RICHMOND (WRIC)—The ABC 8 News StormTracker weather team is keeping a close eye on an ice storm that is scheduled to hit Central Virginia on Sunday, Dec. 8. Power outages could become an issue, along with hazardous road conditions.
On Friday, the cold front will approach the area and the risk of scattered showers will increase during the afternoon and evening hours; highs will range from 66 to 73 degrees. Showers that we will see Friday night are with a cold front that is opening the door for cold Arctic air to move in over us as the weekend progresses.
Saturday we will see a few showers in the southern part of the metro Richmond area, with a few breaks in the afternoon clouds; highs will only rebound back to around 50 degrees. On Saturday night, cold, dry air will filter in and drive our overnight lows into the upper 20s and around 30 degrees.
We will have a large dome of cold air trapped at the surface from west of I-95 to the mountains. At the start, the cold air will be deep enough to give us some sleet for most areas west of I-95, but then as Sunday progresses, this will start to change over to freezing rain. The combination of sleet, then freezing rain on top will make roads icy.
Once the freezing rain gets going, the issue will become power lines and tree branches. Eventually, we will see a changeover to rain from southeast to northwest in the area. The changeover to all rain will occur in the metro Richmond area in the late afternoon to early evening hours on Sunday. However, west of US-522 it will take much longer, so this is the area that will have the greatest potential for ice accumulation.
Areas west of Louisa, Goochland, Powhatan and Amelia counties could see up to 1/4″ or more of ice accumulation. Those in the metro Richmond area will see 1/10″ to 1/4″ of ice accumulation. Coastal areas will see mostly rain and minimal icing. Overall, areas east of I-95 will fare better than areas west of US-522, where we could potentially see some major issues.
Warmer air will move in on Sunday night, and temperatures will go well above freezing on Monday.
Stay with ABC 8 News on air and online throughout this and other winter storms that will affect our area this season.
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