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UPDATE: Ice transitions to rain and strong winds ahead this evening

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Update 4 p.m. Sunday

For most of metro Richmond, the snow has given way to sleet, also known as ice pellets. Snow totals have been close to expected, averaging about an inch, with locations on the east side of the city getting even less — only trace amounts.

Temperatures have been creeping through the middle and upper 20s through the afternoon as the precipitation has generally been light. Less than a quarter-inch of liquid equivalent precipitation has fallen to this point in the storm.  

More snow has fallen west of Richmond, and travel conditions have correspondingly been worse there, but there will be no more snow from this storm for Richmond, as transition from sleet to freezing rain is in progress.

Early this evening, the center of the storm will pass over Virginia. This will give about 2-3 hours of heavy rain and increase the winds from the east. The east winds should provide enough warming to get the temperatures above freezing for a few hours during the period of heaviest rain, eliminating the risk of massive icing of trees and power lines across the metro area.

All significant precipitation will end by midnight. However, the stronger winds that develop this evening, when combined with leftover ice and snow already on surfaces, will lead to scattered power outages this evening and overnight. Daybreak temperatures will retreat to the lower 30s by dawn.

The winds will increase to 15-25 mph, with some gusts briefly to 40 mph this evening. After a lull in the winds late at night, they will pick up again early Monday morning, bouncing back to about 10-20 mph and staying in place most of Monday. 

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Highs on Monday will creep into the lower 40s with a partly to mostly cloudy sky, so there will be time for cleaning up. And fortunately, no massive deep freeze will immediately follow this storm.


Update 11 a.m. Sunday

Snow started an hour or two ahead of schedule, but has overspread metro Richmond and already coated most surfaces.

Sleet is advancing from south central Virginia, and the changeover to sleet and freezing rain is still expected during the early afternoon central Virginia.

Snow accumulation averaging about an inch or so across metro Richmond, but upwards of 2-3 inches in some of the heavier bands of snow before the changeover. Those higher amounts will generally be on the western side of the city, where the snow started a little earlier and the change to sleet and freezing rain will be take slightly longer to occur.

Travel has already become difficult in the southwestern quarter of the state, where the snow started earlier in the morning. Snow and slush have accumulated on Interstate 81 and US 220 south of Roanoke and US 29 south of Lynchburg.

snow forecast AKQ Sunday morning

Total snowfall forecast issued Sunday morning. (NWS Wakefield)

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