Jeremy Wheeler

Cold Punches

January 29th, 2015 at 8:11 am by under Weather

Like a fighter trying to get up off the mat, cold punches are going to keep knocking us down.  While there’s no long-term deep freeze in the extended forecast, we’ll keep getting these short jabs of cold.  It’s interesting because they have had record heat over the central U.S. lately. Today we started with cold temps.  Lows were in the teens and 20s through much of the region.  We did have a lot of sunshine this morning though.  An area of high pressure was moving from Hampton Roads to offshore.  Clouds were chasing behind it from the west.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Winds will turn out of the south today at about 5-10mph.  So high temperatures will get a chance to rise up to the low/mid 40s.  Notice there is a cold front over the Mississippi River Valley.  This will move quickly east.  We’ll see a few spotty showers ahead of it tonight with lows in the upper 30s.  By 5-8am tomorrow morning the front will be moving through the region.  Temps will start out in the upper 30s.  Early on they’ll rise to the low 40s.  Then the winds will pickup out of the northwest.  We’ll clear out, but temps will drop through the afternoon to the 30s.  Winds will drive northwest to southeast at about 10-20mph with a few gusts to 30mph near the shore.  So even during the day wind chills will be in the teens and 20s.  By Saturday morning lows will be in the teens and 20s again.  Then we’ll only see highs in the mid 30s during Saturday afternoon.  At least we’ll see sunshine.  By Sunday we’ll warm things up a bit again. Highs will be in the low/mid 40s.  However, moisture will return to the region. We’ll see scattered rain showers later in the day.  Yes this will be around during the evening.  So that will impact travel to any of your Super Bowl parties.

Rain will continue into Monday.  The models have trended a little colder for Monday.  At least the GFS model did.  So while most of the precipitation should fall as rain, we may see this turn into a wintry mix by later in the day.  Highs are expected to be in the 40s, but cold air will surge southward late.  The timing for this is key.  Still too early to pinpoint, but that’s what I’m seeing for now.  We’ll have a big update tomorrow as the models should start to come to more of an agreement.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Quiet And Cold

January 28th, 2015 at 8:06 am by under Weather

Our weather is much quieter today, but it is also very cold outside.  We started this morning with temps mostly in the 20s.  Through the day high temps will only rise to the upper 30s to near 40.  High pressure is building into the region from the west.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

This will bring us plenty of sunshine today.  However the winds will be out of the northwest at 10-15mph with a few higher gusts.  This will create wind chills in the 20s.  Meanwhile the area of low pressure is still churning in the northeast states.

Northeast Storm

Northeast Storm

While some areas in the northeast (like New York) didn’t get it as bad as forecast, there were still huge problems in many other cities.  Today the storm will move off into the Canadian Maritimes.

Locally we’ll see quiet weather in the region for a few days.  It will be cold today, but a little better tomorrow. Highs will be in the low/mid 40s both Thursday and Friday.  By Friday night a cold front will move into the region.  This will drop Saturday’s high temperatures into the mid 30s.  We’ll warm up on Sunday with a chance for a few showers later in the day.  Then Monday looks warm with highs near 50.  There will be a chance for rain in the morning.  The GFS model continues to suggest that Monday will be warmer (near 60).  However, the European model is not as warm. Oh yeah, that’s the same model that people talked about a couple of days ago that had huge snow in the forecast.  It was way too early to mention it, and now it has really changed its tune.  At this time both models keep the precipitation late Sunday into Monday as RAIN.  Maybe a brief wintry mix, but no big snows.  Sorry!

There are a couple of good international stories to talk about.  The first one is a good blog from the folks at the Washington Post. It is a recent article about the drought in California.  It outlines the drought over the last 15 years.  It has a nice graphic that shows the different levels of drought through those years.  Here’s the article: California Drought.

The next article is one about the different international agencies and how they calculate global temperatures.  It’s pertinent as many of the agencies have reported that 2014 was the warmest year on record.  It’s an interesting read.  Here is the article from NASA: Agencies and global temperatures.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Tuesday Morning Snow Update

January 27th, 2015 at 5:52 am by under Weather

Scattered snow showers are falling this morning.  It was coming down pretty good in some areas (dark blue):

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

The snow was accumulating on grassy and elevated surfaces, but not too much on the roads.  Temperatures had dropped to 30-34 degrees.  There was some slushiness on the roads, but I don’t think we’ll see too many problems with travel this morning.  I’ve made a forecast map, but I’ve basically had to adjust it every half hour. This is because it is high based off of the local snow band that moved from north to south.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

The snow showers will taper off by the mid-morning hours.  Then we’ll see lots of clouds.  Winds will run out of the north/northwest at 10-20mph with gusts up to 25mph.  So temperatures will only rise to the upper 30s today.  Wind chills will be in the 20s.  We’ll clear out tonight. Temps will drop to the low/mid 20s.  Then tomorrow we’ll see sunshine. High temps will only be in the mid-upper 30s.

