Why All The Snow?

February 12th, 2014 at 10:33 pm by under Weather

In my earlier blog, I talked about how the snow was moving in a few hours earlier and it did. The evening commute was impacted, as snow did come down quite heavy at times. A lot of folks were commenting on Facebook and Twitter asking why they were seeing so much snow when they thought it would be all rain. These rain/snow forecasts are extremely tricky to forecast and sometimes hard to relay to viewers. We did say that the precipitation would start off as snow or a mix and it did for many locations. Computer models had forecast highs in the mid 30s today. Clearly we did not see temperatures rise above 32° until the evening hours. The snow was able to accumulate a lot faster with temperatures at or below freezing this afternoon. Here is the satellite and radar imagery at 3 PM. Snow was already falling across the Southside at this time and temperatures were will below freezing.

Satellite/Radar at 3 PM
Satellite/Radar at 3 PM

The snow was even more widespread around 5 PM.

Satellite/Radar at 5 PM
Satellite/Radar at 5 PM

One interesting feature Don and I picked up on was a heavy band of snow that developed across North Carolina. This is what we call a snow burst. Basically, it is a region of heavy snow which ends up reducing visibility. This snow burst generated its own cold air and kept temperatures below freezing, which allowed the snow to accumulate quickly. The highest totals were just north and just south of the state line (darker blues). Keep in mind that it is hard for computer models to pick up on these features, which is why it was unexpected. The Super Doppler 10 snow estimates shows exactly where the snow burst developed.

Snow Estimates
Super Doppler 10 Snow Estimates

Here are some snowfall reports I gathered from Facebook/Twitter posts. Thanks again everyone for all of your reports.

Suffolk: 3″
Chesapeake: 3″
Franklin: 3-4″
Hampton: 2″
Portsmouth: 1.5″-2″
Mathews: 2.5″-3″
Gloucester and Gloucester Point: 3″-4″
Smithfield: 3″-4″
Newport News: 2.5″-3″
Boykins: 5″
Edenton: 1″-2″
Aulander: 3″
Gates: 2.5″
Williamsburg: 2″
Norfolk: 1″-2″
Wakefield: 3″

We received lots of photos and our web team has put them into a slideshow for you to view.

As expected the snow has changed over to all rain across North Carolina and the Southside. This rain line will continue to move north between now and midnight and everyone should be seeing rain by midnight. With the rain moving in temperatures are also rising. Temperatures should reach the upper 30s and lower 40s by midnight. So the rain should melt all the snow. The rain will continue on and off overnight and the wind will increase steadily as well. Winds will increase out of the northeast at 25-35mph with gusts up to 45mph. With the northeasterly winds increasing, the tides will be running a little bit higher early Thursday. High tide Thursday morning at Sewells Point is around 8 AM. Nuisance to minor tidal flooding will be possible. Then tides come down Thursday afternoon as winds shift more out of the northwest.

Sewell's Point Tides
Sewells Point Tides

Tune into WAVY News 10 after the Olympics for an updated forecast. Meteorologists Jeremy Wheeler and Jeff Edmondson will have another update early Thursday morning during a special edition of WAVY News 10 starting at 4 AM.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

One Response to “Why All The Snow?”

  1. jay williams says:

    snow was nice but its time to move on we need to go into spring, after seeing alot of wrecks yesterday on east 264 at newtown rd and two on the churchland bridge it shows that when it snows here people CAN’T DRIVE…

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