Tag Archives: snow

Snow Day in Virginia

snow-12-jan-2017It’s a snow day in Virginia, one of those rare snowstorms that covers the entire Commonwealth. In the Shenandoah Valley we were expecting little to nothing but were pleasantly surprised with about 3 inches of the white stuff. Points east of us received much more with 8 inches in Richmond. The beach area, Williamsburg — those areas that don’t see much snow — all had good snowfalls. Here’s a few pics from our house and, yes, I still have my Christmas decorations up. Epiphany was just yesterday so it’s okay….

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Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
January 7, 2017

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Shenandoah National Park … snow-covered Big Meadows

By Lynn R. Mitchell

This is the view today in Shenandoah National Park at Big Meadows. Growing up, we spent many fun-filled days at this campground, exploring and hiking in God’s sanctuary. Today the park embraces winter … the quiet, peaceful beauty of the mountains covered in a snowy blanket of white. February 9, 2016.

Shenandoah National Park's photo.“Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.”― Mary Oliver

Big Meadows web cam the morning of February 9, 2016. It is truly beautiful in the park today!

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Fiery Shenandoah Valley winter sunset

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1Sunset. Monday, January 25, 2016. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Day 3: Clean up after the Blizzard of January 22-23, 2016

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Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

8:30am: Good morning from my snowy corner of the world west of Staunton. It was a frigid 10 degrees overnight with clearing skies after the snowstorm moved out, and a full moon. There’s between 18 inches and 3-4 feet of snow (from drifting) … a winter wonderland with snow-flocked trees and piles of the white stuff along the road and driveway.

To see photos from throughout Virginia during the blizzard, see Day 1: Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016 blizzard and Day 2: Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016 blizzard.”

The snowplows came through in the middle of the night to clear the road. Our thanks to VDOT. And our thanks to Dominion Virginia Power for their part in keeping the lights and heat on through the blizzard.

By this time yesterday we had been up for 3.5 hours as the snow continued to fall and the wind howled. Today we have awakened to a cold sunny morning after the full moon came out overnight and illuminated everything. I woke up briefly sometime in the early hours to see the moon and then went back to sleep.

Our neighbor — bless his heart — is out there again clearing our driveway for the third time during this storm. Today neighbors will check in on each other, clear driveways, and make sure everyone is okay.

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Day 2: Live-blogging the January 22-23 Blizzard of 2016

2Saturday morning before sunrise.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

See also Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016, historic Virginia snowstorm with photos from around Virginia of Friday’s snow.

Day 2 of the Blizzard of 2016 in our corner of the Shenandoah Valley: We’re not going anywhere with the forecast calling for heavy snow to continue all day along with high winds and temps in the 20s. Our neighbor made two runs at the driveway yesterday so I suspect he will be back his morning in his effort to prevent the snow from building up too much. What would we do without neighbors?

Since we are west of Staunton, the winds coming through Buffalo Gap and off the slopes of the Appalachians cause snow drifts across our road. It’s nothing unusual … we’ve been dealing with it as long as we’ve been here. Same with driveways as drifting snow buried them under feet of snow. So our neighbor is just trying to keep the drifts broken up.

5:10am: The power blipped making our smoke alarm chirp and waking us both. Nothing like the threat of no electricity to make you spring out of bed and get moving before it goes out for good. For now (5:30), it’s still on. Mr. Mitchell is cooking bacon and eggs and brewing coffee.

5:35am: The wind began howling last night and we could hear it throughout the night. This morning, it continues. Peering through the snow-caked door onto the deck, the amount of snow has increased significantly overnight. It’s 18 degrees out there with a high of mid-20s expected during the storm today. It appears WHSV TV-3 is off the air — no power? — so the Weather Channel is on and Jim Cantore is reporting live from D.C.

NBC-29 has The National Weather Service’s latest winter storm warning issued at 4:16am:

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Day 1: Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016, historic Virginia snowstorm

Snow 2016By Lynn R. Mitchell

I have never live-blogged a snowstorm. However, this is being touted as a possible historic storm with monster amounts of snow predicted — everything from one to three feet — with icing in North Carolina. Virginia is at the epicenter.

Blizzard warnings, dire alerts to stay home — not to mention that Virginia is under a state of emergency that was declared before it hit. As a snow lover, I’m excited about the white stuff but also cautious as they call for higher and higher amounts.

These are my observations of the storm from our home in the Shenandoah Valley, west of Staunton in Augusta County. Be safe and warm….

Friday, January 22, 2016
4:30am: Awake and checking Facebook and weather news outlets for the latest on a storm that has been building all week. Storm is still on track and moving a little faster than originally expected.

6am: Snow flurries reported in Lexington.

6:30am: Snow flurries reported in southern Augusta County. Temperature is 16 degrees.

I’ve got the crock pot started with Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken, a favorite and requested by Mr. Mitchell. Here’s the recipe if anyone is interested:

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Snowmegeddon 2016: Augusta County’s Sheriff Donald Smith urges preparation, caution with storm

Augusta County mapBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On Thursday Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith urged the community to be prepared for the impending snowstorm:

As we brace for the storm to move into Augusta County on Friday morning and possibly last into Sunday, we as a community need to pull together.

Please plan accordingly and stay off the roads as workers plow to open the highways.

Stock up on supplies ahead of the storm.

Be mindful of the elderly and please keep a check on family members and neighbors that may not have family close to the area.

Please bring pets inside and don’t leave them out in this extreme storm.

Stay off the highways if at all possible once the storm starts.

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and first responders will be working diligently to keep the county safe and provide service. Please help us as much as possible by staying inside and keeping a check on loved ones and neighbors. Stay safe everyone and call us if you need us!