We will see some nuisance tidal flooding near the Chesapeake Bay by the mid afternoon hours.  Tides will run about 1-1.5 ft above normal.

I’ll post a blot with more info later this morning.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Finer Snow Details For Tuesday

January 26th, 2015 at 12:59 pm by under Weather

I think I’m starting to see a trend in the models.  Some of the wetter models have gotten drier.  One of the drier models stayed dry.  Then our local model came in with a wild upswing in amounts.  It’s totals went from a couple tenths of an inch this morning to 1-4″ by the late morning.  This wild swing was temporary though.  Still… it made me wonder what was going on.  I think I figured it out.  The GFS model has had a small area of heavy snow over the past few runs very close to the Chesapeake Bay.  Our local model then came in with a small area very similar in size and position.  The hi-res NAM also had a small burst of snow between about midnight and 5am near the Chesapeake Bay, but not as heavy as the others.  What I think is happening is that the models are suggesting that most of the region will see scattered light snow showers.  However, a small area of heavy snow looks to develop.

When I re-ran our local model it came up with a more reasonable solution.  Here is what it shows for 4am tomorrow morning.

Future Trak (4am)

Future Trak (4am)

Now I still think that temps will be just above freezing at that time.  Here are the forecast temperatures at 6am.

Forecast Temperatures

Forecast Temperatures

The local heavy band of snow will try to drift southward.  During that time temps will fall to near freezing.  The scattered snow showers will try to accumulate, but the snow showers will become more scattered and light through the morning.

Future Trak (7am Tue)

Future Trak (7am Tue)

Therefore I believe a lot of the area will only see a dusting up to an inch, but there will be a local zone of higher amounts near the band.  Here is the latest map that I have for the snow forecast.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

IF the band sets up, then we may have to drag down the pink area to a section of the Southside.  What may happen is that we’ll broad-brush the dusting up to an inch area for most of the region and then just put the words “locally higher”.  I almost took out the 2-3″ around Chincoteague.  That has been trending downward in the last couple of model runs.

-Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler


Tracking Some Snow

January 26th, 2015 at 9:06 am by under Weather

The operative word in the title is (Some).  The latest forecast trends are drier and drier.  You will hear about this historic snow storm all day, but remember it’s the 2-3 feet of snow in the northeast states that will be historic.  Not our local snow.  There are Winter Weather Advisories up from the National Weather Service for all of our Virginia cities and counties.  However, this area may change before tomorrow.  The weather is coming together to create a large area of low pressure over the Ohio River Valley.  It is accompanied by a large upper level dip in the jetstream (trough).  Both of these features are moving east.

Area Of Low Pressure

Area Of Low Pressure

The low has some very cold air behind it.  Today Hampton Roads is in the milder zone of temperatures.  In fact we’ll see high temperatures in the low 50s.  There may be a few times during the day when it is actually fairly nice out.  The rain chances through the day will be between 25-40%.  Not too high.  The rain chances will increase a bit this evening.  Overnight we’ll see the rain pick up in coverage.  Then after midnight the low will move to our east.  This will allow for strong northerly winds to rapidly increase. We could see some gusts between 25-30mph.  This will allow the temperatures to drop considerably.  They will drop to the low-mid 30s.  Between 2 and 4am we’ll see the rain start to change over to scattered snow showers.

Future Trak (4am Tue)

Future Trak (4am Tue)

A lot of what falls initially will melt.  The soil temperatures are in the low 40s.  The air temperatures between 4 and 7 am will mostly be above freezing (about 32-36 degrees).  So that will probably take away from the snow totals.  The latest forecast models have come in drier.  Our model has very light/scattered snow showers or even flurries between 5 and 11am.

Future Trak (9am Tue.)

Future Trak (9am Tue.)

Some of the other models are coming in even drier as well.  The NAM model (at the time of this writing) is very unimpressive.  The 4km NAM only shows one decent band of snow between midnight and 4am.  Then it just has some flurries.  The European model is also fairly dry with only light/scattered snow showers in the forecast.  It has very low amounts of snow. Just a couple tenths of an inch.  The GFS model is the only one that paints a decent amount of snow in the area (about 1-2″).  Course that doesn’t take into account how much would melt.  The reason that we are looking dry compared to the northeast is because we will actually be on the edge of the system.

