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Icicles form under the top rail of a fence on Philpott Drive on Tuesday in Bassett. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -

First, the good news. Thanksgiving Day is expected to be mostly sunny.

Now, the bad news. Today will be — you guessed it — rainy.

That is the forecast from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.

The rain that dampened this area Tuesday and is expected to continue today is part of a sprawling storm that started in the West and now is bearing down on the East Coast with a mix of snow and rain, along with gusting winds.

The southern portion of Henry County had received about 3 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending at mid-evening Tuesday, according to county Public Safety Director Rodney Howell. Almost all other areas of the county had seen about 2 inches of rain in that period, he added.

The ground was dry before the rain started, Howell said, but streams were filling up Tuesday. He said none were at problem levels Tuesday night so no flood warnings were issued.

But if the rain continues as forecast, “we’re definitely going to be on watch” for problems, Howell added.

Heavy rain and breezy conditions are in the forecast today from the Carolinas to the Northeast, with ice and snow a possibility in the Appalachians, western Pennsylvania and western New York, The Associated Press reported.

Between a half and three quarters of an inch of rain was expected overnight in the Henry County area, the weather service reported.

Today’s forecast calls for rain and snow before 2 p.m. and then a 90 percent chance of rain, with a high of 39. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. Winds could gust to 36 mph, the weather service forecasts.

The outlook is more severe for western Patrick County. That county’s schools will open one hour late today, Assistant School Superintendent Dean Gilbert said Tuesday.

Western Patrick is expected to receive a coating of snow — but less than an inch — between midnight and noon today, with “a couple of flakes flying in the afternoon,” said Nick Fillo, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.

He said he was referring to the area along the Blue Ridge Mountains in western Patrick County bordering Carroll and Floyd counties.

Sustained winds from the northwest of around 25 mph with gusts of 35-40 mph are forecast for that area today, but they will relax in the evening, he said. Afternoon temperatures today are forecast to be around freezing in that area, Fillo said.

The Thanksgiving Day forecast calls for mostly clear skies for the region with afternoon wind speeds of 10-15 mph, he said.

High temperatures in the low 40s and low temperatures in the low 20s are forecast for the area for Thursday, he said.

According to the weather service, mostly sunny skies will continue until Sunday night, when there is a 30 percent chance of rain. Highs will be in the mid 40s.

Monday and Tuesday will bring some warming, with forecasted highs of 50 on Monday and 54 on Tuesday.

 

 
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