weather alert (cold) GXX

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg earlier today issued a winter weather advisory for Danville and the surrounding area that will take effect tonight at 9 p.m. and will continue until 8 a.m. Thursday.

Meteorologist Phil Hysell said a winter storm system tracking across the Southeast will begin as rain and then change over to snow. For Danville, the rain will begin around 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Late in the evening, the rain will mix with snow and then change over to snow before midnight. 

Hysell said an accumulation of wet snow is expected, but the computer models vary on the amounts. The most likely scenario for Danville is a total accumulation of a half-inch to one inch of snow. However, a shift in the track of the storm could bring three to four inches of snow.

Another concern is the high winds that will accompany the storm system. The combination of snow, high winds and low temperatures could lead to slippery streets during the Thursday morning commute to work.

The overnight low will be 31 degrees, with a high of 40 degrees Thursday.

Public Works crews are monitoring the situation. Plows and salt and sand trucks are ready to go as needed. Crews will report to duty overnight.

Crews will not, however, pretreat major thoroughfares and bridges with brine today because the rain would wash away the brine from the street and bridge surfaces. Brine is a mixture of water and salt. The water in the brine evaporates, leaving the salt behind on the road. The salt breaks the bond between the snow and the roadway, and it therefore helps prevent the snow from freezing onto roads and bridges.

Danville Utilities is monitoring the situation. Crews are prepared to respond as needed.

“Snow combined with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark can result in layers of ice, topped with snow that are deceiving and extremely dangerous,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager Public and Government Affairs for AAA. “Drivers are urged to use caution where precipitation of any kind is expected to fall and to avoid assuming that snowy roadways or those that appear wet are free from ice or safe.” 

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