Spring Nor’easter Wrapped In WinterMarch 25th, 2014 at 9:03 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
What should be a Spring nor’easter with some simple rain and wind has developed into a wintry system for several states. The chance for snow has increased for our region, but overall impacts should be minimal. This morning an area of low pressure was moving off of Florida and moving to the northeast. It was strengthening quickly. At the same time moisture was increasing in the upper levels across our region.
While it looked like there was a lot of precipitation on the local radar, the air near the ground was very dry. This allowed for a lot of the precipitation to dry up before it hit the ground. We call this Virga. There were a few snow showers between Toano and Gloucester. These will subside and eventually we’ll all develop a cold rain in the region.
Keep in mind that a few sleet pellets will mix-in at times. Temperatures will keep rising. They are forecast to get into the mid 40s. Even though we’ll see lots of clouds, we’ll also have an east/southeast wind at 10-15mph with gusts up to 20mph. Other than a few sleet pellets, the wintry weather will stay to our west during the day.
On the above map green is light rain, yellow is moderate rain, purple is a mix, and blue is snow. By this evening the winds will start to turn more out of the northeast. Colder air will begin to move south. So between 5 and 9pm we’ll transition over to a scattered mix of rain, sleet, and snow. Temperatures will still be above freezing over most of the area, but they will drop a lot closer to the freezing mark north of the metro by about 9pm. Snow will probably start to accumulate at that time towards the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. Between 9pm and midnight the air will become cold enough for scattered light snow showers. This could pass as far south as northeast North Carolina. Meanwhile the snow will pick up towards the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore.
The area of low pressure will actually be pushing away from us tonight, but it will be still strengthening. So some of the wraparound moisture may linger on the Eastern Shore until about 5 am. Here are the latest snow forecast totals for the area:
Since last night I’ve pushed the dusting area to the south. I’ve also increased the 1-2″ area (pink). It’s possible that we could see a little more than 2″ on the Eastern Shore. It will depend on how much of that moisture lingers there. Stay tuned for updates as the forecast has been changing since yesterday.
Tomorrow we’ll have high pressure building in from the west. The low will become a strong nor’easter for the northeast states. It will be a real mess up towards Boston and Portland. Winds may gust up to near hurricane force up there. Meanwhile we’ll see breezy northwest winds here. They wont’ be that strong, but they will gust up to 40mph. The building high will dry things up. It will still be chilly though with highs in the low 40s.
While the winds won’t be conducive to tidal flooding here in Hampton Roads, there may be some tidal flooding on the sound side of the Outer Banks tomorrow. There is a coastal flood advisory in effect for this from the National Weather Service. Thursday the weather will finally quiet down. We’ll see highs near 50 with partly cloudy skies. There will be some rain moving in late Friday into Saturday, but at least the temperatures will be in the 60s.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler