Our First Official Winter Storm of the Season 12/26

The Valley seen a few flakes before winter officially started and plenty of measurable snow has fallen in the western Highlands only.

We can call our day after Christmas storm the first real winter storm of the season.

The setup: There was a strong low pressure system tracking through the south. This storm unfortunately, produced severe storms and tornadoes on Christmas Day in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The map below helps explain how we ended up with winter weather out of the same storm. This is a surface analysis map and can be a little confusing if you're not familiar with using them.

A large area of High pressure was positioned over the Great Lakes. The clockwise rotation around the high pumped in cool, northeasterly air Christmas night.

That allowed cold air to get trapped between the two mountains in the Valley and sets up what we call Cold Air Damming, where cold air settles at the surface. The strong low continued to move in from the south that brought in plenty of moisture.

It's cold air meeting up with moisture, and unfortunately we saw a mix of winter weather.

The most dangerous is of course, the ice.

Here are some snow totals from around the area. These totals were reported to the National Weather Service in DC.

The majority of the area saw about 2"-3" of snow mixed with freezing rain and sleet.

Some areas, for example Old Fields, WV saw 6.5" of snow but it was pretty much all snow, and really no freezing mix.

I'd like to thank everyone for sending in their snow totals!

As you can see they vary greatly depending on the area.

Especially with this storm, more than others, because the precipitation was such a mix, and a back and forth of snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Others totals from our area include:

Snowfall Totals
Old Fields, Mathias 6.5"
Bergton 6.25"
Blue Grass, Highland Co 5.5"
Sangersville, Sugar Grove 5"
Singers Glen, Mt. Solon 4"
Rawley Springs, Lost City 4"
Elkton 3.75"
Middlebrook 3"
WHSV Harrisonburg 2.75"
Luray 2.5"

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.

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