Ice accretion reports from around the region (linked here) reveal a couple of eye-popping numbers, such as 0.75-inch at Meadows of Dan in Patrick County, the same at Quinwood, W.Va. (which will probably be among the highest snowfall numbers in a few days) and 1 inch at one location in Watauga County, N.C. Most amounts were in the 0.10 to 0.25 range. It appears there were some larger amounts than those listed in Floyd County and the Bent Mountain area of southern Roanoke County. As serious as the ice got a in a few locations, this could have easily been a much more widespread and severe ice storm with just a little bit stronger cold air damming rather than the retreating and eroding wedge that existed. It wasn’t far off from being that.
Attention now turns to a prolonged below-normal temperature regime that will set up over the southern and eastern U.S. as high pressure over Canada traps Arctic air to the south. This will begin to take hold in Southwest Virginia late Wednesday, when the westernmost of two low-pressure systems with the complex system that brought us rain and ice Tuesday drags a cold front through. Some showers — first rain as highs climb into the 40s and 50s, later snow — may break out with this frontal passage. The low is going to lollygag east-northeastward through the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, so its circulation will be whipping in a cold, windy northwest flow Thursday into the weekend. That flow lifting over the mountains will trigger a lengthy period of upslope snow showers and squalls, dropping several inches over 2-3 days in West Virginia’s mountains, and spreading periods of accumulating snow into the mountains west of Interstate 77 and near the Virginia-West Virginia border as well. At times, these snow showers will even creep into the New River Valley and perhaps even the Roanoke Valley, possibly enhanced a bit at times as some hard-to-time weak disturbances move through the northwest flow. Temperatures will move downward, with 30s/40s highs and teens/20s lows Thursday through early next week, at least. Normal high/low for late February/early March are mid 40s/mid 20s at Blacksburg and low 50s/low 30s for Roanoke — we could be about 10 degrees below those by the weekend.
There are two more substantial disturbances moving through to monitor for some potential of more widespread snow in or near our region. The first pushes through on Saturday, likely zipping somewhat to our south across the Carolinas. A second one, likely stronger, may stir up a low-pressure system and cold front toward the Monday night-Tuesday period of next week. Just file that away in the back of your mind for the moment until more details become clearer.