Yes, a “big one” is coming and the only real questions now are “how much” and (how long).
(Photos of previous snow storms by Doug Thompson)

Weather forecasters normally give “either or” predictions on what could be “major storms” or more but the snow headed for our region on Friday or Saturday is not one of those “iffy” forecast.

Snow is coming, they predict flatly, and the only real variables are how much will fall and how long it will last.

The National Weather Service overnight changed its prediction from 5-10 inches on Friday to 8-12 and another 1-3 on Saturday/

Roanoke Times weather guru says 10 or more inches.

“That’s my starting point on snow accumulation expectations right now for Friday and Saturday,” he writes.  “Notice I don’t have upper limits on it.”

020610snow3Floyd County, Roanoke Valley and New River Valley are smack in the middle of the “high” (70 percent probability) and Myatt says we could reach “double or triple these initial amounts by Saturday.”

Shoppers preparing for the mess packed grocery stores and other shops Tuesday, stocking up on food, batteries and more.  Antifreeze flowed off the shelves of the local NAPA auto parts store.

A “teaser” of an inch or so could fall Wednesday afternoon and evening but forecasters say that is not part of the big “El Nino” storm that is certain to come.

As bad as it will be here in Southwestern Virginia, it will be even worse north and east of our region.  Washington, DC, is expecting an “epic” snowfall and storm.  The Northeast is prepared for the worst.

Even though the worst may strike elsewhere, what comes to our area will be bad enough.

Writes Myatt:

This would likely give us several inches of snow on the front end Friday and then additional snow Friday night into early Saturday as the coastal low takes over and spins some more bands of snow inland.

Floyd’s local weather guru, Little River Supervisor Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch, is equally pessimistic. Posting on Floyd 411, the Facebook group dedicated to road and storm information:

On the BIG SNOWSTORM…looking at just moisture predictions we could see 2 – 3+ inches of liquid measured precipitation. Of course this will all fall as snow and not rain. The general ratio of rain to snow is 1″ of rain = 10″ of snow. If that is the case we are indeed looking at 20 – 30 inches of snow. I am still concerned about the left over energy from this clipper. The MAJOR low is moving inland and will be over the 4 corner area of the US by midday tomorrow. I am concerned about how much Gulf moisture will be drawn into this storm as it starts. If you did not get supplies today please consider doing it in the morning do not wait until Thursday.

Floyd County’s school system closed early Wednesday and postponed the scheduled basketball homecoming game Wednesday night.  Weather storm warnings with some snow Wednesday night and the forecast for Thursday night and into Friday is 8-12 inches “minimum” with even more not only possible, but “probable.”

We will be watching this approaching storm and will post updates as often as possible.

Stay warm, stay safe and stock up.  It’s winter in the mountains.

The last "big one" in 2010.

A previous “big one” in 2010.