RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re driving in Virginia, you may encounter some weather-related obstacles.
If you’re traveling west, you could face some wintry weather starting very early Thursday morning before sunrise. A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of West Virginia until Thursday afternoon. Dry shade, ice and mixed precipitation is likely along all of Interstate-81. This will change to rain between 11am and 1pm, however, there may be slick roads until then.
If you wait until Friday to travel west, you’ll run into a few more problems starting early Friday morning. An arctic front will slide through West Virginia and the I-81 corridor Friday morning bringing rain and less than half an inch of snow. The biggest issue will be the possibility of a flash freeze. Any precipitation on the road will freeze as the cold air is quickly filtered.
Saturday will be unseasonably cold with wind chills below zero in the mountains and valleys. It will be dry, but the cold air can affect car batteries.
If you’re traveling along the Interstate-95 corridor to Washington, DC and other points north over the next few days, you’ll encounter similar problems. Flash freezing will be the most annoying issue you will encounter.
Thursday’s forecast for most of I-95 looks wet. Rain is likely along the I-95 corridor throughout the day Thursday, which will create slick roads and problems. Be sure to drive slowly and turn on your headlights and windshield wipers.
The biggest problem travelers will face along I-95 will be Friday. Behind the arctic front, extremely cold temperatures are expected to filter in very quickly. A quick freeze is likely in the interstate region which will create major problems. The area of greatest concern for any quick freeze will be from Central Virginia to New York.
Temperatures won’t warm enough to melt any ice that builds up on unpaved roads Saturday, which will create major problems on any back roads.
For those of you traveling to Tidewater or Virginia Beach, tomorrow will be a very wet day with rain developing first thing in the morning and continuing throughout the day. Rain will become steady to heavy at times and we may experience road flooding which will slow travel. After the rain ends, we’ll see a big change early Friday as the arctic front moves through. Every road will have the potential to develop black ice as temperatures drop to freezing in the morning. The other concern is that high winds could close or limit travel on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
If you’re driving anywhere this holiday season, be careful on the road. Check your tires, batteries and coolant before you hit the road and don’t forget to pack an emergency kit with blankets and water just in case.