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Updated snow totals as winter storm watch expands to Richmond metro

RICHMOND, Va. -- A disturbance will cause some scattered light snow Thursday night into Friday morning, but of greater importance is the stronger system arriving late Friday.

A winter storm watch has already been issued for central and southeastern Virginia from Friday evening into Saturday, including the Richmond area.

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This system is currently in the Rockies and will track across the Plains and towards the Mid-Atlantic over the next 48 hours.  The center of the storm will pass through the Carolinas, and our viewing area will be on the northwestern side of the storm. 

This will keep the highest snow totals across northeastern North Carolina up to Hampton Roads.  It will also keep cold air in place with temperatures during the snow event ranging from the mid 20s to around 30°.

Snow should begin after the Friday evening commute and continue into Saturday morning.  Parts of southeastern Virginia may briefly begin as rain or a mix, but will quickly change over to snow.  Temperatures Friday evening will be in the 30s but will drop into the 20s overnight, making the snow very powdery by daybreak.

Snow will taper off from northwest to southeast by early afternoon Saturday.   Highs will be around freezing.  Snowfall accumulations will be lightest across far northwestern Virginia, and heaviest closer to Virginia Beach.

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For the Richmond metro area, an accumulation of at least three inches is expected.  Areas far north and west of Richmond should see one to three inches.  Locations in far southeastern Virginia will pick up over six inches of snow.  Areas closer to Virginia Beach may receive over nine inches of snowfall.

The storm is still very far away, and a change in track of just 50 to 100 miles will be the difference between a few flakes and many inches of snow.  We will continue to refine the snowfall accumulation forecast Thursday night through Friday.

Very cold air will remain in place for the first half of the week.  Highs will be in the lower 30s and overnight lows will be in the single digits and teens.  Any melting that occurs in the sunlight will refreeze after sunset on untreated surfaces.  Warmer temperatures will move in towards the end of the week.

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