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UPDATE: Winter storm warning issued
Up to 6 inches expected

Thursday, January 17, 2013

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Henry County and Martinsville, effective until 1 a.m. Friday.

A winter weather advisory that had been in effect Wednesday night was upgraded to the winter storm warning early today.

Total overall snow accumulation of 3 to 6 inches now is expected, with higher amounts possible in isolated locations, the weather service reported.

Rain is expected to change to snow late this afternoon as a low pressure system moves across the Southeast. The low is expected to move off the North Carolina coast by midnight.

Snow is expected to fall heavily — possibily at one to two inches per hour — before ending late tonight, meteorologists said.

Hazardous driving conditions and power failures are possible due to the heavy snow, according to forecasters.

Below is the earlier story on the weather:

Three days after the temperature in Martinsville was 72 degrees, the first major blast of wintry precipitation this season is forecast.

The National Weather Service has placed Henry County and Martinsville under a winter weather advisory from noon today until 1 a.m. Friday.

Up to 4 inches of snow is expected this afternoon and tonight — enough to make driving hazardous, the advisory stated. Locally, a 2-inch accumulation is more likely, a meteorologist said.

Patrick County is under a winter storm warning through the same period. Up to 8 inches of snow may fall there, with higher totals at some higher elevations, the weather service reported.

The heaviest snow is expected to be along and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, according to meteorologists.

A low-pressure system is forecast to move from Mississippi this morning to off the North Carolina coast by Friday morning, bringing rain that will change to snow from northwest to southeast across the region, the advisory said.

Peter Corrigan, a hydrologist at the Blacksburg weather service office, said forecasters actually do not expect much snow accumulation in Southside — perhaps as much as 2 inches overall in the Martinsville area.

On Monday, the temperature reached 72 in Martinsville.

“Obviously the ground is going to be warmish,” Corrigan said, “so 2 inches could be a stretch” of the forecast.

No freezing rain is expected, he said.

Low temperatures are forecast to drop into the low- to mid-20s tonight. However, Corrigan said temperatures may not fall below the freezing point of 32 degrees until after midnight, so roads may not freeze before then.

It is possible that the snow will end before roads turn icy, he added.

Any snow that falls may not linger long. Friday’s high temperatures across the area are expected to reach the lower 40s.

Some of the coldest air of the season, with daytime highs in the 30s, is expected to arrive next week but little, if any, precipitation is anticipated then, Corrigan said.


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