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Wintry weather kicks off the first week of 2022 after record warmth

A snow-covered tree in Martinsville from December 2017, photo by Dustin Staples

HENRY COUNTY, VA – As we began this year with unseasonably warm temperatures, it is hard to imagine snow is possible overnight Sunday into the early morning hours of Monday.

According to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, a winter storm warning is issued for Franklin County.

A winter weather advisory for Henry and Patrick counties has been issued until noon on January 3.

The National Weather Service says our area could see anywhere from 1 to 4 inches of snow by Monday afternoon.

Windy conditions could also cause blowing snow as the storm system is moving in the region and isolated power outages, especially near and along of the Blue Ridge Parkway in western Patrick County and northern Franklin County.

Something that has made this forecast difficult to predict is how much cold air would be in place, as the moisture is catching up with the storm, and how warm the ground and road surface temperatures have been in the last few days.

The only way our area could see a higher snow accumulation is how fast the snow rates fall as this storm is changing from heavy rain to snow in a matter of hours.

As the storm will be exiting the area around lunchtime, breezy conditions and high temperatures will remain in the low 40's, as wind chills will be in the mid 30's, with a mix of sun and clouds later in the day.

The main concern Monday night and Tuesday morning will be any leftover moisture that will result in a refreeze as temperatures will fall in the upper teens to low 20's, with northwest winds from 5-10 miles per hour.

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