A surprise Spring snowstorm blanketed southwest Virginia with inches of unexpected snow, causing traffic problems Thursday afternoon and evening.
The snow began in the New River Valley around lunchtime, and blew across the Roanoke Valley around 3 p.m. Totals quickly added up, ranging from 3-7 inches, with the higher totals in the higher elevations, mostly on the grass.
A little after 4 p.m., the National Weather Service issued Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings until 8 p.m.
As the afternoon went on, traffic problems emerged.
The major problem took place on Route 460 in Montgomery and Giles Counties. Sheriff's deputies in Giles County had to close part of the road, due to the number of crashes on it, around 5 p.m. In Blacksburg, shortly after Virginia Tech closed early for the day, traffic came to a halt for more than an hour on the bypass.
Interstates 81 and 77 saw their own share of traffic problems, particularly around Wytheville.
VDOT's 511Virginia.org website reported multiple accidents on the western side of the I-81/I-77 stretch around Wytheville, and the stretch of I-81 between Wytheville and Rural Retreat between 2-7 p.m.
North of Wytheville, a tractor trailer crash shut down the southbound lanes of I-77 in Bland County near Rocky Gap for more than an hour.
Southeast of Wytheville, two crashes took place on I-77 northbound in Carroll County, about five miles north of Hillsville. Each crash blocked one northbound lane.
Virginia State Police said eight crashes took place on Fancy Gap Mountain, between the Virginia-North Carolina line and mile marker 11 in Carroll County, after 2:30 p.m.
On I-81, 511Virginia listed crashes on Christiansburg Mountain, near the southern Salem exit, and just north of Troutville during the afternoon and evening.
A crash on Route 11 near Troutville also caused one lane closure a little after 6:30 p.m.
On Route 220, 511Virginia reported multiple crashes in Franklin County and Henry County during the afternoon and evening commute. They were cleared by 6 p.m.
The snow caused Virginia Tech and Radford University to both close early on Thursday afternoon. Both New River and Wytheville Community Colleges also canceled evening classes.
Our Fox meteorologists have forecasted the snow will not stick around for long. Temperatures on Friday will be in the upper 50s to 60 across the area, with Saturday in the lower 60s, and Sunday in the upper 60s. We could see the 70s return to start next workweek.