overnight will create slick roads. A high of 40 on Thursday should bring some thawing, but temperatures won't be above freezing until late morning.

The NWS Wakefield office has not yet released snowfall totals for any localities in the Peninsula area, which Scalora said is due either to not receiving any reports or totals being under 1 inch. He said to anticipate totals later Wednesday night.

Snow began to fall in the region Wednesday morning, with between 1 and 3 inches expected.

As of 1:30 p.m., state police had responded to 41 crashes across the state, four of which were in Hampton Roads, according to state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller. No major incidents were reported by VSP by 7 p.m.

Virginia Department of Transportation officials are urging motorists to travel with extreme caution Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

VDOT crews spent most of the afternoon treating interstates and roadways with salt and abrasives, as warm pavement temperatures turned snow to slush, officials said in a news release. Wintry precipitation is expected to taper off Wednesday night, but temperatures will likely remain below freezing through the Thursday morning rush hour, creating potentially slick travel conditions, officials said.

Motorists are advised to travel at slower speeds and stay 100 feet back from VDOT equipment. Crews will remain on duty throughout the night to treat road surfaces, overpasses, bridges and other hot spots in advance of the morning commute, the release states.

Most school divisions had canceled school for the day, but Poquoson was able to get in a half-day for its students.

Seven flights out of Norfolk International Airport were canceled Wednesday night, with another half dozen delayed. Some went out as scheduled and remained on schedule.

At Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, the last American Airlines flight of the day, to Charlotte at 7:49 p.m., was canceled, as well as 7:01 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. flights to Charlotte. A Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta was delayed from its original departure of 5:10 p.m. to 7:14 p.m, after initially being bumped to 6:14 p.m. Two early morning Thursday flights were still on-time, according to the schedule. Travelers are advised to contact the airline before going to the airport for a flight.

Williamsburg and other parts of the upper Peninsula started to see snow flurries early Wednesday morning. Light snow began falling in Newport News around noon.

Previously,

Nearly two weeks after some parts of the Peninsula received a foot or more of snow, there’s more on the way.

Between 1 and 3 inches of snow is expected in the Hampton Roads area Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the region for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Snow is expected to start in Hampton Roads between 7 and 10 a.m. and last until 4 or 5 p.m.

“Once you push past lunchtime you’ll start to see (snow) showers and things start to turn white real quick,” said Jeff Orrock, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Wakefield.

As of late Tuesday, most school divisions announced they would be closed Wednesday.

This storm is expected to be much milder than the storm earlier this month, when the region received 5 to 15 inches of snow that didn’t melt for several days because of freezing temperatures.

Thursday should be sunny with a high near 40 degrees. Friday’s forecast calls for sun and a high near 50 degrees.

“It’s just a lot less snow, for one thing, so hopefully it won’t be as severe as the last snow we saw,” said Jenny O’Quinn, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation. “Temperatures won’t be as low as we last saw.”

Temperatures should start around 33 degrees but drop to 26 degrees by 3 p.m. Wednesday. Winds as fast as 30 miles per hour are expected between Wednesday morning and night, and should be strongest along the coast.

VDOT pretreated interstates Monday and continued treating interstates, primary and secondary roads Tuesday, said Paula Miller, spokeswoman for VDOT.

Quinn said VDOT allocated more than $210 million for snow removal across the state, based on the average expenditure on snow removal the last five seasons. Last year, VDOT budgeted $214 million and spent $147 million, she said. VDOT has spent about $48 million across the state, not counting some recent invoices that haven’t been processed, O’Quinn said.

Hampton’s Public Works Department started pretreating city roads Tuesday and has nearly 600 tons of salt with more coming, the city said in a news release. Crews will start 12-hour shifts Wednesday and continue until the snowfall and cleanup is over, the release stated.

In Newport News, crews started 12-hour shifts Tuesday in preparation of snow and will start at 5 a.m. Wednesday to continue brining and start spreading and plowing snow, said city spokeswoman Kim Lee. The city has 1,700 tons of salt and sand, and 10,000 gallons of brine on hand.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm is coming from the northwest and is predicted to drop between 2 and 4 inches of snow across the Piedmont and between 1 and 3 inches in central and south-central Virginia into Northampton, N.C. A winter weather advisory is in place in that region, too.

In anticipation of snow, AAA Tidewater encouraged drivers to keep a well-stocked winter-weather kit in the car. That includes a blanket, ice scraper, flashlight, jumper cables and shovel. Experts also recommend dressing as if you’ll be stranded — just in case — and lifting windshield wipers off the glass and bring snow clearing supplies inside in case cars get frozen shut. It also is a good idea to check antifreeze to make sure it’ll withstand the winter cold and backing the car into the parking spot to make it easier to drive out.

Mishkin can be reached by phone at 757-641-6669. Follow her on Twitter at @KateMishkin.

Copyright © 2018, The Virginia Gazette
52°