Don Slater

Convective Outlooks

March 26th, 2015 at 11:06 pm by under Weather

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center is the agency that issues all Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Watches. And they also issue something called “convective outlooks”. This time of year, these are issued almost daily. The SPC has recently updated its convective outlooks by providing a bit more detail. Basically, it creates more of a visual bulls-eye identifying the expected trouble areas.

Here’s an example:proposed_PWO

Yes, Some Rain…But Still A Beautiful Day

March 25th, 2015 at 10:38 pm by under Weather

We’re likely to see a breezy, warm day for Thursday. There is a chance for some rain, but it’s not likely that it’ll dominate the day. Look for showers and even a thunderstorm or two between around noon and 3:00 PM. Here’s how it might look by around noon tomorrow:

Future Trak

There is a very marginal chance that a thunderstorm or two could produce some strong, gusty winds. So do watch out for that and do watch Jeremy on Thursday morning and at noon. He’ll show you any stronger thunderstorms moving into the region.

Future Trak2

A Quiet Thunderstorm Year…That’s Likely To Change

March 23rd, 2015 at 10:35 pm by under Weather

It’s been an unusually quiet spring for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Here’s an article which explains w quiet it has been…and how all that is going to change in the next few days.

Here’s a graphic showing the severe thunderstorm threat for Wednesday from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center:

day2otlk_1730And here’s the outlook for Thursday:


The Cool-down Has Begun

March 17th, 2015 at 10:58 pm by under Weather

The temperature drop has begun in earnest this evening. After a high of 82 this afternoon, the 10:00 PM temperature has dropped 27 degrees.

By dawn, expect temperatures to bottom out at around 35 to 40. Afternoon Highs are likely to be between 47 and 53 degrees.


Slow Improvement For The Weekend

February 27th, 2015 at 6:44 pm by under Weather

Sunshine this morning helped improve the streets a bit. Additionally, we’ve had an afternoon breeze which has dried the main roads a little more.

However, the neighborhood roads are still a slushy frozen mess and will freeze hard as temperatures drop to between 16 and 22 by dawn. It’ll actually be a couple of degrees cooler for Saturday. But more sunshine should help melt the roads just a bit more. Sunday looks a bit warmer (near 40) with a stray rain shower or two. Much warmer next week!


Enough To Shut Us Down, But Not The Big One

February 17th, 2015 at 1:19 am by under Uncategorized, Weather

The opportunities for further big snowfall are rapidly dwindling. For most of us, we’ll still see some sleet…changing back over to snow…but the amounts should not add up to too much more than we’ve already gotten.

I have revised the forecast snowfall amounts downward throughout the region for the most part. It is a significant snowfall for our part of the world…certainly enough to close schools, etc. for Tuesday…but for the vast majority of us, I don’t see any significant accumulation added to what we’ve already gotten.

Additionally, the sleet has been knocking down the existing snow cover. There could be an hour or two of light rain over the south side Hampton Roads Cities; that would knock the snow cover down to just a little slush.1889039_1099616370065285_3075772450993985539_o

Waterspout In North Carolina Earlier Today

February 2nd, 2015 at 11:10 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

Here’s a link to a waterspout today over the Pasquotank River in North Carolina. A big thank you to Justin Creef!

What A Way To Start The Weekend!

January 30th, 2015 at 11:13 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather


Temperatures should continue to plummet overnight, then bottom out at around 20 inland to about 28 at the shores. Winds will continue out of the NW at 15-25 mph within about 20 miles of the Coast & Bay…less wind inland fro9m there.

It’ll be a cold & windy start to our Saturday. The wind should drop off in the afternoon, but the cold air remains! Highs only around 36 to 40.

Sunday looks mostly cloudy and a little warmer with highs around 46 to 50.

Rain Sunday night and Monday. The rain could end as just a little snow on Monday afternoon…Stay tuned on that one!

The Accuracies and Inaccuracies of Forecasting Light Snow

January 27th, 2015 at 11:49 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

The first picture is my final snowfall prediction from Monday night’s forecast. The second (blue-ish) picture is a radar estimate/depiction of the snow that actually fell; the darker the blue…the heavier the snow.

I spoke about this a couple of times on the air today. I basically talked about the accuracies, but also the shortcomings of snowfall forecasts. The snow forecast for last night and this morning can be considered a pretty good one; We generally got the areas of heaviest snow in the right places. And we didn’t see any big surprises. In other words, no bigger than expected snow amounts. The prediction was for a dusting to two inches for the vast majority of the area (see 1st picture) and that’s pretty much what we got.

The only real tangible mistake on the forecast was that I predicted 2″ to 3″ of snow for much of the Eastern Shore…and that just didn’t happen. To understand my thinking from last night regarding heavier snow for the Eastern Shore, look to that area over the water…in the lower Bay (2nd picture). At the time that the forecast was put together, I was concerned about a heavier slug of snow (2″-3″) for the Eastern Shore. It was close, but no cigar! Only about a half mile west of Cape Charles over the water…but that part of the snowfall forecast was indeed a little off. The Eastern Shore generally got 1″ to 2″ of snow and NOT the 2″ to 3″ that was predicted.

There’s one other thing to note. On the forecast graphic you will note that snow totals are a bit more “broad-brushed” than the reality shown in the second graphic. This reflects the realities of forecasting snow…especially relatively lighter amounts. We simply cannot predict all the smaller details and variabilities that you see on the second graphic. It is simply the “state of the art”.

All in all, though…I was pretty happy with the snow forecast. A big thanks to meteorologists Tiffany Savona and Jeremy Wheeler for their collaboration and hard work. I hope that you were able to make good use of the snow forecast!

Short Update On Upcoming Snow

January 25th, 2015 at 8:41 pm by under Uncategorized, Weather

The forecast models have come into better agreement as to the snowfall for Monday night into Tuesday. As you’ll see, the models are not in complete agreement quite yet…but it is reasonable to expect that we will see accumulating snow into the region. Virginia’s Northern Neck and Accomack County on the Eastern Shore are likely to receive the most snow (possibly 5″ in northern Accomack). Areas along the western and southern shores of the Chesapeake Bay are likely to receive 1″ to 3″ of snow. We’ll be able to fine-tune this a bit better as the storm draws closer tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, this is not likely to be “the big one”, but there is likely to be enough snow to affect traffic and may close businesses and schools.

Yesterday, the EURO model was predicting huge amounts of snow for the Eastern Shore (7″-9″!) and more significant amounts for the Hampton Roads cities, too. In my blog post yesterday, I had pointed out that the EURO was an outlier–predicting too much snow–and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Well, today the EURO backed off considerably for our part of the world. Here are two screen-grabs of the EURO…one fairly local and another for the Northeast U.S.:


E COAST_EUROYou will note that the New York and Boston areas are just gonna’ get hammered with snow (24″+).

Here’s a look at the GFS model on a regional, then East Coast scale:

GFS18GFS_EASTYou will note that the GFS has a greater concentration of snow for areas west of I-95 and on into the Charlottesville area. It also has less snow for the Eastern Shore. The wider view shows Boston getting hit with heavier snow (18″-24″), but New York getting around 8″ to 10″.

While the forecast models are not yet in total agreement, they do agree on a couple of things:

(a). We’ll see some accumulating snow.

(b). For the vast majority of us, the total accumulated snow will be a relatively small amount (dusting to 2″).

That’s still enough to “shut us down”, though. Stay tuned!