Snowmageddon: Friday in Charlottesville 'could get ugly'

news-weekendsnowforecastWe're in the deep snow belt (shown in blue), but don't believe the hype beyond this AccuWeather map from Wednesday morning.
ACCUWEATHER

Punxsutawney Phil could be right. The National Weather Service predicted a 100 percent chance of snow Tuesday night with four to six inches possible. (We got about three.) But this weekend is bringing so much precipitation that UVA climatologist Jerry Stenger says, "It could get ugly."

When asked about rumors of a 20-inch snowfall for the February 5-7 weekend, Stenger replies, "The models have been suggesting something like this since last week, and they've been pretty consistent.

"It looks like a very interesting event starting Friday–- a lot of water," he says. "We're not quite sure how this is going to break."

The weekend storm is tracking along the Atlantic coast in the form of a nor'easter, says Stenger. What's not clear is what form the precipation will take– rain, freezing rain (that's the one that takes down power lines, tree limbs and is "the most destructive," says Stenger), snow or sleet.

news-ivyroad1Will there be more of this in our future?
FILE PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

"Right now, it's leaning toward all four," says Stenger. "It could start off with freezing rain." If that happens, he describes a scenario of 1 to 1.5 inches of ice topped off by 4 to 5 inches of snow.

"If it's an all-snow event, we could be updating the forecast in feet, not inches," predicts Stenger. That means 15 to 20 inches of snow previously rumored could actually happen.

Snowfall for the January 30 storm measured 10.5 inches at McCormick Observatory, bringing this winter's precipitation to 34.2 inches. "That's about twice what we normally get," says Stenger.

The good news: A drought this year is unlikely. Says Stenger, "The ground will have no shortage of moisture."

And how accurate is Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow on Groundhog Day? "I would say if it's only six weeks [of winter], we'll be happy," says Stenger, reminding that the snow season can last "well into March."

As for this weekend's Snowmaggeden, temperature changes and storm tracking changes make it very difficult to predict exactly what will happen, says Stenger.

The prediction he will make: "It's going to be a doozy."

Updated 2:14pm
Original headline: 4-6" tonight: Friday in Charlottesville 'could get ugly'

Read more on: charlottesvillesnowfall

80 comments

I think the bread and milk thing is more necessary if you have kids - it's not like we can't live without it, but since my kids often have cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, things get pretty limited without them. Plus, hot chocolate is a snow essential!

Simple is good. If this weekend's storm takes down

the power lines we can simply call it "Sparky." :)

"The Great Snowpocolypse of 2009....and Sparky." Yes, that has a good ring to it......

If this weekend's snow turns out to be as big or bigger than December 18ths, then we'll need a name for it as well. Since Snowpocolypse has already been used, I vote for Snowmageddon! The Great Snowpocolypse of 2009, followed by Snowmageddon 2010.....

Heck YES!!! Mid Atlantic winter for the record books, I am loving this!!!

Let the official panic begin.

So much for that global warming eh?

quote: "...make arrangements to stay home and off the roads..."

Sound advice for rear wheel car owners who have no clue on how to drive in ice and snow. And for the front wheel drivers who have been brainwashed into believing their front wheel drive cars go so well in snow and ice.

But I plan on being on the roads in my 4X4 vehicles and wave as I go by the stucksters (new word I just created). Just like I did in the 24" snow a week before Christmas.

quote" "During and immediately after the last two storms, I saw far too many people on the roads. The lattes and mall trips can wait :). Stay home!"

How did you see these people? Were you out on the roads too in order to see them?

Is this one of those "don't do as I do, do as I say" things? :)

let it snow and we can deal with it after the snow stops. i bet you if we get alot of snow maybe all most everything will get shut down and people will have to wait till things get opemed up again.

Since we know about these storms in advance, get your groceries *before* the snow starts. During and immediately after the last two storms, I saw far too many people on the roads. The lattes and mall trips can wait :). Stay home!

I don't know why people buy bread and milk, I don't eat bread myself and don't like milk, so never understood the combination. However I'm with Hoolarious, do buy whatever other supplies you may need and stay off the roads if you don't need to be on them. If you're stocked up and ready to go then just kick back and chill and enjoy the storm......

bring it on.

Must. Buy. Bread. And. Milk.

Then...

Must. Buy. More. Bread. And. Milk.

