Updated Snow ForecastJanuary 28th, 2014 at 7:26 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
I’ve updated the snow forecast since last night. I’ve actually even increased it since earlier this morning. The National Weather Service wording has increased. Their model has increased the amounts a bit. And I’m starting to really think about the snow ratio (ratio of liquid water from the models to the actual snow amounts that fall). So here is the latest update.
The system is finally beginning to develop to our south. We definitely have the cold air in place. The cold front that moved through yesterday is stalling out to the south of Hatteras. A weak area of low pressure is beginning to develop along the front.
There is plenty of moisture in the region. There was some snow over in Western Virginia, but we can only expect a few flurries from that before 3pm. By about 3pm the precipitation will push northward and make it into North Carolina. They will be scattered snow showers at first. They may reach as far north as the southside. By 5pm snow will increase in coverage and will be well into the region.
Notice that our model has a large mix zone from Grandy NC on southward. Our model has done a good job with this mix zone in past events. So we do expect lesser snow amounts from Grandy southward along the Outer Banks. Snow will increase in coverage and intensity by 11pm. It is forecast to come down heavy at that time.
Snow will continue overnight through about 5-7am tomorrow morning. Snow will be heavy at times. Lows tonight will be in the teens and wind chills will be in the single digits. Winds will be north today at 10-20mph with gusts to 30mph. Winds tonight will be the same.
The raw output from the NAM computer model puts Norfolk at about 7″ with a 10-1 snow ratio. If we use a 12-1 ratio, then it increases from 8-9″. Our Future Trak model is estimating a good swath of 5-10″ of snow for most of Hampton Roads. There is a band with more than 10″ from southern Virginia Beach to the southwest towards Bertie county.
So with all of the latest data coming in, I’ve increased the official snow forecast. I now have that same band of 10-12″ in roughly the same location. Here is my latest update.
That band of 10-12″ includes Elizabeth City, Moyock, southern Virginia Beach, southeast Chesapeake, northern Perquimans/Pasquotank counties into northern Chowan and northeast Bertie counties. It also includes southeast Gates and Hertford counties. I have most of Hampton Roads in a zone of 5-10″. 2-5″ for Southampton and Isle of Wight counties into Newport News and York c0unty. This goes through southern Gloucester county, Mathews county, and most of Northampton county, VA. Accomack county, the Northern Neck, Middlesex county and northern Gloucester county is in the 1-2″ area. This also includes James City, Surry, and Sussex counties.
Here is the closer view for Hampton Roads:
So the bulk of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are in the 7-10″ range. 5-7″ for Norfolk, Portsmouth, and western Suffolk. This 5-7″ area includes all of Hampton and Poquoson as well as downtown Newport News. The rest of Newport News and York county are in the 2-5″ range. Williamsburg is going for about 2-3″.
While I’m very specific here. I’m probably too specific. If this system changes track just a little bit. Then the amounts will drastically change. That is due to the tight gradient of snow that we are expecting. So you’ll have to keep checking back for updates. Luckily, the models are coming into better agreement on the situation. So there is a high confidence in accumulating snow in the region, but amounts may shift around.
Be careful during the evening commute. Expect slow-downs and possibly even some road closures by the 6-8pm hour. Many business are likely to be closed tonight and tomorrow. So some of you may want to take an overnight bag with you if you have to stay at work past 6pm. Overnight shift workers will have to plan accordingly. There will be many school closures as well. Be safe out there everybody. I’ll do another blog around the midday hours with an update. I’ll also have the updated snow forecast totals during WAVY News 10 at Midday. Thanks for all your input. I’m sorry that I can’t get to everybody’s questions during the day. Busy busy as you know.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler