Jeremy Wheeler

Goodbye Warmth…Enter The Wintry Mess!

March 5th, 2015 at 9:12 am by under Weather

It’s like watching your very best friend leave after a long wonderful visit.  You wave goodbye and you feel sadder as the car drives away.  Before the car leaves you are reminiscing about the fun times that you just had.  That’s exactly how I feel about yesterday’s warm weather.  It was very nice outside.  We hit the 60s and 70s for most of the region.  Norfolk International Airport made it to 70 degrees.  I got out during the evening and soaked up some fresh air.  Then a strong cold front came through early this morning and dropped the temperatures like a rock:

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Some temps were in the 50s and 60s until about 7-8am.  Then temps fell to the upper 30s to low 40s.  Winds picked up out of the north at 10-20mph behind the front.  The winds will stay up and will steadily let the temperatures decrease through the day.  We’ll be in the mid 30s around noon with low 30s by the early evening.  This will allow the changeover to a wintry mix occur.  Keep in mind that the temperatures aloft need to drop to a certain threshold as well.  Even more so for snow.  That colder air aloft will be even slower to move south.  That is why there will be a lengthy period of sleet and freezing rain.  Here is what Future Trak shows at 3pm:

Future Trak (3pm)

Future Trak (3pm)

Notice that a lot of the area will see rain, but that zone of wintry mix (purple) will have made it as far south as the Peninsula, Middle Peninsula, and Eastern Shore.  A lot of this will fall on a wet ground, so it should melt at first.  However, the recent snow just melted in some areas north of Hampton Roads.  So the ground is probably not as warm north of the metro.  Everything slides south through the evening.  We’ll see the wintry mix break out during the evening commute in Hampton Roads.  This will likely cause slowdowns and problems.  Snow will be more prominent on the Peninsula, Eastern Shore, and points northwards during the mid-evening:

Future Trak (7pm)

Future Trak (7pm)

The snow band will keep heading south, but the dry air should start to taper it off through 9-10pm.  This should limit the snow totals on the Southside and over North Carolina.  We’ll dry out overnight, and then temps will drop to the low 20s.

I am expecting varying accumulations of snow and sleet.  Here is what our computer model is forecasting for snow totals:

Future Trak Snow Forecast

Future Trak Snow Forecast

Clearly it is showing the highest amounts from Williamsburg to Exmore and points northward.  It doesn’t have much over the Southside and North Carolina.  Looking at all of the latest data there is a decent agreement in the higher resolution models on what will happen, but the broader models do show a wetter/colder situation.  Using the latest models here is my latest snowfall forecast:

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall Forecast

Everything is suggesting that the highest amounts will be towards the Northern Neck, then Northern part of the Middle Peninsula, and northern Accomack county.  Temperatures will drop there first.  4 or more inches are possible.  Then I have a band of 1-3″ for the rest of the Eastern Shore and Middle Peninsula.  This area includes most of the Peninsula except for the south end of Hampton and Newport News.  I have an area of a dusting up to 1″ across most of the Southside.  This will be mostly on grass. I do think a little more is possible over Norfolk.  The north winds have cooled down that city a little early, as the winds are coming off of the colder (32-35degrees) Chesapeake Bay.  I expect mostly rain for northeast North Carolina.  Here’s the closer view of the above forecast:

Snow Forecast (Closer)

Snow Forecast (Closer)

One problem that isn’t shown in the above maps is the amount of ice that is possible.  Sleet will probably accumulate a bit, and some freezing rain is also possible. The accumulations should be minor, but it is tougher to melt sleet compared to snow.  This could create icy spots during the evening.  Especially on bridges and overpasses.  One other issue is that with the recent melting, the ground is saturated.  Today we’ll see about a half inch up to an inch of rain.  The rain won’t have anywhere to go.  So we’ll have ponding on the roads through the day.  Plus, we could see many flooded back yards.  Tonight that will freeze up as we’ll see clearing skies and lows in the low 20s.  This will create a lot of ice for tomorrow.  Plus, the snow that sticks tonight will not melt.

Tomorrow we’ll see partly cloudy skies.  High temperatures will only be in the upper 20s.  The good news is that the weekend looks good (still).  Highs will be in the 40s and 50s.  I am a little leery though as some precip has snuck in, last minute, into the weekend forecast during the last couple of weeks.  So stay tuned!

