Here is a view of the European Model forecast for 7pm on Wednesday, March 7th. It is essentially showing snow falling over the entire state of Virginia. The European Model has really been quite consistent in it's handling of this storm in recent days. In fact, all of the various computer models have consistently showed a major storm impacting Virginia starting Tuesday lasting into Wednesday night. It's also fairly clear that we will start off as rain over most of central Virginia on Tuesday and then change over to snow during the day Wednesday.
It will likely be raining when you wake up early Wednesday morning here in metro Richmond. Areas to the west may already being seeing the wet snow. The rain changes to a heavy, wet, slushy snow here in Richmond later in the morning and that rain/snow line should slowly progress south and east from mid-day into the afternoon.
The big question that remains, how much snow will we see when all is said and done? One problem, temperatures will be above the freezing mark much of the day Wednesday, even with snow coming down. With it being the first week of March, the sun is higher in the sky and although we won't see the sun, some of the sun's energy will still be able to get through the clouds and provide some warming to the ground. What we will need is very heavy snowfall rates to overcome some of these other negative factors. This particular storm system will have that potential to produce some very impressive snowfall rates. However, it won't necessarily produce these optimal snowfall rates uniformly over our entire area so snowfall totals could vary considerably.
Right now, we think 4"+ is still a possiblility in metro Richmond with heavier amounts in areas well west and northwest of the city. Areas south and east of Richmond will see less snow and perhaps significantly less should snowfall rates be less than optimal in these areas. We will be looking at all the available data tonight and tomorrow morning and should be able to put out a first guess map sometime on Monday. As we all know, these types of storms can and do change. Just a subtle change in the track can make a big difference. Stay tuned for regular updates!
Have a great night!