So, I have literally drawn up 2 different maps I want to use. All model data-- GFS, GGEM, EURO..etc have a decent snow along 460 with sleet getting close at some point. Just south of that, sleet mixes and then near the VA/NC border there is a raging ice storm.
With that, The NAM- North American model pulls the ice well north of 460 (Meaning Blacksburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg and we get hardly any snow and instead get a pain in the butt ice storm. Let's be honest-- ice is boring, then it gets destructive (Let's talk about that in a bit too)
4 to 8PM- most areas start as snow. Peak times that may mix along 460 will be 5 am to 10 am Sunday AM. South of that area mixing will be a problem much of the event.
The heaviest stuff may be out of there by noon tomorrow but flurries and snow showers may linger well into Sunday evening.
I cleaned up my map but my call will remain about the same. Along 460 that sleet line will set up. If you get sleet, it will reduce the numbers quite a bit, but for the areas that stay all snow, this will be a nice event.
If things go ice- The NAM model is on an island making it ice well to our north. This is what falls as snow and the rest is ice.
This would be a sleety, crunchy mess.
If we can max out the potential-- The Canadian models which tend to do well in el nino winters think we could approach double digits, with a sharp cut off to the south that has dominant sleet and ice fall.
It is not unprecidented to have such a sharp cut off from snow to ice, but it's not that common. There is usually a step down. Someone compared this event to February 1996 event where Forest and Boonesboro had 15 inches, 11 inches at the airport where there was some sleet and then down to 3 inches of sleet from Altavista to Brooknearl.
Looking forward, our cold and stormy pattern is setting up. Next weekend, The Weekend of January 19th has a blip on the radar. There was an extreme event on the Euro last night where a storm arrives as cold artic air plunges in. We struggled to add depth of cold air and get 1-2 inches of freezing rain.
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Expect updates during the storm on my social media accounts.