UPDATE, Sunday, Dec. 9, 6:30 a.m.: The Williamsburg area is still out of the main impact area of winter storm Diego. Expect 1-3 inches of snow early Sunday, changing over to rain in the afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Light winds. Chance of precip 100%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.
The story is different if you’re headed over toward Richmond: According to the weather channel, morning snow will change over to a wintry mix this afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Light winds Chance of precip 100%. 5 to 8 inches of snow and ice expected.
There will be no Christmas shopping in a winter wonderland in Williamsburg this weekend.
As a snowstorm barrels toward Virginia, the National Weather Service said Hampton Roads will be spared the worst of the storm and, instead, experience rain from Sunday into Monday.
With chances for precipitation nearing 70 percent, the National Weather Service calls for rain or snow across a broad swath of the south from Virginia to Arkansas and Florida.
Less than an inch of snow is expected to accumulate in Williamsburg, according to the forecasts. The area could see a slushy mix of snow and rain that could make roads dangerous for motorists Monday morning.
The National Weather Service at Wakefield continues to predict a brisk weekend with high temperatures in the high 30s or low 40s and low temperatures below freezing in Williamsburg, according to the forecasts.
Williamsburg should expect small wind gusts of 20-25 miles per hour.
To be sure, the storm could still change paths. It could slow down or speed up. Even a minor shift in its forecasted track could substantially change local impacts, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters’ confidence continued to rise Friday that any snow accumulations will mainly fall south of Interstate 64 and west of Interstate 95, according to the National Weather Service at Wakefield.
Richmond, for example, is at higher risk for the winter storm than Greater Williamsburg, according to the forecasts. The state capital should expect between one and two inches of snow, while further toward the peninsulas should expect a dusting.
In West Point, the National Weather Service has called for less than an inch of snow, but that icy-mix of rain and snow could make the bridges to the Middle Peninsula messy.
Though that’s exactly what the Virginia Department of Transportation has prepared for.
VDOT has 470 pieces of snow removal equipment ready to hit the roads including plow trucks and salt spreaders, according to a VDOT news release.
Just in the Hampton Roads district, VDOT has nearly 25,000 tons of salt, 15,000 tons of sand and more than 150,000 gallons of salt brine at the ready to ensure every state-maintained road is passable within 48 hours of the end of a winter storm.
While crews will focus on the roads that are more heavily trafficked, VDOT said they have the staff in place to clean up the state road system.
Driving in poor weather conditions safety tips
Slow down, but don’t drive so slowly that you endanger other drivers.
If you feel your tires slipping, ease off the gas pedal but don’t hit the brakes. Sudden changes in momentum can make it more difficult for you to be able to stop the vehicle.
Pack a winter survival kit in your car — sand to put under your tires for extra grip, water and a snack, a cloth to dry foggy windows, a flashlight, jumper cables and a tow rope if you have one.
Wear warm clothes — you might be comfortable inside your car while it’s on, but if you crash you might not be able to rely on your car’s heater.
Problems on the road?
Check the latest traffic conditions by calling 511, check at 511virginia.org or follow @511hamptonroads on Twitter.
To report road hazards, call VDOT’s help line at 1-800-367-7623.
Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.