Mother Nature is playing her “good news, bad news” joke on us over the next few days, luring us into a false sense of relief with sunshine and blue skies while another winter storm bears down from the West and threatens to clobber us with a “wintry mix” sometime Tuesday.

The sun that burns brightly this morning masks bitter cold. Temperatures today will rise only slightly above freezing and will drop to around 10 degrees tonight.

And, the National Weather Service says,  a storm will drop snow or sleet or freezing rain or — more likely all three — on Tuesday. The forecast says there is a “risk” of “4-plus” inches along the I-81 corridor along with the “slight risk” of about a quarter inch of ice.

Appalachian Power Company (AEP) continues to struggle to restore power to thousands of customers in Henry, Patrick and Franklin Counties. Some 14,000 Henry County homes and businesses remained without power this morning, along with 2,200 in Parick and 1,800 in Franklin.

Most area churches canceled services today.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports primary roads like U.S. 221 and Virginia Rte. 8 “mostly clear” with “isolated patches of ice” from overnight freezing, but secondary routes remain snow packed and treacherous.

While some Floyd Countians will try to dig out today, others may stay inside, keep the fires stoked and settle in to watch tonight’s Super Bowl.

And areas north of us got it even worse.

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