NWS: Strong Winds May Lead to Power Outages; 1-2 Inches of Snow Possible

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The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia, is forecasting “mountain upslope snow showers” tonight and early Friday, with the greatest amounts of snowfall to occur north of Bluefield in the West Virginia highlands.

For the most part, residents in eastern Wythe County are expected to be spared from significant accumulation, with NWS officials forecasting less than an inch of accumulation for Wytheville and communities to the east.

On the other hand, places west of the county-seat, such as Rural Retreat, Crockett and Speedwell, may see snowfall amounts closer to two inches.

In addition to the snowfall and strong cold front that will  cross through the region Thursday, a quick surge in west winds will accompany the front with gusts to 50 mph or stronger possible.

“Much colder air following the front will combine with an increasing pressure gradient to keep periods of very strong northwest winds going tonight into Friday,” stated the National Weather Service in a wind advisory issued early Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service is advising that strong winds could topple trees and power lines, leading to potential power outages through the region.

Due to the threat of potential power outages, the county is urging its citizens to be prepared by having safe alternative heat sources in place, an emergency preparedness kit which includes a flashlight, batteries, etc., and fully charged cell phones.

The weather service is also encouraging residents to be mindful of their holiday decorations, which could be blown away during the increased windstorm expected over the next 24 hours.