Tuesday's Forecast

Tuesday’s Forecast

So here’s my latest snow forecast, but keep in mind it is trending downward.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

I was going to give a tighter view, but since the models are changing so much I’ll hold off.  I think a dusting to an inch is going to be the norm with higher amounts to the north and east.  A lot of the models have more than 3″ up into Maryland and Delaware.  Some of the northeast states are talking about 20-30″ of snow.  Wow!  That would cripple northeast travel and a lot of air travel for a couple of days.  Locally we will dry out by Tuesday afternoon.  Highs will be in the upper 30s.  So even if snow does stick, then it will probably melt by the afternoon.  (Course that depends on how much sticks).

We may see some minor tidal flooding tonight into tomorrow, but it looks to be mostly nuisance tidal flooding.  1-1.5 ft above normal.  Here’s the latest tidal forecasts from the National Weather Service: Tide forecasts.

We will dry things out Tuesday night into Wednesday.  It will get cold too.  Lows will be in the 20s and highs will only be in the mid 30s.  We’ll warm to the 40s by Thursday.

Down the road the models are hinting at some heavy rain next Sunday.  It’s still early, but that is something that we definitely don’t need.  Stay tuned!

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Nice, Then Rain, Then Snow

January 25th, 2015 at 8:24 am by under Weather

I’ll talk about the snow in a moment.  First I want to talk about the next 36 hours.  Today will be great.  High pressure will provide for nice conditions.  We’ll get a chance to dry out from yesterday.  Highs will be in the low 50s with lots of sunshine.  So enjoy it while you can.  Families can get out and get some fresh air today.  But while high pressure is sitting over our region, an area of low pressure is developing over the Midwest.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

By tomorrow the low will slowly approach from the west.  During the day we’ll see scattered rain showers.  It will be way too warm for snow in the upper and lower levels.  High temps will actually rise back to near 50.  The chance for rain tomorrow is not huge.  I put the number at a 30-40% chance.  Maybe a little higher towards the evening. The low will be broad, but it will move through the region Monday night.  On the backside if the low some colder air will finally come down and push into the region.  By Tuesday morning the temperatures will be cold enough for some snow to fall. The latest models coming in show scattered snow showers in the region.

This is Future Trak at 8am Tuesday:

Future Trak (8am Tue)

Future Trak (8am Tue)

As the day progresses we could still see some scattered snow showers.  This will be due to the upper level trough as well as some lingering moisture behind the departing surface low.  We don’t tend to get much in these situations, but sometimes a band sets up on the backside of the low.  This looks to happen again, and will possibly set up on the Eastern Shore.  The Virginia Eastern Shore has the highest chance for accumulating snow (in the viewing area).  They could be looking at 2 or more inches.  Meanwhile, the rest of the region is looking at about a dusting up to an inch of snow.
Here is the latest forecast using the European model data (through Future Trak):

Snowfall Forecast (European Model)

Snowfall Forecast (European Model)

That same model has about 2-4 inches from Chincoteague up to Delaware.  I think it has a good handle on things, but keep in mind that any snow that falls at the start will likely melt as temps will be just above freezing.  Plus the ground temperatures are well above freezing.  It will be colder though from the Peninsula to the Eastern Shore and points northward.  The models are in pretty good agreement that there won’t be too much snow in our region.  At least compared to the northeast states.  That’s where they could rack up 2 feet of snow.  The GFS model also doesn’t show much snow for our region.  It has a quick burst between midnight – 6am Tuesday.  Then just some lingering flurries or light snow showers behind the system.  So with all of the models, I’ve put together this snowfall forecast:

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

It’s still early for hard forecast totals, but this is the flavor of what we are looking at.  It’s the first decent chance for accumulating snow in the metro.  Remember, we did have some snow north of the metro a couple of weeks ago. This time the temps are colder.

So check back with us.  We’ll keep updating and refining the forecast over the next 26 hours.  Until then, enjoy the nice weather today.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Freezing Fog And Here We Go Again…More Rain

January 22nd, 2015 at 8:19 am by under Weather
Fog This Morning

Fog This Morning

This morning we had the rare occurrence of freezing fog in the region.  I don’t think it was too much of a problem, but the conditions were right in our inland locations.  Freezing fog happens when the supercooled water droplets in the air rest on a surface that has a temperature at or below 32 degrees.  The water droplets don’t freeze in the air because they need a surface to solidify and form. So some of the water droplets are actually below 32 degrees.  This is commonly talked about in thunderstorms where hail formation occurs.  Bridges and overpasses are more susceptible to freezing as they let the cold air pass above and below.  Therefore if you have the conditions for freezing fog, then you need to be careful on those especially.