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Spring Tease, Then A Wintry Mix

March 4th, 2015 at 9:00 am by under Weather

We are on track to warm up nicely today.  We are in the 40s and 50s as I write this, and temperatures are climbing.   There was patchy fog in the region.  The warm front was moving in from the southeast and west.  That makes more sense when you look at the map below:

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

We’ll keep warming up today into the 60s and 70s.  There will be some 50s towards the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore.

Forecast High Temperatures

Forecast High Temperatures

Now keep this in mind…….The water temperatures are in the low/mid 30s on the bay and in the mid-upper 30s over the ocean.  So if you are near the water, then the air temperatures won’t be as warm.  We will see winds out of the southwest at 5-15mph through the afternoon.  If the winds were to die down for some reason, then we would develop a major sea-breeze.  For now I believe the winds will stay up enough to stop that, but temperatures will be very mixed due to the local geography/waterways.

We will see a few showers move in later today, but we’ll also see some clearing between now and then.  there will be some very nice weather out there around the midday and early afternoon for many folks in this area before any showers try to move in.  It will be very Spring-like.  By this evening the rain chances will increase.  We’ll see widespread rain overnight as a strong cold front moves in from the north.  Lows will drop to the upper 30s to near 40.  So tomorrow morning will be the warmest (I use that term loosely) part of the day.  Temps will drop to the low/mid 30s by the early afternoon.  Then we’ll be in the upper 20s to low 30s by the evening.  Brrr.  This will allow for the wintry mix to take place.  We’ll start the day with cold rain and some isolated sleet pellets.  By the time we get to noon, then the wintry mix (purple) will move in.

Future Trak (Noon Thursday)

Future Trak (Noon Thursday)

Some snow (blue) will start up on the Northern Neck by that time.  As the day goes on and the temperatures fall, the wintry mix will drop south.  The snow line will too.  So by the late afternoon/early evening rain will change over to snow over much of the area:

Future Trak (5pm Thur.)

Future Trak (5pm Thur.)

Notice that even at 5pm that the Southside and North Carolina are still in a mix or in rain.  So there won’t be a lot of time for accumulations there.  However, snow will fall for a good while on the Middle Peninsula, The Northern Neck, and the upper Eastern Shore.  There will also be a shorter time for snow on the Peninsula and the lower Eastern Shore.  So this is where I believe we’ll see accumulations.  Most of it would be on the grass, but I believe some areas like Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck could see it on the roads too.  Those locations won’t get as warm today, and some of the snow is still trying to melt there from last time.  The ground will get a chance to warm up though for the rest of the region.  So this should help to melt the snow in many locations as it falls.  Also, air temperatures at the surface will be just above freezing which will also help.  That is until the late afternoon/evening.  Then the temps will be in the upper 20s north to low 30s south, but that is when the dry air will also try to move in.  Keep in mind that a lot of sleet and a little freezing rain will mix in with the snow and rain.  This could create some minor iciness in several locations.

Here is what Future Trak is estimating for snow totals:

Future Trak Snow Forecast

Future Trak Snow Forecast

With all of the factors that I mentioned above I’ve put together a snow forecast.  This is what I expect on the ground.  There may be more falling out of the sky.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

I am a little vague on the “Light” part I know.  It would probably be an inch or less, but it depends on how much sleet and freezing rain mix in with the precip.  Stay tuned for updates.

By the way we will see about a quarter to a half inch of rain.  Some areas could see three-quarters of an inch.  With all of the melting snow recently the ground is saturated.  So we may see some back yards flooded as well as ponding on the roads.  After the precipitation we’ll clear out during the evening, and then temps will drop to near 20 overnight.

On Friday we’ll see a mix of sun and clouds.  Some models hint at a little moisture trying to push back north just a bit.  So a stray shower is possible over the Outer Banks.  If the moisture tries to sneak more to the north, then we could see a brief mix again, but it would be very isolated.  That is a low chance right now, but stay tuned.  Highs will only be near 30 on Friday.  The good news (or other good news) is that we’ll warm up a bit for the weekend. Highs will be in the 40s.  Things look dry for now.  The models keep changing their tune though.  Overall the weather pattern looks warmer next week.  I’m more than ready.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Huge Warmup, Then More Wintry Mix

March 3rd, 2015 at 8:36 am by under Weather

Temperatures are getting ready to go on a huge roller coaster ride over the next few days.  We’ll be basking in the warm 60s & 70s tomorrow, and then we’ll see a wintry mix of rain, sleet, and snow on Thursday.

Today we started with quiet weather.  I can’t believe I just typed that….  Quiet weather.  There was no fog, and we only had clouds in the region.  However, some showers were forming off to our west.  Temps started in the upper 20s to low 30s.  We will stay in the cool sector today.  There is a warm front closing-in from the west, but it won’t arrive until this evening.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

We’ll see overrunning precipitation today in the form of some scattered rain showers.  There could be a few sleet pellets, but there shouldn’t be too much of that.  High temps will rise to the upper 30s to low 40s.  We’ll see some mid-upper 40s over northeast North Carolina. The rain showers will pick up a bit towards the evening.  This will make for a wet commute for some folks.  The showers will continue overnight, but should taper off late.  Temps will drop a degree or two this evening. Then they will rise overnight.  We’ll likely start tomorrow morning near 50 degrees.  Since we’ll be in the warm sector tomorrow, we’ll probably clear out a bit.  Between the partly cloudy skies and southwesterly winds (10-20mph), we’ll get the temperatures going up to the upper 60s to near 70.  That won’t be a record, but it will be well above the average high of 54 degrees.  The models don’t show too much rain tomorrow except for some scattered showers in the afternoon. The rain will likely increase in the evening.  This rain will continue on and off into Thursday morning.  By Thursday afternoon the cold front will move into North Carolina.  Temperatures will keep dropping behind the front.  This will create a wintry mix of rain, sleet, and snow in Hampton Roads with rain changing to snow north of Hampton Roads.

Future Trak (3pm Thur.)

Future Trak (3pm Thur.)

I mentioned yesterday that this will be a race between the cold air and the dry air.  Between 3 and 5pm it looks like the dry air will quickly sink south.  So watch what our model does with the snow line by 5pm:

Future Trak (5pm Thur.)

Future Trak (5pm Thur.)

The snow line shrinks while the wintry mix area (purple) grows slightly.  This seems like a very reasonable solution.  This would greatly limit the snow accumulations in Hampton Roads.  However, several sources (including HPC/NOAA) is suggesting that accumulations will be possible or even likely between the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck, And Accomack county.  Now there is still some snow on the ground in places.  This will likely melt over the next 48 hours.  Especially on Wednesday.  The warmup should help to warm the ground temperatures a bit.  So we may see the bulk of accumulations stick to grassy surfaces and not so much to the roads.  However, this will depend on how much of the leftover snow melts.  It could stop the ground from warming up much, even if it doesn’t melt until Wednesday night.  As per usual, the forecast may change.  So stay tuned!

We’ll be cold and dry on Friday with highs in the low 30s.  Then we’ll warm up over the weekend.  There will be an offshore low to our south over the weekend.  This could throw a few showers our way late Saturday into Sunday.  It’s a low chance, but if you look at the recent weather pattern, then we can’t make it 3 or 4 days without some type of precipitation moving into the area.  Hopefully, we’ll get a drier pattern soon.  If this keeps up, then we could be looking at some flooding during the Spring.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


Can’t Catch A Break!

March 2nd, 2015 at 7:48 am by under Weather

I was hoping to come in this morning and deal with some patchy fog.  Then the forecast changed, and we had widespread fog with some scattered showers.  Oyy!  No rest for the weary!

Meteorologist Tiffany Savona put out a nice blog last night on the February temperatures, and how it was the 3rd coldest February on record.  I would have left it at that, but I wanted to do an update to the forecast for today.  Since yesterday the forecast had changed.  For starters, there was some fog in the forecast from last night, but the fog became widespread and heavy in many places.  So there were even dense fog advisories early today.  Along with the fog, there were also some scattered rain showers.  This had increased from an outside chance to scattered showers.

Scattered Showers This Morning

Scattered Showers This Morning

The showers will be around this morning with even a few sleet pellets.  Yep!  The good news is that things will improve this afternoon.  We’ll go to partly cloudy skies by the early afternoon.  Temps will rise to the mid 40s by midday.  Then a cold front will move through and slowly drop temperatures.  We’ll be in the upper 30s by the late afternoon-early evening.  Overnight we’ll clear our skies.  Temps will drop to the upper 20s.  Then tomorrow, more rain is in the forecast.  We’ll see scattered to occasional showers by the afternoon.

Future Trak (5pm Tuesday)

Future Trak (5pm Tuesday)

There may be a few sleet pellets mixing in, but they should be minimal.  Highs will be in the upper 30s to low 40s in the region.  The rain on Tuesday will be caused by a warm front which will start a nice warming period for a good 36 hours.  So we’ll be mild Tuesday night with rising temperatures.  We’ll keep rising on Wednesday with highs reaching the upper 60s.  Yeah!…upper 60s.  However, (you knew it was coming!) we can’t get used to the warmup, as a strong cold front will move in already by Thursday.  In fact we’ll go from the upper 60s for highs on Wednesday to the upper 30s on Thursday.  We’ll start the precipitation as rain showers, but this will try to transition into snow showers behind the front.  This will be a race between the dry and the cold air, but there may be some light accumulations by Thursday afternoon.  Probably on grassy surfaces.  Remember the ground will get a decent chance to warm up between Tuesday night and Thursday morning.

While we will get cold again, it won’t be like it was over the past 2 weeks.  We’ll see highs in the 40s returning by the weekend.

Stay tuned for updates.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


Snow Totals And What’s Next

February 26th, 2015 at 1:38 pm by under Weather

The snow tapered off around 9-10am, but there was still a small batch going on the Peninsula and Middle Peninsula around midday.

Satellite/Radar At Midday

Satellite/Radar At Midday

The flurries and light snow showers will be pushing out soon. It is caused by a little wave of energy in the mid levels that is behind the main system.  The surface low is happily farther heading out to sea.  We picked up some decent-high snow totals.  The highest totals were from inland areas of the Southside,  as well as the Pesinsula, and the Middle Peninsula.

Snow Totals

Snow Totals

There were a couple of isolated spots that had a little more, but these were the average.  The amounts for parts of the northern Peninsula and Middle Peninsula were underforecast (by me), but parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake were overforecast.  One thing we did really well was to forecast for that mix zone which set up in North Carolina and the Southside.  There were even periods of rain and sleet last night which lowered the snow totals there.  That is something that a lot of other forecasters didn’t really cover much.  Here was one photo of the heavy snow from the Gloucester area:

Snow On Deck (Gloucester)

Snow On Deck (Gloucester)

Wow!  Have a seat eh?  That photo was from Tracy.  It really came down up there.  Also we did have reports of some trees that had either bent over or had branches broken.  Here was an example of that from Newport News:

Snow Bends Tree

Snow Bends Tree

A lot of the roads are being plowed and treated today.  Temps have risen to the low/mid 30s.  So there will be some minor melting today.  Hopefully that will get some of the ice off of the power lines and trees.  The problem is that tonight the temps will drop down to the teens and 20s.  So we’ll see a refreeze of the roads.  So there will be black ice along with the ice and snow out there tomorrow morning. Many schools will be closed again, and many businesses will be either delayed or possibly closed again.  This is getting tough for the local economy.  Many businesses have been losing a lot of money (not all).  And now a lot of schools will have to double up their lessons to try to catch up.  Let alone the increasing amount of make up days.

Here’s a little bit of good news….Tomorrow we’ll see partly cloudy skies.  Highs will rise to the low/mid 30s.  If we’re lucky, then we’ll squeeze out some mid-upper 30s.  This should help to melt a lot of the roads.  Saturday we’ll see sunshine, but highs will only be in the low 30s.  We’ll finally warm up to the 40s on Sunday with partly cloudy skies.  Speaking of warm…we’ll see highs in the 50s next Monday and probably some 60s on Wednesday.  Rain will move in though.  It may be wet for 2 of those 3 days.

Thanks again for all of your reports and feedback.  They really do help with the forecast.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


Mid-Morning Snow Update

February 26th, 2015 at 8:29 am by under Weather

Snow has been coming down heavily at times, but it also keeps going back and forth with a mix of sleet up onto the Southside.  We’ve seen a lot of rain across northeast North Carolina.  Here was the radar at about 8:00am this morning.

Super Doppler 10

Super Doppler 10

Notice that the back edge of the precip has made it to Emporia.  Snow will taper off over the next hour and a half.  Then we’ll just see flurries for the midday and the afternoon. The actual surface low is southeast of Hatteras and is moving northeast.  We’ve had reports of about 6-7″ from the Peninsula to the Middle Peninsula.  About 5-7″ on the Southside with a few higher amounts from Suffolk westward.  Lesser amounts over most of northeast North Carolina. We’ll see another inch – inch and a half before it wraps up.

I’ve updated the snow totals so far.  I’ve increased the amounts on the Middle Peninsula.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

We are on track to get that 7-9″ from the Peninsula and Middle Peninsula.  A few isolated areas will see 10″ before it comes to an end.  We’ll see flurries continue through the midday and the early afternoon.  Temps will hover in the low/mid 30s.  There may be a few peaks of sun this afternoon.  If that happens, then we could get some minimal melting.  Tonight whatever melts will re-freeze and turn into patch black ice.  It will probably be a messy commute again tomorrow morning.  Especially in the higher total areas.    We’ll put out one more blog either later this morning or around midday.  Thanks for all your input and reports.  They have really helped.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Thursday Morning Update

February 26th, 2015 at 5:23 am by under Weather

I wanted to put out a quick update on the snow and wintry mix.  Snow has moved into the region.  We have heavy snow in places, but we have also had that wintry mix in the region.  Here was the view on Super Doppler 10 around 5:00am:

Super Doppler 10 Radar

Super Doppler 10 Radar

The interesting thing about this is that we have had numerous reports of rain with the moderate snow.  Ive had reports of rain in Franklin, Virginia Beach, and even Newport News. It seems that when the precip lightened up it would turn to rain.  Then when things picked up it would turn to snow.  This is probably due to the snow dragging the cold air down. This is a common occurrence.  The snow that does fall is heavy and wet.  Temps were actually a little above freezing, but the heavy snow was enough to overcome that.  It was around 32 degrees inland and north.

Based off the latest, here is the latest snowfall forecast:

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

I’ve increased the heavy snow area from last night by an inch or two.  The precip was ending over towards Raleigh/Durham.  There is some dry air moving in from the west/southwest.  So our snow should taper off between 8-9am.  At least that’s the ballpark.  we’ll have a longer blog out later this morning with more details.  Please stay in today if you can.  The roads are rough.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Brief Pre-Storm Update

February 25th, 2015 at 12:47 pm by under Weather

I am just going to do a quick update to the blog here.  My morning blog has a lot more information.  One change that I made to the forecast is to move the higher area of snow northward.  I moved the 5-8″ zone more onto the Peninsula, Middle Peninsula, all of Northampton County, and cities farther west on the Southside.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

Part of the reason for the move is that the models are trending north.  Here is one version of our Future Trak model:

Future Trak Snow Forecast

Future Trak Snow Forecast

This version is RPM based.  I haven’t gone as high as that model, but I have kept in the words (locally higher).  Perhaps meteorologist Don Slater will increase the amounts by this afternoon/evening.  This low is going to be booking!  Right now it is down towards the Gulf of Mexico.  Notice how far north the precipitation extends from the low.  That is how we will still see snow in the area even though the low will stay offshore and to our south.

Low To The South

Low To The South

We’ll have more updates out later today.  I appreciate everyone’s feedback up to this point.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Next Round Of Bigger Snow

February 25th, 2015 at 8:41 am by under Weather

Yesterday we did have a decent amount of snow.  I admit, It was more than forecast.  Some areas had 2-3″ of snow.  The snow was not sticking for most of the day.  For a long time the snow just was not adding up.  During the early evening the snow started to accumulate quickly.  Part of it may be that we lost the sun.  Also, the temperatures dropped slightly.  But during the day temps were mainly in the upper 20s.  So the analog of weather during the day basically didn’t translate into last night.  The models did a pretty bad job from start to finish.  Future Trak did ok (see yesterday’s blog), but it was just too light.