Boo, You are so right about the next storm. I may be historic. I laughed too when I read the attributed definition, especially how it was so dead on accurate to the C-ville experience. even to the day. I've enjoyed this thread immensely and was having a little fun at your expense. I still can't think of a storm name to apply. Looking slightly ahead from the Groundhog's Day Storm (while it's occurring) perhaps there needs to be a Super Bowl tie in for the next one

Correction "It may be historic" Not me, Althogh I may be prehistoric. I'm glad to see those keyboarding lessons paying off

I be that the tenacity of the winter weather will prove to keep the numbers of swine flu victims low. Stay home out of public places!

Maybe we can tax ourselves out of this snowstorm, any takers?

AL Gore

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for the internet . If your in town is there any chance you could help me with this GLOBAL WARMING piling up around my house ?

Many Thanks

Dakota

Front wheel drive cars do very well in the snow as long as their drivers know what they are doing. I got around in the big snow without incident. 4x4 owners can be some of the worst drivers because of their belief that having all 4 wheels spin as they go into a ditch makes them better. They always seem to drive faster than everyone else.
It's the drivers not the tech, like most things.

take the forecast seriously, get your necessary items, and make arrangements to stay home and off the roads. check on your elderly neighbors; this is a long winter for them, and they might be too proud to admit they need help or are running low on stuff. don't drive if you don't have AWD, and even then don't drive.

Careful gasbag...four wheels out of control is just as dangerous as two wheels out of control.

TIK TOK. The party don't start til I wok in.

Times running out you hullabahooooos. GO TO THE STORE AND GET YOUR GIN. I mean...bread. and. milk.

THEN...

Go to store again and get more. bread. and. milk. GROSS. Soy milk is superior.

GET FB. this is lame. AS IS THE SUCKY WEATHER. TWITTER IS GOOD TOO. So i hear.

Keep on Wokking

Hey Al Gore...shut the hell up.

Thanks Stuckster. :) I didn't mean to imply that we invented the term, because on a planet of 6 billion people anything that somebody could think of usually has already been thought of by somebody else. It's an easy phrase to cobble together too, so if I hadn't mentioned it somebody else eventually would have I'm sure. :D I'm glad to see they picked up the term, because if this weekend turns out to be anything like they think it will then it'll be quite fitting.....

All my life ive heard the weather pundits say "this is going to be the worst winter ever". Well guess what! Maybe Al Gore's huge homestead that's emitting a gigantic carbon footprint is deflecting the jet stream enough to create complete havoc. Guess I better cancel my order of palm trees.

LOL @ Rachel,"I don’t understand why people are out buying perishable items (milk, meat, cheese, etc.) A lot of good all those things will do you if the power goes out!" That's why we stucksters use the snow. Can't get much colder in my refrigerator. Thanks for the chucklefest

@Mike Wiszowski: What's a "bruh" ??

Actually my boyfriend came up with Snowmageddon last night when we were driving back from the store. It cracked me up, had to mention it here. That's okay if the Hook uses it, I'm flattered. :) Besides, if he hadn't come up with it somebody else would have, it was only a matter of time. So, no need to patent it. (besides, I think you meant copyright)....bruh?

It is all Tom Frederick's fault.

One of the most beautiful things about language is that it's dynamic. My Wife says "It's alive, I tell you!" Thanks GSOE for my new moniker. I am indeed the "Stuckster" Now don't go looking for royalties, the best you can hope for is a modest notation in the "Urban Dictionary, or until Webster recognizes you, a simple chuckle from me :)
On another topic don't forget the eggs while buying out the bread and milk. Stay safe you 4 wheelers!

I need white bread, milk and ramen noodles, OMG, got to get to the store, NOW!!!!!!!!!!

btw In my own experience I've never found elderly people to be too proud to ask for help. They usually seem quite appreciative that people are thinking of them. Many can't shovel, and don't drive so they may not have been able to get to the stores to get supplies and food in time. So if you know any that you could check in on, take the time to do that if possible. That might be us someday if we live that long....

2:24 p.m. by my watch and the first flakes (snow, that is) are falling in rural Earlysville.

Yes, Ben! But, thanks! I have never got stuck in snow and ice, and I have never had a mishap in it as well. In the winter of 1979 I drove a rear wheel drive Corvette all the way across town in 9" to 12" of snow. For whatever reason, the snow plows had not even started plowing yet.

IMHO, the biggest danger is people driving 5 mph to 7 mph with a white knuckle death grip on the steering wheel. And I am sure we all saw a few of these idiots out on the roads in the last few snows. We'll probably see more by 5:00 p.m. today. :)

I don't understand why people are out buying perishable items (milk, meat, cheese, etc.) A lot of good all those things will do you if the power goes out!

