Upcoming Snow

January 17th, 2013 at 7:57 am by under Weather

Well I said about a month ago that some snow was going to try and develop.  Now here we go.  We are still on track to see snow in the viewing area.  The highest amounts still look like they will be in that line from Richmond/Williamsburg east to Gloucester and the Northern Neck.  I still think the Eastern Shore will get some accumulating snow, but they are only in a Winter Weather Advisory at this time.  It’s interesting that the National Weather Service has put the Winter Storm Warning area all the way down to Hampton and Isle of Wight county.    I still think there will be a longer mix time there compared to Williamsburg.

The models have been very consistent in showing an area of low pressure pushing just south of Hampton Roads and creating a changeover from rain to snow.  I still think there will be a good couple of hours with a mix in Hampton Roads before it all changes over to snow.  The Hi-Res NAM still shows a late changeover, but there was an extra hour or two of snow in last night’s run compared to previous runs.  Our Future Trak model is still showing a long time in the mix zone and only has a narrow band of full snow on the back side.  This actually goes in-line with the thicknesses.  It has been consistently showing this and has less amounts compared to other models.  Remember there are certain thicknesses of atmospheric layers, based off of temperatures in that layer, that you need in order to get snow.  Although… there is still a lot of support to show that when the snow does come down it will be heavy.  Roads will be wet so at first a lot of the snow should melt.  Also temperatures in Hampton Roads will be above freezing. So a lot of that should melt. 

I’m doing this from home so I won’t go into super detail on the amounts.  The National Weather Service has a pretty good graphic that uses their model:

Graphical Snow Forecast

So I think the above graphic has a good general outline for the snow.  I’m thinking a possible 6″ for near Richmond.  2-5″ for Richmond to Middlesex county to the Northern Neck.  That’s where the surface temps will be colder and for longer.  I think some of Accomack county could get 2-3″ on the Eastern Shore, but probably much less for Northampton county.  Gloucester is probably looking at 2-3″ and a lot of that will be on grass.  I do see a good amount towards Williamsburg 2-4″, but I just don’t see as much for Hampton/Newport News.  I think it will be closer to 1-2″ and mostly on grass.  Even then there may not be much down towards the 664/64 intherchange.  Suffolk and Isle of Wight may see and inch or two.  Mostly on grass.   But I don’t see much from Chesapeake/Portsmouth over to Virginia Beach.  The full changeover to snow will take much longer to happen there.  IF the snow is heavy enough at the end, then maybe a half inch.  At most an inch, but mostly on grass.  I don’t see much for North Carolina except over towards Northampton county and maybe Hertford.  The cold weather could push in there soon enough to get some snow to stick.  Possible a couple of inches.  I don’t see anything though from Elizabeth City to the Outer Banks.  Maybe a dusting on grass.  

There is a lot of certainty in the track of the low, but there is still a good amount of uncertainty about when the full changeover to snow will occur.  So the forecast could easily change later today due to that.  Also, the typical 10-1 snow-water ratio probably won’t work here as the snow will be very heavy and wet.  So that could increase the amount at least falling out of the sky if not what lies on the wet ground.  I’m still not confident that the cold air will push south at the surface right away.  So the possible heavy snow at the end that could overpower the surface temps will be key to this forecast.  We’ll have a blog later today with an update. 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


2 Responses to “Upcoming Snow”

  1. Jeff says:

    Models are showing anywhere from 4 to 6 inches for Hampton roads. What are you looking at? I’ve yet to see one that said 1 inch except for the RPM which is awful.

  2. Alyson says:

    Good afternoon Jeremy! Any update on this troublesome Virginia weather? Seems like it can never make up its own mind as to what it wants to do for the day.

Leave a Reply