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Blog: Snow is falling in the region. Now wind, icing and extreme temperatures.

The snow started last night. It started sticking a little earlier than expected.

Satellite/Radar last night

So when I went to bed I was curious what I was going to wake up to. It was pretty much what I expected, but there was a pleasant surprise! The roads had melted a bit. So there was a solid 3-4″ on the grass, but there was only about an inch or two of slush on the road. Then I got on the highways and they looked pretty good.

Western Branch on-ramp (vehicle has been stopped)

Even in downtown Portsmouth there was a lot of melting on the roads.

Portsmouth city center (vehicle has been stopped)

Snow was falling pretty well over much of the area this morning. Then it slowly started to fade from west to east.

Snow showers will end this morning. then we will gradually have clear skies with cold winds throughout the day. I’ll talk more about the winds in a minute. First of all, what about snowfall?

Here is my forecast from yesterday morning. (About 24 hours ago).

Snow forecast (yesterday)

The forecast went pretty well overall, but there were people in Norfolk and Virginia Beach who were probably “disappointed.” We have had various reports of snow in Virginia Beach. Some only had about an inch of snow. Some others were around 3-4″. Here is the close view of the snowfall map.

Estimated Snow Totals

Part of Virginia Beach didn’t hit freezing point until about 8:30 a.m. Norfolk fell to freezing point around 4am. So there was a lot of melting at the northern end of those towns. The wind was blowing strong from the north in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Who was out of the water. Water temperatures on the bay are between the high 30s and near 40 degrees. Meanwhile, some places away from the water dropped to the low 30s much earlier. So it was a steep incline. Here is the larger map. I’ve pieced it together, but I’d like to have a few more reports.

Estimated Snowfall Totals

The east coast got that 5-10″. The snow was also blowing. So the blizzard warnings there have come true. It was a little more than expected on the Middle Peninsula. Again, overall it was pretty good!

The weather went as planned although minor details varied. The low pressure has moved offshore. Now it becomes a major northeast for the northeastern states. The cold front moved slowly from the northwest.

Regional weather map

During the day, the wind will be blowing from the north/northwest at 30-35 mph. There will be a few gusts to 40 mph near the shore.

Wind gust forecast

Temperatures were in the high 30s this morning, but will only be in the upper 20s this afternoon. Wind chills will be in the teens and twenties.

Temperature Forecast/Wind Chill

Skies will gradually clear as drier air filters and high pressure build up. Tonight we will have mostly clear to partly cloudy skies. The winds will ease a little. They will come out of the north at 10-15 mph with gusts at 20 mph. There will be gusts to 25 mph near the shore tonight. Those north with will pull down some arctic air. So tomorrow morning temperatures will drop to the teens, and they may be in the single digits inland. Wind chill can be close to zero degrees for some. Here is our forecast model. I think it will be a little lower.

Wind chill forecast

In addition to dangerous wind chills, these temperatures will cause icing problems. Even the treated roads that are wet today are likely to refreeze tonight with these temperatures. There will likely be patches of ice and sleet tomorrow morning throughout the area, along with snow on the grass and boardwalks. It will therefore be difficult to go to Sunday services. Also, the air will be so cold tonight that most people in the area should slowly drain the taps. Keep cabinets open so that softer air gets under sinks and mixes.

Tomorrow will be cold, dry and windy. High temperatures will be in the upper 30s. We will be partly sunny. So there should be some melting and drying. We will be in our 40s early next week. Then the high temperatures will be near 60 on Thursday! wow!

By the way…there was some minor tidal flooding this morning, but not much in the future. There could be a little flooding on the sound side this evening with the northwest wind. It should be minor.

This system is hitting the northeastern states hard today. Total snowfall will be around 1-2 feet in some areas.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler