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(THURSDAY, JAN. 28 UPDATE) The National Weather Service today reported an official measurement of 3.8 inches of snow in Danville from the winter storm that moved quickly through the city overnight.
The storm began Wednesday evening as rain but turned to snow after midnight before ending around 5 a.m. today The snow accumulation provided winter wonderland scenes at daybreak for citizens. However, the wet, heavy snow weighed down power lines and tree limbs, which resulted in about 1,500 customers losing power. The outages were scattered throughout the Danville Utilities service territory, but all were restored by midday.
Primary streets were wet but mostly clear by daybreak, with slush on many residential streets. Those streets dried later in the day.
The snowfall was the second one the month. Earlier this month, a total of 0.5 inches was measured. The month-to-date total is 4.3 inches.
ORIGINAL POST ON WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg earlier today issued a winter weather advisory for Danville and the surrounding area that will take effect tonight at 9 p.m. and will continue until 8 a.m. Thursday.
Meteorologist Phil Hysell said a winter storm system tracking across the Southeast will begin as rain and then change over to snow. For Danville, the rain will begin around 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Late in the evening, the rain will mix with snow and then change over to snow before midnight.
Hysell said an accumulation of wet snow is expected, but the computer models vary on the amounts. The most likely scenario is a total accumulation of a half-inch to one inch of snow. However, a shift in the track of the storm could bring three to four inches of snow.
Another concern is the high winds that will accompany the storm system. The combination of snow, high winds and low temperatures could lead to slippery streets during the Thursday morning commute to work.
The overnight low will be 31 degrees, with a high of 40 degrees on Thursday..
Public Works crews are monitoring the situation. Plows and salt and sand trucks are ready to go as needed. Crews will report to duty overnight.
Crews will not, however, pretreat major thoroughfares and bridges with brine today because the rain would wash away the brine from the street and bridge surfaces. Brine is a mixture of water and salt. 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.
Danville Utilities is monitoring the situation. Crews are prepared to respond as needed.