PRINCETON — Highway crews eager to spend Thanksgiving with their families will still be ready Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day if snow arrives during one of the busiest travel times of the year.
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., has forecasted a 60 percent chance of snow and sleet for Tuesday evening with rain and snow likely Wednesday before 11 a.m. Up to an inch of snow is possible with less than an inch Wednesday night. On Thanksgiving Day, there is a 50 percent chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of rain and show showers after 1 p.m.
Meteorologist Dave Wert of the National Weather Service said the weather front approaching the region was a “highly problematic storm.”
“It’s going to develop quickly as it moves up the East Coast,” Wert said. “The further west you go, the further removed from it you will be. The further west you are, the colder you will be.”
There will be a “Goldilocks” area with enough precipitation and enough cold air for snow, he said. This snow would probably come from the mountains of west central North Carolina and northwest along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains into New England.
“Bluefield will be on the western periphery of that storm,” Wert said. “Generally, what we’re thinking is an inch or two (of snow).”
Warm ground temperatures could reduce the amount of snow that will stick to roadways.
“What snow falls, if it falls, will more likely accumulate on the grass than the roads, especially the primary roads,” Wert said. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be some slick spots, but widespread hazardous travel is not something we’re looking at, at this point.”
Area road crews will be ready if local highways need to be treated, said Tom Camden, supervisor for the state Department of Highways District 10.
“Unfortunately, we can’t pick or choose when we’re going to have bad weather, and our guys — like everyone else — would like to be with their families this time of year. However, they know their responsibility. They will be there by virtue of their assignments or they will be on call, one of the two,” Camden said. “At the moment, we’re watching the forecast models. We will err on the side of caution. We’re going to be out there ahead of time if we think we’re going to have bad weather.”