Winter Storm Warning for Central Virginia; State of Emergency Declared

December 18, 2009

The National Weather Service is reporting a winter storm warning in effect from Friday afternoon through early Sunday morning.

Shortly after the warning was issued, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments responding to the winter storm that will affect the Commonwealth Friday and Saturday.

“The snowfall amounts along with strong winds could cause serious problems, including power outages, throughout much of Virginia,” Governor Kaine said. “Virginians need to pay attention to their local weather forecasters, avoid travel, and prepare to be on their own for up to 72 hours.”

The winter storm warning is in effect for Charlottesville, Washington, Culpeper, Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Orange County, Greene County, Madison County, Albemarle County, Nelson County, and Fauquier County, among others in Virginia.

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. In addition, snowfall intensities will be heavy enough to substantially reduce visibilities at times.

Rain will change over to snow Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday. Snowfall will be heavy at times Friday night and Saturday morning.

Total snowfall accumulation of 10 to 15 inches is expected by Saturday evening, with locally higher amounts possible across the highest elevations.

Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 20s to lower 30s during the snowfall. It will also be windy outside, with winds expected to gust from 10 to 15 mph. On Sunday, winds could go as high as 25 mph.

Travel is discouraged. If travel is unavoidable, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of emergency.

Virginians can check road conditions before they leave home by calling 511 or logging on to the 511 website. More information about winter weather preparedness is also available at the Virginia Department of Emergency website.

The Newsplex will have the latest on any snow developments on 19News Nightcast and starting at 6:30am Saturday live on CBS19.

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