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Ice Storm Leaves Thousands In Central VA Without Power; Another Potential Storm On The Way

Snow and ice covered neighborhoods in Richmond's Museum District
Snow and ice covered neighborhoods in Richmond's Museum District on Saturday. (Roberto Roldan/VPM)

The snow and ice may be melting, but Central Virginia isn’t done just yet with the severe winter weather.

Over the weekend, more than half of the country was under winter weather advisories, from Oregon to Texas. Central Virginia saw about half an inch of snow and ice across the region, causing power outages and downed trees. Outages impacted around 130,000 Dominion Energy customers and 8,200 Rappahannock Electric Cooperative customers. Chesterfield County was one of the hardest hit areas, with about 8,000 customers still without power Monday afternoon. 

It was a historic weather event, says Wayne Albright, a lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Wakefield.

“While the threat exists almost every winter during a winter storm, it’s pretty rare to have an all-freezing-rain event as widespread as it was in Central Virginia,” Alright told VPM in an interview. 

Albright said the last time Central Virginia saw a similar ice storm was December 1998. 

Central Virginia can expect more rain tonight. It’s unlikely to materialize in snow or ice because temperatures will remain above freezing. But Albright said a fourth storm system and cooler air moving into the region late Wednesday could put more snow or ice on the ground locally. 

“There are conflicting signs at the moment as to what the temperatures will be and what the formal precipitation will be, but there are signs that we could be dealing with more ice across portions of Central and South Central Virginia Thursday morning,” Albright told VPM in an interview.  

Albright says the potential ice storm later this week should quickly move away, and this coming weekend will have warmer weather and clear skies. 

 

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