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First snow of the season set for Charlottesville area Monday

Total accumulations are expected to be between three to seven inches

Despite temperatures reaching the 60s the day prior, snow is expected across much of Virginia on Monday. After weather model guidance shifted dramatically over the past few days, the Mid-Atlantic region will see the season’s first significant snowfall. 

Overnight, many forecast models — the highly complex mathematical models that forecasters rely on to predict the weather — continued to shift the effects of a developing snowstorm further to the northwest, firmly placing cities like Charlottesville and Washington D.C. in an area of potentially disruptive snowfall.

Charlottesville has been placed under a Winter Storm Warning. A warning is issued when significant or hazardous winter weather — defined as five or more inches of snow and sleet within a 12-hour period or more than seven inches within a day — is occurring or is soon to occur. 

Temperatures will be cold enough for the snowfall, which is expected to begin in Charlottesville around 1 a.m. Monday. According to the National Weather Service, total snow accumulations are expected to be between three and seven to inches, likely leading to slippery road conditions and a difficult morning commute.

Further north, in Washington D.C., three to seven inches of snowfall are also expected. But, because of rapidly changing guidance, the National Weather Service is warning that updates to the forecast are expected, with numbers potentially going up.

“Potential warnings and advisories will most certainly be modified as guidance hopefully converges with a solution over the next 12 hours,” the NWS wrote, adding that people planning for snowfall should consider the potential for higher amounts of snow.

Currently, the National Weather Service forecasts a high-end amount of snowfall — which it describes as having a 1-in-10 chance of occurring — as 11.4 inches in Charlottesville and 11.8 inches in Washington D.C.

Temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s or even teens Monday night following the snow, meaning any snowfall that melts during the day Monday could refreeze, putting Tuesday’s morning commute in jeopardy as well.

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