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UPDATE POSTED NOON THURSAY: The National Weather Service this morning issued a winter storm warning for Danville, with snowfall expected to begin around 4 a.m. Friday and continue through Saturday evening. The snow will mix at times with sleet and freezing rain. A total accumulation of snow and ice of six to 12 inches is expected.
The warning, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 6 a.m. Sunday, means severe weather conditions are expected. Travel will be dangerous. Citizens are urged to travel only in an emergency.
For Danville, the snow will arrive around dawn on Friday. The snow initially will be dry, but will be heavy, producing rates of one to two inches per hour. The snow will become more 'wet' in nature by the afternoon and evening. Later in the evening, the precipitation will mix with sleet and freezing rain.
STORY POSTED AT 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY
A burst of snow arrived in Danville around 4 p.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service expected the event to end by 7 p.m. City crews are prepared to respond as needed.
Public Works crews will be on duty tonight to monitor road conditions. They will apply salt and sand to bridges and roads as needed. Snow plows also are mounted and ready if the city receives sufficient accumulation. Utilities crews are on standby.
For the storm expected this weekend, the National Weather Service and Virginia Department of Emergency Management are conducting regular briefings. At a briefing held this afternoon, it was reported that the latest weekend forecast for the Danville area is for six to 12 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain, with the the most likely accumulation being six to eight inches.
As a result of the forecast, the Parks and Recreation Department announces the following:• Due to the threat of inclement weather, the Danville Harvest Jubilee Cabin Fever concert scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, is being postponed until Friday, Feb. 12. • The Winter Farmers’ Market will not be held this week (Saturday, Jan. 23).
STORY POSTED AT NOON WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory today for Danville, with light snow expected this afternoon and during the evening commute. An accumulation of up to an inch of snow is forecast.
The advisory, which is in effect until midnight, means that periods of snow will cause travel difficulties.
The National Weather Service also has issued a winter weather watch for Danville that is in effect from midnight Thursday through 6 a.m. Sunday. The watch means there is a potential for significant accumulation of snow, sleet and ice that may affect travel. Danville residents and visitors are urged to monitor the latest forecasts.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED TUESDAY, JAN. 19
The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook due to the increasing potential for a winter storm Thursday night into Saturday. In response, City of Danville crews began pretreating main thoroughfares on Tuesday.
The decision to begin pretreating streets early was made because low temperatures will limit the window of opportunity for applying brine between now and Friday.
“We may only have a short window on Thursday to apply brine due to low temperatures,” said Rick Drazenovich, director of Public Works. “It takes us about 10 hours to pretreat our main thoroughfares. So, we decided to wait until temperatures reached 25 degrees today, and then apply as much as we can.
“On Thursday, we expect to have another short window of opportunity, so we will apply brine to the rest of the main thoroughfares at that time.”
Brine is a mixture of water and salt. When applied to the road surface, the water in the brine evaporates, leaving the salt behind on the road. The salt breaks the bond between the snow and the roadway, and it therefore helps prevent the snow from freezing onto roads and bridges.
At low temperatures, however, brine can freeze to the road surface rather than evaporate.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service’s forecast called for snow likely Thursday night, with a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain throughout the day on Friday and continuing Friday night. On Saturday, there is a chance of more snow.
Drazenovich said by pretreating some of our main thoroughfares today, it also allowed the city to test a new brine maker. This new equipment mixes brine faster and controls more precisely the salt concentration used.
Public Works crews also were busy on Tuesday checking equipment in preparation for a round-the-clock snow removal operation.
City power and light crews also spent Tuesday making snowstorm preparations for round-the-clock response to outages. The city is arranging for assistance by contract crews as needed.