Last Updated By: Jim and Matt
10:45pm: The storm has ended, but now with plummeting temperatures there will be the danger for water and slush freezing very quickly, and black ice on the roads and sidewalks will be widespread early in the morning Friday. Use EXTRA caution driving.
Storm totals ranged from an inch or two across the Richmond metro area, to 3" in Ashland, and 4-6" from Louisa to portions of the Northern Neck.
9:20pm: A few rogue flurries across the area, but nothing that's reducing visibility like earlier. These will linger for a couple more hours, but after midnight, clouds will begin to decrease from north to south. A hard freeze is expected across all of Central Virginia. Temperatures will fall into the low to mid teens in the Richmond metro area and possibly the single digits north of town. This will cause all the snow and sleet that fell today to stick around. Icy spots are likely through the overnight and morning hours tomorrow, especially on secondary and neighborhood roads. Use caution if you have to travel.
8:25pm: Here is a list of snow reports received so far by the National Weather Service office in Wakefield. Notice the wide range in totals. Up to 6 inches in some spots in northern Central Virginia, but less than an inch for some folks farther south.
********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL******************** LOCATION STORM TOTAL TIME/DATE COMMENTS SNOWFALL OF /INCHES/ MEASUREMENT MARYLAND ...DORCHESTER COUNTY... CAMBRIDGE 4.0 620 PM 3/05 BROADCAST MEDIA 3 NW MADISON 2.0 330 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER ...SOMERSET COUNTY... PRINCESS ANNE 1.8 620 PM 3/05 BROADCAST MEDIA ...WICOMICO COUNTY... SHARPTOWN 4.5 620 PM 3/05 BROADCAST MEDIA 2 N SALISBURY 4.0 800 PM 3/05 BROADCAST MEDIA PITTSVILLE 3.0 620 PM 3/05 BROADCAST MEDIA SALISBURY 2.5 610 PM 3/05 PUBLIC VIRGINIA ...CAROLINE COUNTY... RUTHER GLEN 5.0 610 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER BOWLING GREEN 1.5 230 PM 3/05 SNOW AND SLEET ...CHESTERFIELD COUNTY... 2 WNW WOODVALE 1.0 441 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER MIDLOTHIAN 1.0 610 PM 3/05 AMATEUR RADIO SCREAMERSVILLE 0.3 530 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE ...FLUVANNA COUNTY... PALMYRA 5.0 408 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER COLUMBIA 4.0 610 PM 3/05 AMATEUR RADIO ...GOOCHLAND COUNTY... SANDY HOOK 2.3 425 PM 3/05 PUBLIC ...HANOVER COUNTY... ASHLAND 1.0 413 PM 3/05 SNOW AND SLEET ...HENRICO COUNTY... TUCKAHOE 1.5 645 PM 3/05 SNOW AND SLEET RICHMOND 0.3 700 PM 3/05 SNOW AND SLEET ...KING AND QUEEN COUNTY... NEWTOWN 4.0 715 PM 3/05 PUBLIC ...LOUISA COUNTY... 5 NW LOUISA 6.0 520 PM 3/05 SNOW HAS STOPPED MINERAL 6.0 530 PM 3/05 PUBLIC APPLE GROVE 5.0 418 PM 3/05 PUBLIC 1 NNE ZION CROSSROAD 3.5 320 PM 3/05 COCORAHS ...MATHEWS COUNTY... GWYNN 0.5 800 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER ...POWHATAN COUNTY... 1 SSE TAMWORTH 1.5 500 PM 3/05 PUBLIC ...RICHMOND COUNTY... NEWLAND 6.0 720 PM 3/05 PUBLIC ...WESTMORELAND COUNTY... 5 NW WESTMORELAND 6.0 700 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE
8:00pm: Band of moderate snow has now pushed south of the Tri-Cities as it continues to lose intensity. Folks in our most southern counties will see some of this snow, but accumulations are expected to be under an inch. We have now seen the bulk of accumulating snow come to an end for the Richmond metro area. As you can see on the radar image below, there are a couple more thin bands of snow still making their way south. This will cause some occasional lingering flurries for the next few hours across the area, but they won't add to our snow totals much.
7:20pm: Band of moderate to heavy snow has now passed downtown Richmond and continues its trek south. Now in southern Chesterfield county and working towards the Tri-Cities. The band stretches to the northeast through the Northern Neck and to the southwest through Nottoway and Lunenburg county. The band is losing its intensity some, but will still squeeze out a quick inch or two. Light snow continues for Richmond and areas immediately north, though that should be coming to an end in the next hour.
