Snow Potential Is Up And Down

February 10th, 2014 at 9:27 am by under Weather

I feel like the forecast has been like a carnival game recently.  Which one?  The one where you hit the hammer down and try and flip the frog onto the revolving lilly pads.  The models are the lilly pads, the frog is the forecast, and the hammer is my frustration with the whole thing.  How’s that for a simile?   So you’ve seen the recent forecasts and how they have been changing.  The models have had a tough time handling recent weather events.  I’m going to give you the latest that I see, but keep in mind that the forecast is likely to change a bit by this afternoon/evening.  So here goes..

Today we have a cold front which has already moved through Hampton Roads.  It is continuing to slide south.  Temperatures were in the mid 30s this morning, and are likely to stay in the mid-upper 30s through the afternoon.  At the same time a small pocket of energy at the mid levels is scooting through.  So there was a small band of precipitation over the northern part of the viewing area.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

While it looked impressive on the radar, it was hard to find any reports of it hitting the ground early on.  As we go through the afternoon, this band of light precipitation will sink southward.  Our computer model (Future Trak) shows the band over Hampton Roads around the midday and early afternoon.

Future Trak (Noon Today)

Future Trak (Noon Today)

We’ll see scattered flurries and a few light snow showers over the area.  Most of this won’t add up to much, but a few cities could see at least a dusting.  It looks like most of this will pass to our south by the evening commute.  Northeast North Carolina could see some of this continue into the evening.  A few spots there may mix in a rain shower or two with the snow.

Tonight we’ll clear out the area, and lows will be in the 20s.  The models have changed their tune about Tuesday (surprise, surprise).  They all keep Tuesday dry now with highs in the 30s.  The models have even backed off of the precipitation for Wednesday morning.  However, there is the potential for a rain/snow mix Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night.  Now I won’t go into high detail with the models, but I will try to outline them a bit here:

The European model has a little light precipitation starting up by Wednesday afternoon, but it seems to transition most of the region into rain showers by late in the day.  The only real snow that it has is a small pocket at the end on Thursday. Mostly from Richmond up to D.C.  It has a pretty warm solution compared to the others.  The NAM model has a rain/snow mix in the region by Wednesday evening.  Then it turns mostly into rain by late Wednesday night. It has all rain Thursday morning, but it does have some inland snow by Thursday afternoon as the cold air wraps southward around an area of low pressure.  Mostly along the I-95 corridor. The GFS model is the snowiest, but it seems like it is always the snowiest this Winter.  It has a small area of rain/snow over northeast North Carolina by Tuesday night, but then it dries things out until midday Wednesday.  After that it starts up some inland snow with rain from Virginia Beach south.  It has a wide area of snow by late Wednesday night with more of a mix for Hampton Roads.  By Thursday morning it changes a lot of the area to all rain.  It looks like snow still along I-95 though.  Then it brings a band of snow through the region from the afternoon through the evening.  The Canadian model follows a simliar idea, but the keeps the snow inland longer.  Both the GFS and Canadian show heavy snow from Richmond north.  If the forecast gets colder, then our snow chances will quickly go up.  Here is what our Future Trak model looks like on Wednesday afternoon.

Future Trak (Wed PM)

Future Trak (Wed PM)

So a summary is tough this time.  While it looks like a lot of our viewing area will see more of a rain/snow mix.  There is also a potential for heavy snow over at least part of the region.  Not to mention that the models have been changing the timing dramatically over the last 36 hours for this mid-week event.  For now I would prepare for possible snow from Williamsburg northward.  Maybe from Franklin/Suffolk northward.  Tomorrow we should be able to pin down the details better.  At least at this time the weather looks ok for Valentine’s Day.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

14 Responses to “Snow Potential Is Up And Down”

  1. Mike says:

    Jeremy,

    It is looking like we will get mostly rain, how come the temp differs so much from Richmond where they are looking to get whacked?

    1. Tiffany Savona WAVY says:

      Hi Mike,
      It all depends on where the low pressure develops with this next storm system. The low will probably pull in some of the warmth from the south. Cold air will wrap in at the end for us though. So it could change back over to snow. Tiffany

  2. Jeff says:

    a win for the new Nam! What do you think? One more shift 50 miles to the east please!

  3. destiny says:

    hey jeremy is suffolk looking at gettin any snow. please write back a little something everytime i put something up here no one says anything back and it sucks

    1. Jeremy Wheeler says:

      Hi Destiny. I’m sorry about that. This used to be the main place to ask questions along with email. But now facebook also demands a lot of time. So some questions get missed. Suffolk is on the edge of the rain/snow mix line. I do think there will be snow in Suffolk, but the question is whether or not the rain will come in and melt most of the snow. For now that’s what I think will happen, but we’ll see. Jeremy

  4. Amy says:

    FYI… The following is a metaphor, not a simile. A simile uses the words “like” or “as.” Nevertheless, it’s still a cute comparison:)

    “The models are the lilly pads, the frog is the forecast, and the hammer is my frustration with the whole thing. How’s that for a simile?”

    1. Tiffany Savona WAVY says:

      Hi Amy. Good catch. However, if you look at his first sentence, he has that the forecast is “like a carnival game”. : ) Tiffany.

      1. Amy says:

        Yes, Tiffany, I saw that, but as a teacher, I couldn’t resist the urge! By the way, we teachers do NOT want more snow!

      2. Heather says:

        Tiffany…funny response! :-)

  5. Evelyn LeRoy says:

    OK, Now I have to say:

    Snow, Snow go away,
    Little Evelyn wants to play.
    Snow, Snow go away,
    Come back next winter.
    Snow, Snow go away,
    You have done enough this winter!!!
    Snow , Snow go away,
    Too much shoveling makes Evelyn a tired mess.
    Snow, Snow go away,
    Take your cold ice friend and play on the north and south poles
    where they claim there is a global warming.
    Snow, Snow go away,
    Little Evelyn wants to play in the warm spring weather!!!!!

  6. Scott says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for your hard work and keeping the blog updated. I usually don’t pay much attention to weather forcasts because they seem so canned, but over the past month you guys have certainly earned your paychecks. Putting things in to terms I can understand, keeping the forcast dynamic, even just saying what you think, what your gut says, vice the generic “40% chance” makes reading the blog worth my time. In my opinion, the blog is worth more than the forcast section of the website and I’d read it before I’d watch the news as well. Once again, thank you!

  7. Seth says:

    Please respond to Destiny’s question. I don’t give a rip about the weather in Suffolk, but I just don’t want you guys letting her down again. We all know how much it sucks to be ignored…

    1. Jeremy Wheeler says:

      Hi Seth. I answered her below. As I mentioned to her. With social media, the blogs, and email we get about 30-50 questions per day. Some of the info to those can be found in the blogs as well. So we try our best, but sometimes we just can’t get to all the questions. I hope you’ll understand, but I’ll try and get to all that I can. Jeremy

  8. [...] The next system is going to be tricky.  I have more details on my previous weather blog from this morning.  Jeremy’s morning blog. [...]

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