Weather

Old Man Winter Not Giving Up Yet

March 22nd, 2014 at 8:32 pm by under Weather

It seems like our weekend pattern is on repeat as far as temperatures go. After looking over the temperature data for the month of March, I plotted the high temperatures for each Saturday and Sunday in March so far. Here is what I got…

Highs Temperatures For Each Saturday/Sunday in March

Highs Temperatures For Each Saturday/Sunday in March

One weekend day has been very warm and well above average, while the other weekend day  has been much cooler or well below average. This pattern has continued this weekend too! Today we saw highs in the mid 70s and we will likely see highs in the upper 40s tomorrow. A cold front will move in around midnight tonight, switching our winds out of the northwest. Expect falling temperatures on your Sunday. We will likely see our high temperature early in the morning. With the a strong northeast breeze, it will feel even colder out there. Much different from the 70s we saw today!

Sunday's Falling Temperatures

Sunday’s Falling Temperatures

We are also tracking the chance for rain showers tomorrow afternoon. Rain looks to move in after 12 PM, closer to 2-3PM. Showers will continue on and off through the afternoon and early evening. Showers seem to be most widespread between 3-6 PM. A few sleet pellets could mix in from time to time.

Future Trak at 3 PM Sunday

Future Trak at 3 PM Sunday

Even though the rain looks heavy, rain totals should only range from 0.1-0.25 inches. Now onto the bigger storm that will impact Hampton Roads on Tuesday. Most computer models are still showing a rain/snow mix on Tuesday. The European model is still the driest solution for us with the area of low pressure well offshore. This particular model has had a lot of run-to-run consistency meaning that it has consistently shown the low offshore with a little bit of precipitation for us. The Canadian model, which had the low closest to us last week is now trending more east. It also looks like the GFS is starting to push the low a little farther east as well. What does this mean? The heaviest precipitation, snow in this case, would fall just to the northwest of the low. If the low continues to remain well enough offshore, the heaviest precipitation could miss us completely. That doesn’t mean we won’t see rain or snow though. It just means we will not see the heavy snow or the heavy rain. Temperatures are forecast to be just below freezing Tuesday morning. We could see snow fall across some of our inland locations first early Tuesday before changing over to all rain.

Future Trak Long-Range 9 AM Tuesda

Future Trak Long-Range 9 AM Tuesday

Winds will be blowing in from the northeast. Water temperatures are in the mid 40s. Therefore, slightly warmer air will be moving into areas along the coast, keeping the precipitation mostly rain. High temperatures on Tuesday will be in the upper 30s to near 40°.

Future Trak at 12 PM Tuesday

Future Trak Long-Range at 12 PM Tuesday

If any parts of Hampton Roads were to see accumulating snow it would be Tuesday evening. This is when temperatures will be falling close to 32 degrees.

Future Trak Long Range at 7 PM Tuesday

Future Trak Long-Range at 7 PM Tuesday

Future Trak has a wintry mix across all of Hampton Roads. If there is more of a rain/snow mix, then the rain will melt the snow, which will really cut down on accumulations. But if some of this pink area is all snow, then we could see minor accumulations where temperatures have dropped below freezing. We have to keep in mind that ground temperatures are still very warm, especially after seeing highs in the 60s and 70s for three days in a row. If the ground is too warm, then it will be hard for the snow to accumulate. If the computer models continue to trend east with the low, then we are not looking at a big event across Hampton Roads. The exact location of the low pressure area is very important to this forecast. We are still 3 days away, so it is too early for snow totals right now. Stay tuned for more updates!

Don’t pack away your winter coat just yet! You will need it tomorrow and next week.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 

 

 


The Party is Almost Over

March 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 am by under Weather

We are going to reach the peak of this warm temperature swing today. High temperatures are expected to be in the 70s this afternoon. We should have a fair mix of sunshine and clouds; which is one of the reasons why we will see warmer temps today. The other reason is because of the southwest winds that we will have.

A Breezy Day

A Breezy Day. SW 10-20 G25

Tonight the wind will switch to be out of the north. It won’t get that cold tonight. Lows will be in the mid-40s, but the wind will keep us chilly tomorrow. I am only expecting a high temperature near 49 tomorrow.

Rain Possible Tomorrow Afternoon

Rain Possible Tomorrow Afternoon

We will see a few scattered showers tomorrow afternoon. It looks like the rain will move in around 2pm and continue off and on until sunset across our area. Remember, it is also going to be windy and cool tomorrow with the rain, a big change from today!

Looking ahead to Tuesday, Future Trak is still keeping that wintry mix for our area:

Tracking the Low

Tracking the Low

The exact track of the low pressure center is still a bit uncertain. The track of the low is important because it will determine where the rain occurs and who gets snow.

Future Trak @ 4pm Tuesday

Future Trak @ 4pm Tuesday

As you can see, towards the afternoon and evening the colder air will start to wrap in behind the area of low pressure. Who ever gets to be in the colder sector is likely to see accumulating snow. Forecast snow totals were painting 2-4″ for inland locations. There is no need to dig too deeply in to the snow totals yet, we still have a ways to go and the forecast will likely change a bit more than what is suggested now.