Stay safe out there.

Augusta County Sheriff’s Department: (540) 942-5113

See also Snowmegeddon 2016: Are we about to have the snow event of the decade?

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Snowmegeddon 2016: Are we about to have the snow event of the decade?

Snow 2016

NBC-29 graphic

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Have you heard? There’s big snow in the forecast for most of Virginia. If you haven’t heard, where have you been? It’s the talk everywhere. A run on grocery stores has left bare shelves and scarce supplies of bread and milk as folks prepare to be holed up for the weekend. Forecasters — The Weather Channel, WeatherNation, National Weather Service, Weather Underground, AccuWeather,  — are warning everyone to prepare.

One of the more well-known of a growing group of online meteorologists first gave the heads-up over a week ago. Richmond-based WxRisk’s Dave Tolleris — DT to legions of followers — doesn’t suffer weather fools easily. His desire as an independent meteorologist to give adequate warning about impending snow events has made him a maverick of sorts. If he sees the makings of a big snowstorm days or weeks out, he will give the heads-up of the possibility that it could develop. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.

He has caught heat for his busts, but his forecasting accuracy on some big storms has captured the public’s attention.

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‘When will it snow?’ Flashback to winter of 2006-07 in Shenandoah Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell

A look back … daughter Katy catches the first snowflakes of the season in December 2006.

While bemoaning the lack of snow in the Shenandoah Valley this season, I was thinking about another year when we were late with the white stuff. Even though it seemed late to us at the time, looking back I realized it was December of 2006 when I posted a photo of my teenage daughter who was also missing snow.

In fact, she was missing it so much that she jokingly tried to make “snow angels” when the first flurries showed up on December 7. In true mom/blogger fashion, I took a picture and posted it along with the following:

 While putting finishing Christmas touches at our house … and with the little white lights twinkling outside in the evening dusk … the snow started coming down making it feel very seasonal! Already the deck is covered.

The mountains of West Virginia (visible from my house) are expecting 6 inches of the white stuff tonight. The forecast for our area is for only a dusting or perhaps a tad more.

But … oh, the excitement of the first heavy snow flurries of the season!

And … oh, the excitement of my snowboarding kids who are waiting for the slopes to open!

Update: Wind advisory in mountains. Temperature in the teens here; high Friday of 35 degrees.

Snow flurries this year didn’t show up until January — indeed, warm temps at Christmas had up opening doors and windows — but there has been no measurable snowfall. Even the surrounding mountains are hurting and ski resorts like Wintergreen, Massanutten, and Bryce have been depending on recent cold temps to make snow.

I wrote a post in early December wondering, “When will it snow?”

We’re still waiting….

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Six years ago today … the Blizzard of 2009

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Blizzard of 2009. Six years ago today was also a Sunday — December 20, 2009 — and the Shenandoah Valley had been dumped on with 2.5 feet of snow. Looking back at the pictures, it was truly a winter wonderland in the week of Christmas. That huge snow was the beginning of a very snowy winter that lasted into March 2010. Here are the photos I posted on that day.

Today we woke to 23 degrees but temps have been warm recently, and are forecast to be in the upper 60s for Christmas. What a difference six years makes….

The picket fence and gate were almost covered with more than 2 feet of snow on December 18-19, 2009.
(Photo by SWAC Daughter)
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Back in the homeschool classroom: ‘When will it snow?’

When Will It SnowBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It is December 10 and we haven’t seen even one snowflake in western Augusta County, Virginia. The weather this week is mild for this time of year — the forecast calls for upper 60s — and we are hearing that El Nino is affecting the East Coast.

Meanwhile, I’m longing for snow … which made me think of a children’s book that was a Christmas gift to nine-year-old daughter Katy for our first Christmas in the Shenandoah Valley in 1996. “When Will it Snow?” is beautifully written and illustrated by Bruce Hiscock, circa 1995, who dedicated the book, “To my good friends, and to everyone whose spirits soar when the first snowflakes fall. Special thanks go my nephew Will as Robin.”

I somewhat longingly leafed through the pages today remembering the years reading that book to my children as we waited for the first snow. Some years it came in October … other years it was more elusive. We knew what Robin felt like as he wondered when white flakes would finally fall from the sky:

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Will snow usher in first day of spring?

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March snow 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Friday marks the first day of spring and Mother Nature must have thought it would be humorous to usher it in with a bit of snow. Forecasters have predicted an inch or so of the white stuff in the Shenandoah Valley and a couple of inches at higher elevations.

An inch? Just enough to dust the emerging spring flowers. I think we can handle it….

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Looking back at our white St. Patrick’s Day 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Last year’s St. Patrick’s Day brought 8-10 inches of heavy, wet snow to my corner of the world. This year it’s expected to be 70 degrees, the second day in a row with a taste of spring temps in the Shenandoah Valley.

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Snowy Augusta Springs Wetlands in George Washington National Forest, Va

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Augusta Springs Wetlands was the location of a long-gone hotel in the late 1800s. Millionaire E. G. Pendleton bought this land in 1900 and converted the Augusta Springs Resort into his home. A cement slab is all that remains of a once active mineral water bottling plant. It is now an area to stop and enjoy what nature has to offer in the George Washington National Forest of western Augusta County. The two-thirds mile easy loop trail is fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers and leads you through meadows, forests, and wetlands. You can look at a beaver’s handiwork, smell pine needles baking in the sun, listen to a songbird, and dip your hand in a cool mountain spring. For generations, the Springs have drawn people to these wonderful wetlands. There are historic reminders along the trail (see Augusta Springs Wetlands … the tour).

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