The Snow Machine

January 23rd, 2013 at 7:57 am by under Weather

Well…I did it.  I brought out the Snow Machine.  What is it?  It’s a fun graphic that I created a couple years ago to describe the chance for snow in the short-term, and its impacts.  So here is what I put on screen this morning for the viewers.

The Snow Machine

This basically says that Hampton Roads has a 60% chance for seeing snow on the ground.  We used to say that is was the chance for more than an inch, but I just keep it to the chance for more than a dusting.  This will be tonight into early tomorrow.  It should wrap up by about 7am.

So here’s the setup… Through the day today high pressure will provide us with fair skies, but clouds will increase later this afternoon.  A weak upper level disturbance will try to move out of Indiana and move southeast towards Virginia by late this evening.

Weak Upper Level System

Yesterday it looked like we would be too dry for anything more than flurries and a light snow shower.  But the latest models have shown a little increase in moisture.  Our model, Future Trak, is showing scattered light snow showers from midnight until 7am tomorrow morning.  It has it going pretty good in the metro at 5am tomorrow morning.

Future Trak 5am Thursday

This time there is no doubt that whatever falls out of the sky will be snow.  Also, the ground is now cold enough to let it stick….even to the roads.  So tomorrow morning we may have some problems with the am commute.  Here is what I am calling for in terms of snowfall based on the latest…

Snowfall Forecast

We’ll have updates throughout the day as the models update.

After some light snow tomorrow morning, high pressure will resume and skies will clear.   Highs will be in the mid 30s under mostly sunny skies.  On Friday another system will move through the region and will strengthen offshore.  Yesterday it looked like this would mostly result in a mix ending as some snow.  Now the models have trended colder. So the majority of the precipitation may fall as snow unless the models change again.  However….the models keep differing on the track of the low.  Also the placement of the precipitation has been variable.  So I have a lower confidence in Friday’s forecast than I do with tonight’s.  The NAM and the Canadian models are showing a cold scenario with at least a couple of inches of snow with more of a mix for northeast North Carolina.  The GFS is lighter in the amounts with more of a mix up to the southside.  Possibly an inch or a little more for the region.  The European is actually the lightest model with the amounts only suggesting up to an inch.  I think it has the low pressure area strengthening farther offshore, so that could be why.  I won’t focus on that system too much just yet.  Let’s get tonight’s little wintry weather out of the way first.  Either way this is great news for the snow-lovers who got gypped last year and recently.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

2 Responses to “The Snow Machine”

  1. Keith Roe says:

    I really like the more detailed report. Most of the others just say it will snow, maybe. Keep up the great work.

  2. Sandra says:

    Love the snow machine, Jeremy!

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