Reston, VA

Ice covered trees/FIle photoVirginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is encouraging Virginians to prepare for a potentially disruptive early-season winter storm that will affect the Commonwealth this Sunday.

Exact impacts are still somewhat uncertain depending on whether most of the precipitation is rain, snow or freezing rain, the governor said.  Virginians should make preparations now for possible power outages, that could be lengthy if large amounts of ice accumulate on power lines and trees, as well as unsafe road conditions, McDonnell said at a Friday storm briefing in Richmond.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Washington area that will run from Sunday morning through Monday morning.  The NWS says snow and sleet will change over to freezing rain Sunday afternoon. The freezing rain is expected to last until Sunday night or Monday morning, but will then change to rain

In the Washington area, 1 to 2 inches of snow and sleet may fall, and a quarter-inch or more of ice accumulation is possible, the NWS said.

“It might be warm today, but the weather in the Commonwealth is about to take a major change for the worse,” McDonnell said.

“With this forecast in mind, I ask all Virginians to take the necessary precautions today to ensure they are prepared for any possible losses of power during a cold weather period. Please check your batteries, flashlights, and lanterns. Power your mobile communications devices now and make sure they are fully charged. And, as always, please check on your elderly or house-bound neighbors, family, and friends in particular to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result.”


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