“HEY JEREMYYYYY….I HEARD SUCH AND SUCH SAY THAT WERE WERE GOING TO GET 8-12 INCHES. IS THAT TRUE True trueeee…?” I then wake up from my nightmare where a ton of armchair and network forecasters had called for snowmageddon in Hampton Roads with a possible foot of snow in the metro area. Now I’m not saying that I nailed this event, but I will say that anyone that called for 8-12″ in Virginia Beach was way off. Here was my forecast from yesterday:
Yesterday’s Snow Forecast
I started increasing the totals to the north as the models started trending upward there. There was also talk in the forecast discussions that the snow-water ratio was going to be more than 10 to 1. Then it started snowing ahead of schedule yesterday. Tthat got me thinking that we might have to start increasing the amounts even more. It snowed for a long period of time, but I didn’t see a lot of reports of really heavy/wet snow. Not like the models were showing anyway. It did look heavy on the radar at times. A lot of the heaviest snow fell when people were probably sleeping. Here was the view at 3:30am this morning:
Radar This Morning
Blue is snow. Dark blue is moderate to heavy snow. Pink is a mix, and green/yellow are rain. I’ve gathered some snow reports, and tried to make a map of what fell. It’s not exact, but it’s a good average for the region.
I did see one report of 11″ up towards Richmond, but otherwise the highest amounts were around 7″. The mix zone was well forecast by our computer models yesterday. That was expected to affect the Southside and northeast North Carolina. So that took down the amounts in Virginia Beach, southeast Chesapeake, and Currituck. The highest amounts were from James City County up to Richmond. Don, my weather watcher in Toano, had 7″ of snow. Jan in Reedville had 6″. Pam in Gloucester had 4″. She’s near the courthouse. Doris on the lower Eastern Shore had 5″. Henry in Denbigh (Newport News) had 5″. We had about 3-4″ on the north end of Virginia Beach, but Donna in Blackwater (south end) had less than 3″. A lot of that was from the melting overnight. This system did have a good amount of moisture, but perhaps some of it got robbed by the initial dry air. After all dew points yesterday were in the negatives. Otherwise it’s hard to determine why there wasn’t more north of Hampton Roads. I will try to analyze things some more to see if anything sticks out.
I will say that there were some great photos taken from folks. Here was one from Gerald at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront:
Snow At The Oceanfront
It’s not often that you see palm trees and snow at the same time, but there you go. Here was another photo from Portsmouth. It shows the partially frozen Elizabeth River:
Snow Near The Elizabeth River
Meteorologist Ashley Baylor brought up a good point. Be sure to tell the kids not to walk on the ice over any rivers or creeks. They will likely fall through. We have had some cold air, but the ice is not able to support the weight of a human…or animal, at this time. The snow/mix has tapered off this morning. We’ll see drier conditions for the rest of the day, but we will still have a lot of clouds. Temperatures will only rise to the upper 20s to low 30s. So there won’t be any melting unless the sun can come out. Winds will be out of the north at 10-15mph. That will put the wind chills in the teens for most of the day. So any kids playing outside will likely need some hot chocolate when they come back in to warm up.
Tonight we’ll see partly cloudy skies. Lows will drop to the teens and 20s. With the snow on the ground we’ll probably be colder than forecast. So possibly some low teens in the region. A lot of the snow on the roads have been compacted. So we’ll likely have ice mixed with some patchy black ice tonight. Drip the faucets tonight if you haven’t already. Actually, you may have to do that for a while.
Tomorrow we’ll see a mix of sun and clouds. Highs will get a chance to warm to just above freezing. So we should get some melting later in the day. (operative word “some”). Then late in the day another strong cold front will move into the region. We will see some flurries ahead of it. Then there will be one broken band of rain and snow in the evening. This will provide us with a little more snow, but it won’t be anything like today. Maybe a dusting in some spots. Of course this will fall on top of snow that is already on the ground. Hopefully, it won’t be enough to make the roads worse. So we’ll monitor that feature for updates. Behind the front we’ll see some of the coldest air that we’ll have seen in decades. At least according to the National Weather Service. Highs will only be in the 20s or near 20. It’s possible that we may see highs in the teens. That is what is rare around here. I thought we had a time or two in the last 10 years that I’ve been here, but I’m not sure. Either way, get ready for the deep freeze….again!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler