Eastern U.S. Mess Forming

February 12th, 2014 at 8:38 am by under Weather

I can’t remember how many times I’ve said the word mess over the last few days.  That’s not including my kids and cats back home, but it’s exactly what this next system is going to be for the southeast eastern U.S.  Then it will be a mess for the northeast states.   The wintry weather has already formed over some of the southeast states.



Snow was falling over parts of North and South Carolina.  There was a lot of rain farther to the south with a big zone of sleet and freezing rain in between.  A weak area of low pressure was starting to form over southern Georgia.  This low will steadily pull up along the coast and move in by tonight.  During the day we’ll see quite a bit of clouds and highs in the upper 30s.  We shouldn’t see any precipitation until late in the day.  So our Future Trak model shows the snow and rain starting up in Hampton Roads around 5-6pm.

Future Trak (5pm)

Future Trak (5pm)

There will be accumulating snow in our inland sections with rain (and a little sleet) along the coast.  What is expected to happen is that the rain will keep pushing north as the low moves closer.  Slightly warmer air at the mid levels will push in from the southeast while at the surface our winds will pick up out of the northeast.  We’ll see gusts to 30mph tonight.  The mid level warming will continue tonight.  By 2am the entire area is expected to be in rain. (Yellow is moderate rain, green is light rain, pink is a mix, and blue is snow).

Future Trak 11 PM

Future Trak 11 PM

It should stay as rain through the mid morning Thursday.  Temps will probably hover in the mid 30s, but may rise a bit.  Temperatures may sit close to the low 30s far inland and north.  That could allow for a mix to last longer in those areas.  It could also allow the snow to stay in places.  I put together a snow forecast map, but you should take it with a large grain of rock salt.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

The forecast models are showing similar amounts as the map above.  Some might even estimate more over western Virginia.  The big problem and million dollar question is… How much of the snow will melt tonight.  With rain forecast over the entire area overnight.  Even moderate rain. It’s possible that almost all of the snow will melt in the viewing area.  Some of the colder cities may not see as much melt.  So There may be some issues in those cities.  Also, as the precipitation tries to transform over, then we could see some freezing rain and sleet in the inland and northern sections.  Here is the latest forecast map from the National Weather Service for possible ice accumulation:


NWS Ice Forecast

The next problem is that the system will wrap up as a band of light snow or a snow/sleet/rain mix.  This is generally forecast around the late morning to the mid afternoon, but the models do disagree on the timing a bit.  Here is what our Future Trak model shows for 3pm.

Future Trak 3 PM Thursday

Future Trak 3 PM Thursday


We will dry up by Thursday evening as the low pushes off to our northeast.  They will expect quite a bit of snow from Charlottesville to near D.C. up to parts of New York and Pennsylvania before the system moves out.

As the low pushes away the winds will pick up Thursday.  Winds will be really blowing out of the north at 15-25mph with gusts up to 35mph.  I mentioned yesterday that I don’t expect minor tidal flooding, but some nuisance flooding is possible.  Tides are forecast to run 1 to 1.5ft above normal.

We will dry out for Friday, but we may see more light snow by Saturday morning.  A big cold front is forecast to move through the region and put down at least some flurries, if not some light snow.  What’s interesting about that is that some schools will be attending on Saturday.  Could they see problems?  We’ll be checking as the forecast updates.

Typically I try to go into high detail in the models.  This time though I decided to just focus on the forecast.  The models are actually in decent agreement on the whole setup.  The only real difference is the exact placement of the low, and the amount of moisture at the end on Thursday.  Either way…It’s a real mess.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

9 Responses to “Eastern U.S. Mess Forming”

  1. Jeff says:

    For some reason, I always feel like you’re are only hope for snow Jeremy! Help us Jer-emy Kenobi, you’re our only hope! Don doesn’t seem to like snow very much, but you usually seem to at least mention how we could possibly get surprised with a little extra. Keep up the good work! It’s sad to be this close to the big one. Up here on the middle peninsula, we were too far north for the last storm and this time we are just barely too far south and east.

  2. Johnny B. says:

    What’s your gut feeling on a flight leaving Norfolk at 6:50pm today, headed direct to Miami?

    1. Jeff Edmondson WAVY says:

      There will be precip falling from the sky, but they will be able to likely get you in the air. Allow extra time to get to the airport.

  3. Melanie says:

    Hello-last night and this morning I saw where York County is under a winter storm warning. Being that York County is quite large with some parts backing up to Newport News, and going all the way into upper Williamsburg, which is under and “advisory” I think it would be a good service to the community if you were more specific. I am a resident of York County, but live in Williamsburg. However, I am in the way northern part of Williamsburg….but York County nonetheless. I don’t expect exact information, but clarification would be welcomed. Thanks!

    1. Jeremy Wheeler says:

      Hi Melanie. That was an error on our ticker. We got it resolved later in the morning. You are under an advisory, but a lot of the snow will melt later tonight. Jeremy

  4. karen says:

    What will the weather be like when I leave from the Fredericksburg area heading back to Hampton Roads area in the next two hours? Thanks

  5. Amy L says:

    Haha!! Thanks for the link to a grain of salt on wikipedia. Cracked me up!

  6. [...] neighborhood.  The Super Doppler 10 Weather Center is popping today.  Take a moment to see our weather blogs, where Jeremy Wheeler calls the developing scenario for the East Coast a “mess.”  But [...]

  7. Mike says:

    When is Jeremy going to take Don’s job? Don is always wrong. We have at least 2 inches of snow already in Portsmouth. Don wouldn’t know snow if he were in a BLIZZARD.

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