Weekend outlook: 'Just frigid, gross coldness'

Video of our backyard on Plantation Creek at Custis Tomb, south of Cape Charles. Extreme winds and 8-to-10 inch drifts. Video courtesy Bill Poocher

(Delmarva Now) -- After a strong storm system buried the Eastern Shore in snow on Thursday, there's not much respite heading into the weekend.

"In one word, it'll be cold," said Mike Rusnak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "Just frigid, gross coldness, and I don't see any chance of it breaking above freezing before Monday."

The weather service predicts lows plunging into the single digits and highs coming nowhere near breaking the deep freeze until Monday. Even on Monday, the forecasted high is just 45 degrees.

It said a wind chill advisory is in effect for portions of southeast Maryland, southern Delaware and eastern and southeast Virginia 10 a.m. Friday and again from 6 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday.

Residents in those areas can expect wind chills to range from 5 below zero to 15 below zero, according to the weather service. That can cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin.

The 20 to 25 mile per hour wind isn’t expected to die down until Friday afternoon, leaving drivers and cleanup crews to contend with another day of blowing snow, with the breeze tapering off to about 10 to 15 miles per hour Saturday morning.

“There are just reinforcing shots of cold air coming in,” Rusnak said.

However, he added that at least the snow is done with, although Delmarva may have mushy conditions to contend with come Monday.

"The sun will be out through the weekend and there’s no threat of precipitation until at least Monday, but then there may be some rain," he said.

Plowing operations continue in lower Eastern Shore counties, and winds are drifting snow back onto pavement, the Maryland State Highway Administration warned in a tweet.

In Virginia, within the past 36 hours, State Police Troopers assigned to the Chesapeake and Richmond Divisions have responded to 437 traffic crashes and aided 592 drivers with disabled/stuck vehicles

Friday's highs for the area are expected to be in high teens with temperatures dropping to single digits at night and Saturday night low temperatures are forecast to plunge to near zero degrees.

According to the weather service, Salisbury's snowfall measured up to 12.5 inches by 9:05 p.m. Thursday night, 11 inches in Snow Hill and 7 inches in Cambridge.

As of 9:45 p.m. Thursday, the weather service counted snowfall totals as high as 11.4 inches in Sussex County and dropping off quickly in northern counties, with up to 5.3 inches in Kent County and 4.7 in New Castle County.

On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan visited Ocean City and thanked state and local officials for their response to the blizzard while urging residents to continued caution.

“It’s a pretty serious storm, particularly on the Lower Shore,” he said on Facebook, noting the plethora of accidents that had happened in the area. “The crews are out there clearing these roads and as soon as they do the wind drifts come through.”

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