Mixed Temps And Wintry MixJanuary 16th, 2013 at 9:03 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
The forecast is getting interesting around here lately. That’s for sure. Today we will once again see fog, drizzle, rain showers, and very mixed temperatures. A warm front is lifting in from the south and this will stall out across Hampton Roads today. So temperatures will range from 45 (north) to near 70 south.
That boundary can easily push a little more north or stay a little more south. So that is why we had to give a big temperature range for the forecast. There is just too sharp of a gradient. Rain and drizzle are now forecast to continue tonight into tomorrow. There have been some big changes in the models recently and this is one of them.
Another change to the models is the chance for Wintry precipitation for late Thursday night. We hinted at this a couple of days ago, but the potential has increased. Basically a weak area of low pressure is forecast to pass just south of the region. It will move offshore and then head up towards Boston over the weekend. Now this has been a rapidly developing situation, and we need to keep a level head about it. We went from barely anything to maybe something to a possible 2-3 inches over (part) of the viewing area in a matter of 12 hours it seems. So here’s the latest about what I’m thinking… The moisture has increased in the models, and I do buy into that. But there will be a significant amount of time where the surface temperatures are above freezing. Especially in Hampton Roads itself. There will be some cities north of the metro where the temps will be close to freezing though. However, the temperatures aloft also look too warm for full snow until the very end of the precipitation. The high resolution models are showing this including the 4 km (kilometer) NAM and our computer model. In fact our model (Future Trak) shows all mix until the very end.
The GFS ensembles also show this trend. Oddly the European model (which has done very well over the last couple of years), is showing barely anything for Thursday night. It’s the GFS and NAM models that are showing the decent amounts. Mostly from Richmond up to the Northern Neck. The program Bufkit has a few inches of snow up towards Richmond using the GFS data, but only a trace to a half inch for Hampton Roads. Now looking at the latest I do think some accumulations are possible in the area from Richmond to Gloucester to Melfa north. Some snow could also possibly accumulate down to Williamsburg to Gloucester Point to Accomack county. HPC highlights that area with the highest chance for snow. A 40-50% chance for an inch or more. Stay tuned for updates on this.
However, it’s still very early. This is about 40 hours out. Especially considering the huge changes in the forecast recently. Also I forgot to mention that the ground will be wet. So unless the snow comes down heavy, then it will probably melt on contact. So we will continue to track this, but don’t be surprised to see wild swings in the models over the next 24 hours. Either way, at this time, it looks like the best chance for snow that we have had so far this year.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler