Winter coastal storm

The National Weather Service's snow accumulation forecast for the weekend of Jan. 12, 2019.

If you have things to do this weekend, do them Saturday morning. From then on, we're in for a cold, windy, wet couple of days.

And if you want snow, head west.

Computer forecasting models used by the National Weather Service have become more confident that the coming coastal storm will produce only rain for southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. This area can expect upwards of an inch to fall from Saturday evening through Monday morning.

Temperatures over the weekend should range from highs in the low 40s to lows in the mid 30s.

The rain/snow line should form late Saturday afternoon around Williamsburg, according to the service's winter storm briefing issued Friday morning by meteorologist Alec Butner. The weather service has issued a winter storm watch for Williamsburg to the west.

That line could fluctuate slightly from northwest to southeast depending on the exact path of the storm as it exits off the east coast somewhere along the Carolinas. A more southeast exit could move the rain-snow line closer to the coast.

Areas to the west of Hampton Roads could see anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow.

As the storm passes, winds will increase significantly, Butner's briefing said. Gusty winds are expected from 20 to 25 mph midday in inland areas, and up to 40 mph closer to the Chesapeake Bay and ocean.

Small craft advisories will be in place for the bay and ocean through Monday.

Lee Tolliver, 757-222-5844, lee.tolliver@pilotonline.com

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