Snow Chances And Surf Are Up AgainJanuary 24th, 2014 at 9:03 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Don’t get me wrong… I love snow. But this time of year I cringe when people as me if we think we are gonna get snow. As many of you know I grew up in Illinois. So I am very accustomed to very snowy Winters. However, having fun in the snow and forecasting snow are two completely different things. Sometimes forecasting for snow is fun, but there are often more challenges than slam dunks in this area. In fact much more often. So after all that…we do have a couple of chances for snow over the next 7 days. There is a weak chance this weekend, and then possibly a good chance next week. I’ll talk about the surf (nationally) at the end of the blog.
Today we’ll have dry conditions across the region. On the radar this morning it looked like there were a couple of flurries over the Outer Banks, but I didn’t see any reports of it hitting the ground. High pressure is in control today. Wind around that system will blow out of the northwest at 10-15mph with gusts up to 25mph near the shore.
That puts our wind chills in the single digits and teens today. High temperatures will be in the low/mid 20s. Tonight the high will shift a bit more to the southeast. This will allow winds to change out of the southwest. With clear skies low temperatures will once again bottom out in the teens, but temperatures may rise a bit before the sun comes up due to the wind. Tomorrow some milder/more moist air will try to flow into Virginia at the mid levels. This and a small pocket of energy at the mid levels will create a small pocket of light snow and flurries in the region.
So at this time I believe we could see a dusting north of the metro. Some of the dusting could reach as far south as the Peninsula. Here is what our Future Trak model shows for 3pm tomorrow. Remember blue is snow, and white is clouds:
It’s more likely that the metro area will see flurries or just clouds, but we’ll have to see what the updates bring. Keep in mind that the RPM model (another high-resolution model) keeps the whole region dry except for a few flurries. Either way this does not look like a big event. Oddly enough temperatures will be in the upper 30s to low 40s Saturday afternoon. But the ground has been iced up for days. So I doubt we’ll see much melting. You may be wondering how we can get snow with air temperatures above freezing. Well, it will be very cold from about from 1,000 ft upward. Temps will be well below freezing aloft. 1,000ft is pretty narrow in terms of height in the atmosphere. So the snow will not have time to melt as it falls out of the sky. Again, welcome to my complicated forecasting world.
The cold front on the surface map above will pass through Saturday evening. We’ll see highs in the upper 30s to near 40 on Sunday with sunshine. Down the road another big surge of cold air will pour into the region by Tuesday of next week. On the eastern edge of that cold airmass an offshore area of low pressure is likely to form. Now the models disagree on the exact details, but they are all suggesting that the low will either move northward or northwestward. This will allow moisture to push in from the ocean and produce some snow. The GFS model has this happening more towards Thursday. The European model has it more on Wednesday. The Canadian model even shows it. So it’s not a done deal, but I’d say it’s a decent shot at another round of snow for next Wednesday or Thursday. Stay tuned!
On another note, we had some decent waves around recently. I can’t even imagine surfing in this cold, but Quenten Turko had no fear. This is a photo of him surfing off of Hatteras the other day:
That photo was sent in by Mickey McCarthy. It is very impressive, but it is still not as high as some of the waves that they’ve had over in the Pacific lately. Hawaii saw some 40ft waves recently. That link is to our partners at surfline.com. Wait for the add for some cool pictures. Some of those waves are making their way onto California beaches, but not as high as over Hawaii. It’s definitely been warmer out west. Some folks are really wishing that warmth would move towards us about now.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler