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Sunday, February 19, 2012

From fire to snow in a year.

A year ago today we were covered with wildfires all accross the state and this year by tomorrow it might be snow.!!!!

Blacksburg, VA

§ The weather system from yesterday is still on track and on timing as predicted.

§ Despite current temperatures in the 40s and 50s, the evening and tonight will bring a sudden drop to the low 30s.

§ South-western Virginia will see the temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s and will begin to receive precipitation after midnight Saturday.

§ In Blacksburg and the surrounding areas there is a 40% chance of up to 8 inches of snowfall total.

§ Central Virginia near Charlottesville and Richmond will mostly likely see the precipitation starting as snow. Currently there is a 70% chance of at least 4 inches of snow in this area.

§ In extreme northern portions of the state into Loudoun and Frederick counties up to 2 inches of snowfall is possible.

§ East of I-95 towards the coast, temperatures will remain warm and any precipitation will likely be rain.

§ The ground remains warm in most of Virginia, therefore snowfall will initially only accumulate in grassy areas and elevated structures such as bridges and parking garages.

§ During the evening and overnight hours Sunday we will begin to see snow accumulation on roadways.

§ Bright and sunny weather is expected for Monday with temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Snow that remains on the ground will quickly melt.

§ Cities and counties in the New River Valley, as well as those along the I-81 corridor are currently under a Winter Storm Watch. It is likely that these will be upgraded to Winter Storm Warnings.

§ Snowfall is expected to be heavy and wet, and brings the possibility of some downed tree limbs and power lines, with the possibility of scattered power outages. Significant or prolonged power outages are not expected.

Wakefield, VA

§ Snowfall accumulations along the I-95 corridor may reach up to 2 inches, although up to 4 inches is possible.

§ In the Richmond area the bulk of the snowfall will occur during the evening hours Sunday.

§ Icing on roadways is possible pre-sunrise.

§ East of Richmond to the coast, cold rain is expected.

§ All precipitation should end by 0700 Monday morning.

§ There is a potential for minimal coastal flooding.

Morristown, TN

§ For south-western Virginia 4 to 6 inches of snowfall is forecast.

§ Expect snow to be wet and heavy.

§ Accumulation on roadways will likely not occur until the evening hours Sunday, and may only occur on secondary roadways.

§ Slush buildup on roadways is likely to freeze overnight.

§ Winter Storm Watches are currently in effect for most of south-western Virginia. These will likely be upgraded to Winter Storm Warnings.

Sterling, VA

§ Ground temperatures in Northern Virginia will remain warm. Most accumulation will occur on grassy surfaces with little road accumulation.

§ A Winter Storm Watch has been posted for the Shenandoah Valley. This may be upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.

§ Between 4 to 6 inches of snow is possible in Charlottesville and the surrounding jurisdictions.

§ The far northern portions of the state may receive as little as 2 inches of snow, though less than an inch is possible.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This law has been on the "books" since 1950 and is directly responsibe for the prevention of hundreds if not thousands of wildfires all accross the Commonwealth. By reminding folks that this time of year is of concern for wildfires and by restricting when and where outdoor burning can occur helps reduce the carless, unintentional wildfire starts.
The actual law reads ......
 During the period February 15 through April 30 of each year, even though the precautions required by the foregoing subsection have been taken, it shall be unlawful, in any county or city or portion thereof organized for forest fire control under the direction of the State Forester, for any person to set fire to, or to procure another to set fire to, any brush, leaves, grass, debris or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material capable of spreading fire, located in or within 300 feet of any woodland, brushland, or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material, except between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.
Violation of this law is a class 3 misdemeanor which carries a fine of up to $500. If your outdoor burning get out of your control and the firedepartments and VA Department of Forestry needs to respond to suppress the escaped fire you will be responsible for the cost of suppressing the fire which might be thousands of dollars. There may be additional law violations should this occur.
For more information of the 4 PM law and other Forest Fire Laws please visit

  • Code of Virginia: Forestry Table of Contents

  • Protecting Virginia's Forests from Wildfire

    • Cost Recovery for Fire Protection § 10.1-1141 Liability and recovery of cost of fighting forest fires
    • 4 p.m. Burning Law § 10.1-1142 Regulating the burning of woods, brush, etc.; penalties l Exemption from the 4 p.m. Burning Law.
    • Throwing inflammatory objects from vehicle on highway while in or near certain lands § 10.1-1143
    • Rewards for information leading to conviction of arsonists or incendiaries § 10.1-1138
    • Serious Fire Hazards § 10.1-1158

    The short video clip below was taken from a NBC TV 29 news broadcast out of Charlottesville this morning.

    Last year from February 14 through the 19th was acritical time for all of Virginian's. Weather conditions were a big reason why during that time over 1,000 fires burned several thousands of acres with dozens of homes being damaged and hundreds of homeowners being evacuated.
    So PLEASE join the Virginia Department of Forestry AND SMOKEY BEAR and do your part, don't let a wildfire start.
    More safety tips will follow over the next few days please check back often.