Anyway, now we have another system getting ready to move in. Today we are in between systems.  We’ll see high pressure, sunshine, and melting during the day.  Highs will be in the low 40s. Winds will be light and westerly.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Tonight things will change.  The setup is that an area of low pressure will form at the surface well to our south.  It will skirt the coast and move offshore from southwest to northeast.  It will push significant moisture up into our area.  As the low moves northeast it will pull down some colder air on its western side.  Winds will pickup out of the north/northeast.  They will gust up to 25-30mph.  Temps will stay in the upper 20s to low 30s between tonight and tomorrow.  The snow is expected to move in after about 8pm.  This may start as a mix of snow, sleet, and rain.  Some models show a significant area of mixed precip which will once again complicate the forecast.  Snow will increase between 9pm and midnight.

Future Trak (MIdnight)

Future Trak (Midnight)

The snow and mix will slowly move northward.  Snow will be heavy just north of the mix line.  Our Future Trak model does show a large are of just rain over northeast North Carolina. While I do think we’ll see a mix of rain, sleet, and some snow there, I think the rain portion (green/yellow) is overdone.  Through the night snow will continue to fall from Hampton Roads northward.  The mix zone looks to stay in place or will sink south slightly.  By tomorrow morning the snow will really stack up from Hampton Roads northward.

Future Trak (7AM Thur.)

Future Trak (7AM Thur.)

Our model actually keeps the snow going through the early afternoon. Some other models taper things off around midday.

Our Future Trak model adds up the snow and puts out its snow totals.  Here is what it is showing:

Model's Snow Forecast

Model’s Snow Forecast

Now with the amount of time that the model has snow falling, there’s no way we’ll see 4-6″ in the region. It would be more in the way of 8-11″.  That’s based off my experience.   Still, it is worth noting.  So that’s why I showed it.  Here is one forecast model from the National Weather Service:

NWS Snow Forecast

So for now I am running close to the National Weather Service forecast.  Here is my forecast map:

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

The light blue area is 1-3″.  There may be even less across the Outer Banks, but there is an important caveat to that in the model section below.

The models:

The NAM model has been the most aggressive by far.  In the past I have mentioned that it overdoes coastal systems.  However, if it does verify, then we could be looking at over 11″ of snow in Hampton Roads.  It is very heavy from before midnight through the mid morning hours.  It is important to note that the 540 line is just north of Hampton Roads during that period.  That is a thickness (of the 500 milibar pressure surface) that forecasters use to try to determine the rain/snow line.  The lower the thickness the colder the layers below that level.  Remember colder air is more dense.  Anyway, it’s not the only thing to use when forecasting, but it’s important.  There will be a warm layer aloft, but there will also be a significant/deep cold layer underneath it.  However, it is possible that the NAM is suggesting a mix zone for a while from near the state border down into northeast North Carolina.

The GFS has a similar setup, but the 540 line is a little farther south.  It looks like a solid 3-6″ of snow in the area with a mix also possible over northeast North Carolina.  the higher resolution NAM (4km) has snow from about midnight until the mid morning hours.  It does show a significant mix of sleet and possibly freezing rain over the Hampton Roads metro.  It shows rain over the Outer Banks and parts of northeast North Carolina.  Very similar to Future Trak.

The European model is an outlier.  At least if I’m reading it right.  It has no area of mix in North Carolina.  It keeps things cold there through the whole period.  So it shows about 7-8″ of snow for the Southside with about 9-12″ over northeast North Carolina.  Yikes!  I don’t see that happening, but if you combine that information with the other computer models, then you would have to drag the 5-8″ area southward.  I’d say the consensus is running against that right now, but I will keep it in mind.

