Watching For A Storm

Weather Service Issues Snow Alert For The Valley

Posted: January 17, 2013

HARRISONBURG — The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Wednesday night for today and tonight for the central Valley, saying that as much as 6 inches of snow could fall at higher altitudes.

According to the service’s Sterling office, overnight rain is expected to transition into snow by 9 a.m. in Harrisonburg, and in Rockingham, Shenandoah and Page counties. Snow is expected to fall throughout the day, possibly heavy at times, before ending late this evening. Higher elevations around the Valley could receive more, according to the service.

The Virginia Department of Transportation was preparing for whatever Mother Nature brings.

“We will be mobilizing crews to monitor conditions,”  said Marshall Barnhill with VDOT’s Staunton District, which includes Rockingham, Shenandoah and Page counties.

Barnhill said when snow accumulates on the highways, the department clears high-traffic roads such as Interstate 81 first before attending to secondary and rural roads.

VDOT was not putting down pretreatment on the highways Wednesday because it wouldn’t work on the already wet roads, Barnhill said. 

“The Department of Public Works has plow and salt trucks already prepared for the anticipated winter weather,” said Mary-Hope Vass, spokeswoman for the city of Harrisonburg, in a release Wednesday.

Rockingham County Schools, which already planned to close at 1 p.m. today because of high school exams, had no plans to cancel classes as of Wednesday afternoon, said Superintendent Carol Fenn. Parents will receive emails by 6 a.m. today if classes are delayed or canceled, Fenn said.

Harrisonburg City Schools will make the decision by 5:30 a.m., Superintendent Scott Kizner said, and parents should receive a phone call around that time.

There had been no school closing announcements as of Wednesday evening from Shenandoah or Page counties.

Shenandoah County Schools will send out a mass message to parents if schools close. Page County’s closing information is available on the division’s website, , and by calling (540) 843-2830.

Contact Alex Rohr at 574-6293 or

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