6:49pm: Finally saw the changeover to snow in RVA over the past hour. Still looking for it to taper and end between 8-9pm, but accumulations of up to an inch or so on top of the sleet will be possible.
5:34pm: RVA remains mostly light sleet and freezing drizzle, with an icy glaze building. Temperatures aloft are just starting to get sufficiently cold for snow. Late this afternoon, most snow has been focused north and west of Richmond. We could still see some light snow into early evening, but all precipitation will be tapering and ending between 7-9pm, so our main issue overnight will be freezing of water on roads with temperatures tumbling into the teens later tonight.
4:36pm: The sleet is changing over to snow over metro RVA, but mainly over northern and western suburbs. Warm air aloft between 5K-10K has kept the sleet going for RVA. Heavy snow has been ongoing this afternoon just to the north, including Hanover, Louisa, Goochland Counties, and points north, with several inches accumulation in some spots north of RVA. Due to the late changeover from RVA and to the south, only light amounts of snow are expected before all precipitation tapers off between 7-9pm. Areas to the north where heavy snow has been falling can expect to see tapering off as well, but with a possible additional accumulation of a couple of inches. Here's the latest radar.
12:06pm: Storm Prediction Center issues a mesoscale discussion--tracking potential heavy snow in our Northern Counties. Our 3-5" snow zone could end up higher than that in spots. (see snow map at bottom of this post" Note: 21-00z means 4pm to 7pm EST.
11:34am: Traffic reporter Candice Smith reports lots of accidents in Henrico. Yes, it's "only" sleet and not snow yet, but please drive carefully anyway.!
11:30am. Forecast on schedule, but with new computer guidance coming in and with the snow POURING down on DC, we are looking like reaching the high end of the forecast for our northern zones. This would be for those of you in the 3-5" zone north of town.
Sleet falling now in RVA
@AndrewNBC12 I hear sleet on the windows. Canterbury near Gayton.— AlienAiden (@AlienAiden) March 5, 2015
10:06am: Also sleeting in Western Goochland and in Caroline. Still just rain in the Richmond Metro.
9: 47am: sleet is covering the ground in Bumpass (Louisa) and on the Northern Neck. We expect the sleet to progress south during the morning.
"Early morning update previous update below"
Temperatures are falling --At 4:00 AM, Richmond was at 46°. Now, we're in the mid 30s. This slow cooling trend will continue into the afternoon. We think we'll be down to 32° by noon in Richmond. This will happen sooner NORTH of town and a bit later as you travel farther south.
The transition from precipitation type to precipitation type will occur from north to south, so we're keeping our eyes on northern Virginia this morning. DC's suburbs are cooling and are at or below freezing in a few spots (as of 8:00 AM).
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK will occasionally issue these "statements" called "Mesoscale Discussions." Their latest update places the Shenandoah Valley and northern Virginia in a bullseye for increasingly heavy snow through late morning and into the afternoon. Locally, rates may exceed 1 inch per hour. I'm attaching their map below. If you're traveling west or north into the pink shaded area this morning, use extreme caution.
Here in Richmond, we'll continue to see periods of rain through the morning before the sub-freezing air arrives. The timing of our impending subfreezing air will be CRUCIAL to when the change from rain to sleet and then snow occurs. This will have a major impact on total snowfall accumulations. (For example, a prolonged period of sleet could reduce snowfall totals. A quicker transition to snow could increase our totals.)
Here's our thinking now:
Midday: Sleet (Snow possible north of RVA)
Afternoon: Snow (overnight computer models are indicating this will be holding off until 3 or 4 in Richmond). Snow may be heavy at times, reducing visibility and making travel hazardous.
Speaking of travel, road conditions will become more dicey as the afternoon goes on. With temperatures expected to fall into the upper 20s by late afternoon, the evening commute could be particularly hazardous. Temperatures will continue to fall during the night, with lows Friday morning expected to be in the low to mid teens. (We are forecasting a low of 12°. If that verifies, it would be a RECORD. The old record is 15°, set back in 1960.)
NOTE: a prolonged period of sleet would DECREASE these totals. A quicker transition to SNOW from SLEET or RAIN would INCREASE these totals. That would give us about 4"-6" in Richmond.
Live blogging will also continue through the morning