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Frigid weather is headed this way

Friday, January 3, 2014

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Get ready for bone-chilling temperatures over the next few days.

Although today will be sunny, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing, with a daytime high of near 30 degrees and an overnight low near 15, the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg reported Thursday.

High winds will make the weather seem colder today. Winds of 17 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph, are expected this morning, but they should drop to 10 to 15 mph by this afternoon, the forecast showed.

The “wind chill” — how the cold temperatures and the wind together feel to exposed skin — is expected to drop to 10 degrees or lower by this morning, according to a statement on the weather service’s website.

Meteorologists have issued a wind advisory until noon today for the Henry County-Martinsville area. Winds could be high enough to make driving hard, blow around loose items such as garbage cans and lawn furniture, and blow down power lines, the advisory said.

Winds are expected to become calm by tonight.

The sun will shine through Saturday, causing temperatures to rise to about 40 degrees. But rain is anticipated Saturday night and Sunday, the forecast showed. With Saturday night’s low temperature expected to be about 27 degrees, rain could freeze on roads and other surfaces.

Any freezing rain is expected to turn to all rain by mid-morning Sunday, when temperatures are expected to climb to near 47 degrees. But then rain and snow showers will be likely Sunday night and Monday, with an overnight low near 32 degrees — the freezing point — and a high near 41.

“Overall amounts (of precipitation) don’t look pretty impressive,” said Michael Sporer, a meteorological intern with the weather service.

The weather is expected to clear by Monday night, but Mother Nature then will usher in more frigid temperatures, the weather service reported.

A low temperature of about 11 degrees — yes, that is Fahrenheit — is forecast for Monday night.

Tuesday’s high temperature is expected to be near 25 degrees, with a low of 13 expected that night. Wednesday’s daytime temperature is forecast to rise into the mid-30s.

Average highs in Southside are in the mid-40s, with lows around 30, at this time of year, according to the weather service.

Weather-wise, “we’re on a little bit of a roller coaster” for the near future, Sporer said.

He blamed the chill on “brief shots of arctic air” coming Virginia’s way, not a lengthy trend. He said an outlook by the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center shows “relatively normal conditions” for most of the winter locally.

Daytime temperatures are expected to be back in the 40s late next week, Sporer said.

With spring more than two months away, Sporer said there is “no way” that forecasters can determine right now whether the area will avoid a major bout of snow or ice this winter.

March 20 will be the first day of spring.

 

 
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