Winter Comes and Goes with a Single Storm

Winter Comes and Goes with a Single Storm

Written By: Kate Houser
February 20th, 2012

Students are always looking for a reason to have a day off of the school work week, and when even a holiday such as Presidents Day would not grant them a day off, it was up to a little bit of snow to give the students some wishful thinking. Radford University students are happy to at least have a three hour delay this morning as a result of almost a foot of snow fall in Montgomery County throughout yesterday and early into this morning.

The snow came as quite a surprise to many people in the New River Valley. Local stores such as Wal-Mart and Target are already displaying swimsuits for sale. Students were outside in shorts enjoying the near 60 degree sunny weather throughout the day on Saturday. Beginning in the early hours Sunday morning however, students awoke to look outside their window and see everything covered in 2-3 inches of white snow. As the day continued the snow barely took a break but eventually the storm passed leaving behind up to 7-9 inches throughout the area.

“I was outside all day yesterday running around in a tank top, and now I’m wear a hat and gloves today,” said sophomore, Kayla Griffen. “After the warm weather we had yesterday I was shocked to see the snow on the ground this morning, but I’m definitely not complaining! I was hoping to get at least one good snow fall before spring break.” It seemed as though Virginia wasn’t even going to experience the winter she is used too, but this Presidents Day weekend proved us wrong and a snow storm was able to sneak its way into our forecasts as winter comes to a close.

Today’s school delay is the first that Radford University has seen in this 2011-2012 school year. Anyone who has lived in Radford for the past few years will tell you the weather has noticeably been significantly warmer this year than in the past. Senior, Brittany Hart looks back to a few years ago, “I remember my sophomore year we missed at least three or four days of school in a row due to snow. Since I’m a senior now and I’m graduating, I was wondering if I was ever going to experience another snow day since the weathers been ridiculously warm and dry this winter. I’m used to the Radford weather I experienced my freshman and sophomore year when it was painfully cold walking to class, and now I can get by with wearing a t-shirt to class some days.”

Those few days off of school Hart is referring too came as a result of the snow storm from 2010 when Montgomery County experienced a much larger snow and ice storm then the one this past weekend. The storm closed the Radford campus for multiple days, and gave Montgomery County public schools five days off causing the last day of school for the students to be pushed back further into the summer in order to meet the state requirement for school days attended.

Two years later however, the county is experiencing a much less dramatic snow storm. This could be due to the fact that the weather today is a 41 degrees and sunny and the snow has begun rapidly melting away causing streams of water alongside the roads. This rapid melting however could create traffic problems. The Virginia Department of Transportation issued a warning early this afternoon for drivers to be cautious on the roads this evening and tomorrow morning. The roads are expected to have spots of melted snow freeze over causing black ice.

Traffic was also affected throughout Sunday as the snow storm made its trek across Southern Virginia. Most students didn’t even leave their driveways, but for many who decided to go home for the weekend, they were welcomed back into the area a bit dangerously. Senior, Kevin Lee from Northern Virginia was not expecting the snow when he was driving down Interstate 81 South back to Radford. “The traffic on 81 was absolutely ridiculous! I was probably on the edge of my seat the whole time because of how slick the roads were from the snow. In a matter of 20-25 minutes I witnessed about three or four minor accidents.” Lee’s experience comes as no surprised as local news stations were urging drivers to stay off of the roads as the snow became more severe. The state of Tennessee was also affected by the storm and about 20 vehicles were reported in being involved in multiple accidents on Interstate 75. Interstate 95 around Richmond, Va. was also temporarily shut down due to weather related accidents.

Image

This photo above was taken around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 19th, 2012. 

The photo below was taken around 4 p.m. on Monday, February 20th, 2012. 
There is a significant difference in the two in just a 24 hour period.
The rapid melting of the near 7-9 inches of snow was a result of the sunny, warmer weather today.

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