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Wintry precipitation is expected to brush western Virginia on Tuesday morning, prompting the issuance of a winter weather advisory by the National Weather Service for localities along and west of the Blue Ridge.
A low-pressure system tracking northeast generally over our region will spread moisture on top of unseasonably cold air that has settled in after a weekend cold front. Temperatures near freezing in the western tier of counties will allow some precipitation to fall as freezing rain, possibly very briefly as sleet and/or snow.
Accumulations are expected to be minor with marginal temperatures and warm road surfaces, but bridges and overpasses can sometimes ice quickly with only light freezing rain in such situations. Chances for appreciable wintry mix increase with elevation and the farther west one is in the commonwealth.
Locations east of the Blue Ridge might see brief sleet as precipitation begins, falling through cold and dry aloft, but temperatures are expected to be above freezing. The mercury will rise above freezing in the mid to late morning over most of the western localities, changing wintry mix into cold rain.
Even colder but dry weather is expected to conclude the week, with upper teens to mid 20s lows and upper 30s to mid 40s highs across most of Southwest and Southside Virginia. These are actually slightly colder than normal temperatures for the coldest part of January.