Tuesday looks like the worst day for travel with the wintry mix expected.

Tuesday looks like the worst day for travel with the wintry mix expected.

I am keeping the Bread & Milk Index elevated at Level: 2 today since I still have uncertainty about the exact track of the storm. Keep an eye out for more updates to the forecast track.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson


Enjoy Spring While You can!

March 21st, 2014 at 9:09 am by under Weather

The short term forecast is full of good news.  We had great weather yesterday with highs in the 60s.  We’ll see more nice weather today with highs in the 60s again.  Temps this morning were chilly in the 30s.  So there will be a big rise in temps through the afternoon.  It will be about a 30+ degree rise in some cities.  Winds will be light and southwest.  Due to the lighter winds we may see a sea breeze kick-in and cool things down near the coast.  Either way it will be nice and warm with sunshine.  Enjoy it while you can.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

Tomorrow A cold front will approach from the west.  This will squeeze the winds and allow them to pick up out of the southwest at 10-20mph with gusts to 30mph.  This will prevent any sea breezes from forming.  Along with partly cloud skies, the winds will boost high temperatures into the mid 70s.   So one more warm day.

Tomorrow's Forecast

Tomorrow’s Forecast

However, by tomorrow evening the cold front will pass through causing some spotty showers.  The cool-down will push in more towards Sunday morning well behind the front.  We’ll have scattered rain showers forming again late Sunday into Sunday night.  It may wrap up as a few flurries as even colder air pushes in.  Then we’ll be dry and colder on Monday. Highs will only be in the mid 40s.  Sound cold?  Ok, then let’s talk about next Tuesday.

There’s already a lot of talk about this.  Probably because some of the older models showed tons of snow for the region.  They don’t show so much anymore.  Here’s the setup:

The cold air mass that moves in Sunday into Monday will strengthen on Tuesday.  This will create a large upper level trough over the Eastern U.S.  The upper level trough will work to create an area of low pressure at the surface.  The general area for this will be offshore or near the shore of South Carolina.  The low will move northeast and work along the cold air mass in place.  The GFS model has the upper levels cold enough for snow, but the surface temperatures are likely to be well above freezing.  Especially in the afternoon.  So we would probably start as a mix of rain, sleet, and snow in the region.  Then by the evening the temperatures would probably drop low enough to form some snow.  The snowiest area in the latest run looks like the Eastern Shore and Northern Neck, but don’t take that too literally just yet.  I looked at the GFS ensembles.  These use the same GFS model, but small parts of the model get tweaked about a dozen times.  If the various solutions are very different, then this means there is a lot of uncertainty.  This is what they are currently showing for Tuesday.

The European model has dried up quite a bit, and is farther offshore with the low.  It has some light precipitation in the region which is a huge change from 2 days ago.  I think this also denotes some uncertainty.  There may be some light snow on the back side of the low as it pushes away from us, but it doesn’t show much.  The Canadian model has the low a lot closer to the coast.  While this means a warmer scenario for Hampton Roads, it also has heavier precipitation.  So this could mean a band of moderately accumulating snow in some inland and northern sections of the area. That’s IF that model were to verify.  Before you go out an buy bread and milk, keep this in mind… The longer range models don’t do well with the vertical temperature profiles (temps from top to bottom).  The NAM model, the high-res NAM, and our Future Trak model will have a better handle on that as the system gets closer in time.  My guess is that most of the surface temperatures will be well above freezing for most of the period.  Especially, if we have a strong northeast wind.  Also, with the high March sun angle, that could allow us to warm up more than the models show.  We’ll have to see which way the track of the low trends on upcoming models.  Don’t rule out snow due to the calendar though.  There is a very unseasonably cold air mass coming out of the Midwest.  Again, I have no doubt that it will be colder in the region from Monday through Wednesday. We will warm up later in the week. Stay tuned for this developing weather.  We’ll be tracking it over the weekend.

Until then…enjoy the warmth.  Enjoy the sunshine.  Have fun.  Carpe Diem and have a good weekend!

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


First Day Of Spring

March 20th, 2014 at 8:49 am by under Weather

Well, it’s the first day of Spring in Hampton Roads, and we’ll actually feel like Spring today.  So the timing for our little warmup is spot on.  Never mind that we may see some snow next week.  More on that in a moment.  First I’ll cover the short-term.

Today is an easy forecast.  High pressure is building in from the west.  We started with clouds, but the high will push those to the east and break them up this morning.

Today's Forecast

Today’s Forecast

Westerly winds will also help to dry things out  today.  They will run at 10-15mph.  This will help out a lot of those back yards that still have standing water from recent rains.  High temperatures will rise to the low/mid 60s.  It really will be a great afternoon.  Remember the Vernal Equinox is an astronomical event.  The sun moves north and south of the equator during the year, and in that context it will be directly over the equator today.  That will happen at approximately 12:57 pm EDT.  Here is a link with more info: Vernal Equinox.

