Don’t put away that shovel, more snow could fall today

Posted: January 25, 2013

The Winchester Star

Gemma Snodgrass (from top), Michaela Nicely and Colby Nicely have fun sledding in Jim Barnett Park on Thursday.
Ron Snodgrass of Frederick County gets the sled going by pulling it down a hill. The sled is carrying Michaela Nicely (from top), 10, Ron’s daughter Gemma Snodgrass, 7, and Colby Nicely, 11. The cousins were enjoying a day off from school in Jim Barnett Park on Thursday. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — A fast-moving low-pressure system dumped one to three inches of snow on the Winchester area Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and more could be on the way.

Another front is forecast to stream through the Northern Shenandoah Valley this afternoon and evening.

Meteorologist Heather Sheffield of the National Weather Service said Thursday that today’s system could also drop a little snow, and the below-normal temperatures that iced the area all week will linger through the weekend.

The normal high for this time of year is 40, but the Winchester area has been about 20 degrees below that in recent days — with the temperature dropping as low as zero when the wind chill is factored in.

Sheffield said warmer air is likely coming soon, with temperatures expected to climb into the 50s by the middle of next week. Until then, however, area residents will have to deal with harsher weather.

Sheffield said the high for the Winchester area should be about 25 today, with precipitation beginning this afternoon.

Another inch of snow could accumulate, making for slippery roads during today’s evening rush hour.

The system should be out of the region by Saturday morning, Sheffield said, bringing a return of sunshine but temperatures still in the low 30s.

Winchester typically receives between 20 and 30 inches of snow each winter, according to the National Weather Service. The Virginia Department of Transportation sets the average at 24.3 inches.

The National Weather Service doesn’t keep official totals for Winchester, but measures snow for the region at Dulles International Airport about 50 miles to the southeast.

So far this winter, Dulles has measured fewer than three inches of snow.

Closer to home, Winchester’s Regional Airport measures snow each time it falls.

Airport manager Serena “Renny” Manuel said 112 inches were recorded on Thursday, which adds to the two snowfalls in December: 2 inches on Dec. 24 and 4 inches on Dec. 26-27, for a total of 7 inches so far this season.

Given the local average, and looking ahead to February and March, Sheffield said, “Other snowfalls are not out of the question.”

— Contact Val Van Meter at vvanmeter@winchesterstar.com