Freezing Bridges

Freezing Bridges

Besides the fog we are looking at a pretty good day.  Skies will be partly cloudy.  We’ll see light northwest winds.  Tomorrow looks pretty quiet, but it will be a little cooler. Highs will be in the low/mid 40s.  Winds will be out of the north.  Through the day clouds will build from the south.  A large area of low pressure will form to our south through the day.  It will approach by tomorrow night.  In fact…the models have moved the timeline for the rain forward since yesterday.  So now widespread rain looks to move in by Friday evening.

Future Trak (8pm Fri)

Future Trak (8pm Fri)

Rain will continue into Saturday morning.  The low will move to the North Carolina coast by that time.  As the low moves away from us during the day we’ll still see scattered rain showers.  Colder air will settle in behind the low, but it doesn’t look cold enough to change the precipitation over to snow.  This is a change from yesterday.  So this will mostly be a cold rain.  Some sleet will probably mix-in by the evening, but most of the precip will be wrapping up by that time.

Future Trak (Sat. 5pm)

Future Trak (Sat. 5pm)

The low will be long-gone by Saturday night.  We’ll dry out through Sunday.  Highs will be in the 40s.  On Monday an upper level trough will be riding overhead.  This will spawn a weak surface low that will ride from west to east.  This system still does not look like it will be able to pick up much moisture.  Also surface temperatures will be above freezing during the afternoon.  So for now it looks like it will be some scattered rain showers with a wintry mix in spots.  It may turn into some scattered snow showers in the evening, but the models aren’t showing much precipitation during that time.  Snow lovers keep getting their hopes up lately, but they have had a lot of disappointments this year.  Sorry.  Maybe we’ll see some on Monday.  Hey…remember…you did have a banner year last year.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Some Rain And Snow Chances

January 21st, 2015 at 8:20 am by under Weather

We have a lot of clouds in the region today, but we aren’t looking at a high chance for rain.  A weak disturbance is moving through the region.  so some spotty showers are possible today.

Rain Chances Map

Rain Chances Map

Also there is a stationary front to our south along with a weak area of low pressure.  We will be on the cooler side of the front.  So highs will only be in the upper 40s to low 50s.  There was a little clearing this morning.  It we get a little more sunshine, then we may see mid 50s.  Winds will be out of the northeast.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

By tonight we’ll dry things out.  High pressure will settle in through tomorrow.  So we are looking cool and dry for Thursday and Friday.  Then on Saturday…things get interesting.  A large area of low pressure will form near coastal Georgia Friday night.  By Saturday this system will move northeast along the coast.  It will move towards Hatteras through the day.  On it’s current forecast track the low is likely to bring lots of chilly rain to the region.  Rain may even be heavy at times.  However, by later Saturday some colder air may try to sink southward on the back side of the low.  This may let a wintry mix of sleet and snow fall north of the metro.  Here is what Future Trak shows on Saturday afternoon:

Future Trak (Saturday 1pm)

Future Trak (Saturday 1pm)

Keep in mind that any snow that falls will likely fall on a wet ground.  So it’s tough to say how much of it would stick. It’s still early.  This will likely get refined in the next 2 days, but it shows the general idea of what will be happening.  Stay tuned for updates.

That system will push out by Sunday morning. We’ll be dry and cool on Sunday.  Then another system will develop on Monday.  This time the low looks to form over the Appalachians and move east to the coast.  This time there will be a colder airmass in place.  So we could see a scattered wintry mix turn into scattered snow showers during the afternoon.  For now I am emphasizing the term scattered as the system will be moving from west to east.  So it won’t be able to scoop up the deep moisture like the Saturday system will.  Keep in mind that it’s still early for the Monday system.  The models are in disagreement about the finer details, but they do show a similar pattern for now.  The Canadian model is the driest with the GFS model the wettest so far. The European model shows some snow, but it also has the surface temperatures above freezing over much of the region while the precip falls.  Stay tuned for updates.  I’ll be blogging about this all week.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Quiet Weather And U.S. Snow Cover

January 20th, 2015 at 8:04 am by under Weather

We have some nice/quiet weather…for now.  Today is looking good with fair skies and highs in the 50s.  High pressure is in control, but there will be a little more cloud cover than yesterday.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Tomorrow another weak system will bring a few showers to the region, but it doesn’t look like much.  What’s been happening lately is that we have had a large upper level trough (dip in the jetstream) over the eastern United States.  Small disturbances have rounded this trough and moved through the region occasionally.  Then every few days the upper level trough spawns an offshore low at the surface.  We had one day lately (the wintry mix) where the low met with SOME cold air that was in place.  However, most times the warm air has come up with the moisture.  Last Sunday comes to mind. So there hasn’t really been any snow.  Just some flurries and a little light snow.  A couple of days ago the computer models hinted at some possible snow next Saturday, but now the models show all rain in the region.  The low looks to move more to the north and will now pass just offshore of Hatteras.  It may bring some snow to northern Virginia if the moisture can make it up there.  then we’ll be dry on Sunday.  The forecast could change a bit before then.  So stay tuned.

On Monday there will be another area of low pressure that will form offshore.  It will be caused partially by that upper level trough that I mentioned. This time it will be stronger.  The GFS model (AS I WRITE THIS) brings in some scattered snow showers in the region, but it doesn’t show a lot of moisture.  The European model shows more moisture, but it also has warmer temperatures.  So probably more of a rain/sleet mix with some snow showers north and west of the region.  Either way the low will move away from us by late Monday night.  Perhaps we could see some light snow or flurries on the backside as the cold air swoops in.  We’ll see.

Things are interesting across the country this mid January.  Not so much in terms of huge monster storms, but more in the way of how mild and quiet it is.  Sure there were problems with icy roads in the northeast the other day, but there is a big lack of snow over the country.  Here is the current snow cover over the United States from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing  Center (NOAA):

http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_model/images/full/National/nsm_depth/201501/nsm_depth_2015012005_National.jpg

They put a number with the graphic.  It comes out to only 26% of the country which is covered by snow.  Snow on the ground allows the cold air to sit for a longer period of time.  In a way snow begets snow.  So while there have been some cold days occasionally, overall there has been a recent warming across a lot of the eastern U.S.  Here are the forecast high temperatures for today for instance:

Forecast High Temps

Forecast High Temps

Look at the 70s over parts of the Deep South and the Southeast (orange area).  We aren’t done with Winter just yet.  Sometimes February is our coldest month of the year.  However, with the latest trends I am predicting an early Spring this year.  Much of the rest of the world has had record heat this year.  It is a matter of time before that heat catches up with the eastern U.S.   I’ll admit that’s oversimplified, but it’s what my gut is telling me.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Nice Monday Ahead. Does Thunder Mean Snow?

January 19th, 2015 at 7:32 am by under Weather

I almost wasn’t going to write a blog this morning.  Meteorologist Tiffany Savona wrote a good one last night about yesterday’s rain and a little about the upcoming forecast.  So I’m just adding a couple of small details.  For instance… We picked up 0.94″ of rain at Norfolk International Airport yesterday.  This gives us 2.6″ of rain for the month/year.  This is 0.6″ above the rainfall average. It has been very wet lately.  In fact, despite the cold weather my grass seems like it is actually trying to grow already ???

Anyway, we started this morning with a weak disturbance over the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore.  There were a few sprinkles there and probably a few sleet pellets.

Sat/Rad This Morning

Sat/Rad This Morning

My weather watcher, Doris, mentioned that her husband saw some icy patches as he went out.  Her temperature in Machipongo was 32 degrees, but then rose to 34.  Other than that the area saw partly cloudy skies and dry weather.  High pressure will build in today.  So we’ll have mostly sunny skies for much of the day.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Highs will be in the low 50s.  We’ll see some pretty nice weather today and tomorrow.  On Wednesday we’ll see a weak system bring some spotty showers to the area.  The timing has been changing for that.  Before it looked like it would be late Wednesday.  Now it looks to come in early.  I put the rain chance at 20-30%.  So it won’t be anything like yesterday.  We’ll be dry and cooler for Thursday.  Friday into Saturday there still will be a system to our south.  A couple of days ago it looked like this system would bring us some mixed/wintry weather to parts of North Carolina (at least).  The latest models keep most of the precipitation to our south if not all of it.  The latest GFS model (as I write this) has Hatteras, NC on the edge of some heavy rain now. It came in with a slightly warmer scenario.  We have to keep an eye on this as there will probably be some pretty cold air in place in Hampton Roads.  For now all the models keep Hampton Roads dry.  As per usual….stay tuned for updates.

We had thunder in the region yesterday.  The rule of thumb this time of year is that if you hear thunder, then you’ll (usually) see snow within the next 10 days.  Though that isn’t always the case.  I’d say it’s the case about 7 times out of 10.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler