(WVVA) The chances for some spots seeing snowflakes flying Christmas eve are increasing, with the best chance for accumulating snow in the higher elevations along west facing slopes. But before we see snow, rain is on the way.
Rain will overspread the area tonight and will stick around through Saturday. Winds will also increase tonight out of the south and will be gusty through the day Saturday. 10-20 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 30 mph can be expected. Higher elevations could see higher gusts, especially in Mercer and Tazewell counties.
We'll likely see a break in the rain early Saturday, but showers will increase in coverage in the afternoon as a cold front moves through the area. The rain could be heavy at times, making it tough on drivers traveling this weekend.
Cold air will rush into the area Saturday night and there could be a brief transition over to a few snow showers and flurries. Any accumulation would likely be confined to western Greenbrier County.
An upper level disturbance will move our way Sunday afternoon and evening. There could be enough warm air Sunday afternoon for rain showers, but we'll see a transition back to snow showers Sunday night. Accumulation appears light, with most areas only seeing trace to 1 inch. Higher elevations along west facing slopes from eastern Tazewell County, western Mercer, southeast Raleigh, Summers and southeast Fayette counties could see trace up to 2 inches. The west facing slopes of western Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties could see 2-4 inches. This will not be a heavy snow event, but will likely cause at least some snow for Christmas morning.
Cold weather will stick around next week with drier weather Christmas Day through Wednesday. Late next week (Thursday and Friday) things are getting interesting. We could be dealing with a more significant winter weather event with a rain/snow mix, and potentially some ice. This system is still several days away and details will be ironed early next week as we see a consensus among forecast models.