The fact that Gasbag drives a corvette pretty much says it all. Whatcha compensating for Gasbag?

Wait, Zachary Thomas? THE Zachary Thomas? The best snow-driver in the tri-county area? Oh, man, I was NOT talking about YOU with my stay-off-the-roads advice! How could you think I was talking about you? Only a crazy person would think YOU needed to stay off the roads, what with your driving abilities and all. It's so funny that you think I meant to include you. Of course not!

Umm...don't be so sure of yourselves with the whole global warming thing. Not to rain on your parades, but just because it's cold doesn't say much about the long term climate. Plus the cold we're having is rather erratic. It keeps getting cold and then warming up and so on very rapidly. I would say that points to something being out of whack with nature. Anyways, here's an article if you don't believe me.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/01/08/once-again-cold-wea...

It's been getting cold and warming back up in this area since I was born. Personally, I don't give a dayum about global warming. We'll just have to use the air conditioning more often. Either way, heat or air conditioning, they gonna get your money one way or another! I'll take Dominion Virginia Power any day over handing my money to the city for gas. :)

Freezing rain sure would suck!... But I haven't seen or heard anywhere, except this story, a mention of freezing rain. Even the forecast discussion on the National Weather Service site is sticking pretty doggedly to an all snow event. Still too early to tell, I guess.

Beginning to hear the stress level is rising with this latest forecast--perhaps time for the Hook Hotline for shut-ins.

boo!- looks like you missed the train on patenting that phrase! snooze you lose bruh!

Gasbag Quote: I said ââ?¬â?Ã¢â?¬â??>>> 1979.

That was 30 years ago.

I have never kept a car 30 years

Hang in there Gasbag! They have a high opinion of you! They just can't calculate well...LOL!

Gasbag Quote: The roads are starting to become snow covered and get slick”Š. well, for the rear wheel drivers and front wheel drivers that is. :)

Hubby went to pick up the son at work this morning...two four wheel drives on 522...one plowed into the other cause of following too close...guess they both could benefit from driving lessons..
:( - Your driving skills could actually make you some mad cash here!

Hoolarious. My car is RWD and did just fine in this last 9-10 inch blast.In fact I was climbing the steep residential streets behind 29 above Barracks Road no problem. It was far better than the plowed streets.

I think the 240 Volvo is an excellent winter car.

But yah know? I use winter tyres. All four of them, and my car stops really well like that. It also goes far better than AWDs with all season tyres.

i just hope they cancel school!!!

I think they did, at least until the last rain drop goes away...........

I'm out of the state of Virginia. It is 12:20 A.M. here on Saturday, 2-6-10. How many inches has it officially snowed back in Charlottesville? Thank you!

What's interesting about climate change for our area is: it doesn't necessarily mean conditions will be dryer, but just as likely the converse, more snow and floods. Bottom line more unusual weather and I guess, whoever's will this is, sure is out of the ordinary for Charlottesville.

Climate change is God's will.

I heard there was 14.5" at McCormick Observatory weather station,
far less than the 28" on the ground at my friends in Fairfax, or the 35 -40" in some other Va/West Va. locations.

"take the forecast seriously, get your necessary items, and make arrangements to stay home and off the roads. check on your elderly neighbors; this is a long winter for them, and they might be too proud to admit they need help or are running low on stuff. don’t drive if you don’t have AWD, and even then don’t drive."

someone must not have much snow driving experience. Both the past two snowstorms I've not been home all weekend. First one my 4wd wasn't working and I made do and was able to drive completely without issue.

This most recent storm I spent 20+ hours on the roads and the closest I came to an accident was a snowplow that ran a stoplight and almost t-boned me.

If you have 4wd, experience(gained by knowing the limits of your vehicle and actually DRIVING in snow), a brain and good tires there's no reason you should stay home if you don't want to. For the record, I drive a 91 Jeep Cherokee, no ABS, no TCS, no electronic anything other than the engine computer and lights.

there is nothing we can do about it! so let's deal with it

Damn you Punxsutawney Phil! where's your global warming now?

I love that I can come to The Hook blog and get a narrative explanation of the upcoming storms. The weather websites aren't nearly as helpful. Thanks!

Me again. I made the earlier crack about global warming. I am secretly in love with Al Gore have no brains to speak of.

Heck with bread & milk, I'm loading up on wine!

Gasbag,

Are you for real???

From Gasbag Self Ordained Expert :

"Yes, Ben! But, thanks! I have never got stuck in snow and ice, and I have never had a mishap in it as well. In the winter of 1979 I drove a rear wheel drive Corvette all the way across town in 9”³ to 12”³ of snow. For whatever reason, the snow plows had not even started plowing yet. "

Well I guess you just don't have enough experiance driving in snow if you have never got stuck or had a mishap. Getting stuck is just a fact of life if you drive in snow.

You drove a Corvette all the way across town (Im assuming Charlottesville) in 9" -12" of snow? Why would one even attempt such a stupid thing? Where you being pushed or pulled the whole way? You're statement seems riduclous. A corvette is a light weight, rear wheel drive car with a ground clearance of about 6" (dont know what year/model you where "driving" or if it had any modifications).

It's clear we are all going to freeze and die.

@ lagubrious
Did you mean "lugubrious" if not please define this new word/ moniker and prove my my previous point regarding dynamic language. We won't let you freeze and die. You are, after all our neighbor, Lagubrious

no props for "Snowmageddon"? I give mad props and kudos.

@ yepper
Lest I forget , you deserve mad approbation, if you can prove you coined ââ?¬Å?Snowmageddon" before HAWES. If not all mad props & kudos become property of the Hook from this day forward. There must be some sort of Groundhogs Day pun for this storm that I can't come up with. Something like...

this whole "buy buy buy" thing is just funny! WAAAAAAAY back in the day (before grocery and convenience stores on every corner), it may have been necessary. And possibly even now in rural America. But when 24" of snow is usually cleared in 24-48 hours, and most rural folks stay stocked up, I don't understand the panic/rush - unless you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in your fridge or pantry and the nearest store is about 10 miles away - down a long windy road that VDOT doesn't know exists...

ok on the count of 5 everyone will log off,stop commenting and head to giant on pantops as quickly as they can ready? 1.....2....3....4.................................FIVE!!!!!!!

ps: everyone bring your snow shovels inside,or somewhere where they can be locked up. a shortage of snow shovels, someones bound to go a shovel stealin.(a new sport,just made 2 seconds ago) ;)

for those of you who didnt pay attention, 1....2.....3....4.......FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"@ yepper
Lest I forget , you deserve mad approbation, if you can prove you coined ââ?¬Å?Snowmageddon” before HAWES. If not all mad props & kudos become property of the Hook from this day forward..."

No, I first mentioned it here in my earlier post, not Yepper. But like I said, it's cool if the Hook uses it, I'm flattered. :)

Had to laugh at RUN'S! post...... :D

To Boo!
Major props for "Snowmageddon" But,I traced back to "Urban Dictionary"
"Snowmageddon."
A monumental winter storm, lasting multiple days and resulting in copious amounts of snow and disastrous winter driving conditions.
"Did you hear about the snowmageddon arriving on friday? It's going to be amazing!"
by Bed4rd Dec 18, 2008
You certainly deserve props for introducing this word to this blog,

To Run,
I've recently taught my Lab to guard the snow shovel, out of boredom, from being the Stuckster. Play @ your own risk.

doom despair and agony on me, if it wernt for weather news there would be no news at all

quote: "The fact that Gasbag drives a corvette pretty much says it all. Whatcha compensating for Gasbag?"

I said ----->>> 1979.

That was 30 years ago.

I have never kept a car 30 years.

-----------------------

road update: I just gottem home. 8:18 p.m.

The roads are starting to become snow covered and get slick.... well, for the rear wheel drivers and front wheel drivers that is. :)

quote: "I don’t understand why people are out buying perishable items (milk, meat, cheese, etc.) A lot of good all those things will do you if the power goes out!"

WTF? Ahh, bury the stuff in snow.

It will keep!

Don't misunderstand me. I was GIVING mad props for the term "Snowmageddon". Certainly wasn't claiming I invented it.

Got a good one for the next storm:

Snowly S***!

Get it?!? you can use that one.

Hey Tim, the hubby drove by the wreck in a Dodge Avenger (front wheel drive)...:)

I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!!!!

it's all Bush's fault!!!

quote: "Your driving skills could actually make you some mad cash here!"

They already do. I run moonshine! :)

justbeinobjective- I think Tim Brown was referencing a popular SNL skit starring Will Farrell. Tim, correct me if i'm wrong here.

boo!- you're right, I meant copyright. and "bruh" is a slang term for fellow, buddy, dude, friend etc...

Mike - DOH!! my bad! Didn't watch SNL much!

it happens

This here esplains it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5A2ahIn05M&feature=player_embedded

keep your science off my property

Dang the power is dimming...

PLEASE, if you're in the city SHOVEL YOUR SIDEWALK!

thanks.