RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The holidays are right around the corner and if you are driving in Virginia, you might run into a couple of weather-related roadblocks.
If you are traveling west, you may run into some winter weather starting very early Thursday morning before sunrise. Winter weather advisories are in effect for much of western Virginia until Thursday afternoon. Sleet, ice and mixed precipitation are likely along the entirety of Interstate 81. This will transition to rain between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., however, slick roads are possible until that time.
If you wait until Friday to travel west, you will run into a few more problems starting early Friday morning. The arctic front will slide through western 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 roadway will freeze as the cold air quickly filters in.
Saturday will be extremely cold with wind chills well below zero in the mountains and the valley. It will be dry, but the cold air may affect car batteries.
If you are traveling along the Interstate 95 corridor to Washington, D.C. and other points north over the next several days, you are going to run into similar problems. Flash freezing will be the most concerning issue that you will encounter.
Thursday’s forecast for most of I-95 looks wet. Rain is likely along the I-95 corridor throughout the day on Thursday, which will create slick roadways and create issues. Make sure to drive slowly and turn your headlights on with your windshield wipers.
The biggest problem travelers will encounter along I-95 will be on Friday. Behind the arctic front, extremely cold temperatures are expected to filter in very quickly. A flash freeze is likely on the interstate which will create huge problems. The biggest area of concern for any flash freezing will be from Central Virginia through New York.
Temperatures will not warm up enough to melt any ice that forms on untreated roadways on Saturday, which will create major problems on any backroads.
For those of you driving to the Tidewater or Virginia Beach, tomorrow will be a very wet day with rain developing first thing in the morning and continuing all day. The rain will become steady to heavy at times and we could experience ponding of water on the roads, which will slow down travel. After the rain comes to an end we will see quite a change early on Friday as the arctic front pushes through. Any roadway will have the potential to develop black ice as the temperatures plummet during the morning to below freezing. The other concern is that the strong winds might close or restrict travel on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
If you are driving anywhere this holiday season, be careful on the roadways. Check your tires, batteries and coolant before hitting the road and remember to pack an emergency kit with blankets and water just in case.
Stay with WRIC 8 News for the latest weather updates through the Christmas Weekend.