Light snow could begin sometime around 2pm tomorrow afternoon for areas west of I-95. Most of us may not see any flakes until after 4pm - possibly lasting up until Midnight. That seems like a long time for the snow to pile up, but because of the lack of moisture our totals will be fairly low around metro Richmond. Higher totals will be over southern and southeastern VA as an area of low pressure develops near northeastern North Carolina tomorrow evening.
Morning commuters shouldn't have any trouble in the morning (except the cold), but the evening commutes could be accompanied by snow.
The air arriving tonight is going to be drier than any we've seen this winter or even last winter. With dry air comes low humidity and with low humidity sometimes comes gas station fires/explosions like the one in the link below. The reason is static electricity is higher when the air is dry. A spark from static electricity can start a fire.
Three quick refueling rules from the Petroleum Equipment Institute
1. Turn off engine.
2. Don't smoke.
3. Never re-enter your vehicle while refueling.
The Institute also adds on its website that cell phones do NOT cause fires at the pump.
So far, we have been unable to document any incidents that were sparked by a cellular telephone. In fact, many researchers have tried to ignite fuel vapors with a cell phone and failed.
So, bundle up for the cold and STAY IN THE COLD while you fuel your car. Especially with dry arctic air arrives!
Congratulations to Teresa Bennett for winning our NBC12 "Snowcaster of the Year" award! Teresa correctly predicted our first inch of snow at RIC this year (January 17th, 7pm). You can find her interview here - http://www.nbc12.com/category/240224/video-landing-page?clipId=8206586&autostart=true
There were a LOT of entries, and it was a close call. Some only a couple of hours off! Here are the runner ups:
1.) Teresa Bennett
2.) Sam Long - Jan 17th 5pm
3.) Mary Dean Carter - Jan 18th 2am
4.) Tineesha Thomas - Jan 17th 4pm
5.) Page Bishop - Jan 17th 2pm
6.) Linda Shavis - Jan 18th 6am
7.) Amy Taylor - Jan 17th 9:12am
8.) Tricia Pruitt - Jan 18th 10:30am
9.) Yvonne Wood - Jan 17th 2am
Guidance has been hinting at the possibility of rain from another system over southern VA Thursday, possibly changing to snow, Thursday evening. Well, the new model runs of both the NAM and GFS from tonight are showing a larger spread of the moisture northward, and then a period of changeover to wet snow as colder air pushes southward. The rain-soaked, relatively warm ground would most likely preclude any accumulations beyond some on grassy areas. We will be monitoring this closely. -Jim