My thoughts:

This is another complicated system.  It was advertised by some models for days in advance, but you have to be cautious.  People tend to forget the 8-12″ snow events that DON’T happen.  Regardless, here we are.  There is a high chance for big impacts.  Businesses are already hurting from last week. Many parents are struggling to take care of kids that are out of school.  Also they are struggling to keep them from getting cabin fever.  There is a consensus in the models that there will be heavy snow from the Southside northward.  The mix may reduce amounts on the Southside, but I don’t think it will reduce the amounts too much.  Northeast North Carolina is the question mark.  That area of rain and mix will really complicate things.  It could even produce freezing rain for a time near the state border. Even into Virginia.  I would try to get as much done today as possible because whatever falls will stick, and whatever sticks will stay.  We’ll be dry on Friday except for a few flurries, but the highs will only be in the low 30s.  The delays and closings will likely continue into Friday.  As mentioned, some of the models show higher amounts than I have currently forecast. So the amounts could increase by the midday forecast.  We’ll put an update out this afternoon, and maybe midday if I can fit it in.

At least we can look forward to some warmer temperatures next week.

 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Snow Today And Thursday

February 24th, 2015 at 10:07 am by under Weather

Snow has crept into today’s Forecast.  Some of the models hinted at it yesterday.  Today they still disagree on what will fall, but at least they agree that some snow will fall.  Basically…. we did have an arctic cold front move into the region yesterday.  However, it didn’t push as far south as expected.  Therefore the boundary stopped a little closer to us.  Therefore we had a little more moisture to work with this morning.  Temperatures were cold, but not as cold as forecast.  We bottomed out in the upper teens around the Northern Neck and Eastern shore.  However, the extra moisture allowed for clouds to roll in early.  This worked in our favor.  So instead of low temps dropping to the mid teens in Hampton Roads, we bottomed out in the low 20s.  Those same clouds should stop us from warming up too much today.  However, since we started a little milder, then we may be able to finish a little milder.  For now I’m calling for highs in the low 30s, but we may get into the mid 30s if we are lucky.  That would make a difference in snow totals, and what sticks to the roads.  It’s very subtle.  We are talking about a 2-4 degree difference.   So stay tuned.

Here was the snow in the region around 8:30am.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

There will be an offshore low to our south that will develop and move northward.  It won’t move through here, but it will push extra moisture into our region.  So scattered snow showers will increase through the day.  So far it has been very light.  I expect it to stay fairly light through most of the period.  The snow will increase by this evening.  This could impact the evening commute.
Here is Future Trak at 5pm this evening.

Future Trak (5pm)

Future Trak (5pm)

Again, the blue area is going to be the outline for the flurries and light snow showers.  Remember though..even a little snow will cause people to get distracted while driving.  The precip will still be going this evening.  At that time some warmer air will come up from the south (aloft).  This will change the snow into a wintry mix of sleet, snow, and rain.

Future Trak (9pm)

Future Trak (9pm)

In fact some of the precip may fall as just rain over the Outer Banks for a while.  That should help to create brief melting.  After about 1-2am this will move east and we will dry out.  We’ll drop down to the 20s for lows.  Then tomorrow things look nice.  We’ll see partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 40s.  That will help to melt today/tonight’s snow.  Then there’s Thursday………….   …………..

I’ve had folks ask me about Thursday morning more than Today’s weather.  I’ve heard rumors of snowmageddon again.  Oh boy!  I won’t go into uber detail about Thursday at this time, but I do want to give some insight.  The reason we are seeing these rounds of snow chances is due to a large upper level trough.  This large dip in the jetstream is causing surface lows to form to our south and move offfshore to the northeast.  They have been close enough to bring us precipitation.  So Wednesday night into Thursday morning the next surface low will spawn to our south and will move offshore/adjacent to the coast.  The models do detect this low and they do bring us some snow.  The models vary a bit, but all of them bring accumulating snow to at least parts of the viewing area.  Some of them put the focus on North Carolina to the Southside.  Some of them bring snow through the whole viewing area.  The NAM model is fairly aggressive and widespread, but remember… it doesn’t always do well with coastal systems.  The GFS and European models seem to have a good handle on things.  At this time I would say that they focus more on northeast North Carolina up to the Southside with lesser amount north and west.  I won’t put solid amounts, but I would say a solid 2-4″ with possibly higher amounts in that focus area.  We’ll be able to get a better flavor for that by tonight.  Then I can put some solid amounts down by tomorrow morning.  Plus, then we’ll be behind today’s system.  The good news is that the weekend (Friday through Sunday) looks dry…for now.  The other good news is that the pattern looks to flatten some by next week.  That could mean some warming. Stay tuned.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler