* A prolonged period of freezing rain — 6 hours or more, possibly 12-18 hours at some locations — is likely Sunday into early Monday as mild, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico is pulled in aloft over an increasingly cold Arctic air mass at the surface.
* Most freezing rain is expected to be light to moderate with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice accretion possible on trees, power lines and exposed objects. Sporadic power outages and some damage to tree limbs will occur with ice of that intensity. Greater ice accretion could lead to more widespread power outages, though a widespread devastating or historic ice storm is NOT EXPECTED at this time in our region.
* Precipitation may begin with a period of snow and/or sleet at many locations, as several layers of the atmosphere chill rapidly with moisture falling through very dry air, possibly accumulating an inch or two from the Roanoke/New River valleys northward, perhaps more than 2 inches along/north of I-64 corridor.
* Road surfaces will begin mostly just wet, due to warmth collected this week, but will begin freezing first on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas, and then perhaps elsewhere on roads, as temperatures drop and precipitation continues. Early snow or sleet could lead to slushy accumulations that would freeze later.
* The combination of high pressure to the north pushing Arctic air southward along the east side of the Appalachians AND evaporational cooling as moisture falls through dry layers of air on its way to the surface may cause temperatures to remain steady or drop slowly on Sunday, likely remaining BELOW freezing and possibly as low as the mid 20s in some spots. Temperatures will likely rebound slowly to near or above the freezing mark overnight Sunday into early Monday as mild air flow increases aloft and slowly translates to the surface. Widespread melting of any ice accumulation is unlikely until after sunrise Monday.
* Expected arrival time of precipitation is between midnight and sunrise on Sunday.
* There is a SLIGHT CHANCE that moisture will be weaker and only result in freezing drizzle — a SLIGHT CHANCE that a majority of the precipitation will be snow/sleet and reduce ice accumulations.