We’ll have dry/quiet weather tomorrow with highs back in the low 60s.  Temps will warm up on Saturday to the 70s with fair skies.  YES!!!!  However, by Sunday a strong cold will plow through the region.  This will drop the high temps back to the upper 40s.  As the system wraps up, it could even try to change over to a few flurries or snow showers before ending Monday morning.  This huge surge of cold air will be pretty rare for the eastern U.S.  Temps in the Midwest will likely be in the teens and 20s.  We’re talking 20-30 degrees below average.  The forecast gets very interesting on Tuesday.  As the cold air mass sits over us for a couple of days, an area of low pressure will form along the coast.  Sound familiar?  The low is expected to move up along the coast during the day Tuesday.  A couple of the long-range computer models do show snow in the region from that system.  In fact, they show quite a bit of snow in some inland areas.  They show more of a mix near the coast.  We have to keep in mind that it is March.  The sun is at a higher sun angle.  So as we get closer to next week, the forecast may warm up a bit.  Also the track of the low could change.  So don’t go buy bread and milk just yet, but definitely monitor for updates.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Think Dry/Happy Thoughts

March 19th, 2014 at 8:45 am by under Weather

The tower cam picture says it all about today.

Tower Cam 10

Tower Cam 10

We had more scattered showers in the region this morning, and we’ll see more scattered showers through this afternoon.  There’s no big weather system around, but we basically just have a lot of moisture causing the rain.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

The good news is that the winds won’t be too strong today.  They will be variable at about 8-12mph.  So we won’t have that strong driving northeast wind this afternoon.  This will allow the temperatures to rise a bit.  Therefore highs will try to make it to the 50s.

We’ll FINALLY dry out tonight.  Lows will be in the low 40s with a light southwest wind.  There may be some patchy fog.  Then tomorrow…Partly sunny and a high of 60.  Nice!  Winds will be westerly at 10-15mph.  That will be a nice drying wind.  We’ll stay dry on Friday, and now it looks like Saturday will be dry.  Highs will be in the upper 60s and could even hit 70.  The rain has been pushed back to Sunday.  That’s when a big cold front will move through.  High temps will drop to the 40s.  We’ll be in the upper 30s to low 40s Monday and Tuesday.  Plus, we may see some snow or a mix next Tuesday.  Too early to get specific, but preliminary models show a coastal low working along the cold surge.  We’ll have more details over the next 2 days.

Here’s the rain totals from the last 48 hours:

48 Hour Rain Totals

48 Hour Rain Totals

The rain has been light, but very persistent.  It will be light again today and scattered with only a tenth of an inch expected.  Norfolk has had 8.81″ of rain so far this year.  This is only 0.14″ above the average.  However, it doesn’t take into account the 15″ of snow that we have had this Winter.  The ground is still soggy.  Hopefully, we can dry out for the next 3 days.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Wintry Mix Hangs On

March 18th, 2014 at 8:34 am by under Weather

Like a toddler at a toy store…Old Man Winter just does not want to leave.  Since last night we have had freezing rain and sleet in our inland and northern locations.  This has caused problems with iciness on the roads and sidewalks from Sussex county through James City and Gloucester counties up to the Northern Neck.  Luckily temperatures in the metro and along the coast were in the mid-upper 30s.  So it was just rainy there.

Super Doppler 10

Super Doppler 10

So far we’ve had about a quarter inch of rain.  Some places a bit more.  The reason for this continuing wet weather is a second  area of low pressure which has formed to our south.  That and some overrunning moisture has allowed the precipitation to continue.  Luckily today’s low will be farther away, and high pressure will try to build in from the west.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

So while the precipitation will become much more scattered, it will unfortunately try to continue through the afternoon.  At least high temperatures are expected to warm up today into the mid 40s.  So that’s a plus.  The winds will still be up out of the northeast.  Winds will gust between 30-35mph near the shore.  25mph inland.  We could see some nuisance tidal flooding around the mid morning, but no problems are expected.

Tonight we’ll still have a lot of clouds as the high won’t build in too strong. We may catch a stray shower.  Lows will be near 40.  Then tomorrow we’ll have mostly cloudy skies.  A stray shower may sneak in again, but the chance is low.  The good news about Wednesday is that high temperatures will rise to the upper 50s.  Yes!  We’ll stay warm/mild Thursday through Saturday.  Highs will be in the 50s and 60s.  Then…we’ll have another big cool down Sunday into early next week.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we get another shot at a wintry mix in the region.

The Vernal equinox is at 12:57pm on Thursday.  So Friday will be the first FULL day of Spring.  Course that rarely means much in terms of weather here in Hampton Roads.  Half the time temps are either way above or way below the average during this time of year.

One thing that could be impacted by the recent cold and snow is the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. They’ve had a lot of snow up there recently, but luckily they are expecting a warmup over the next couple of days.  So a lot of that will melt.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


New Winter Weather Advisories In Effect Tonight

March 17th, 2014 at 6:30 pm by under Weather

Winter Weather Advisories have expired for all of our northern counties. But…we now have Winter Weather Advisories in effect for our inland counties until 11 AM Tuesday.

Winter Weather Advisories

Winter Weather Advisories

The National Weather Service put this alert out for the possibility of freezing rain overnight and into tomorrow morning. Remember that we only need a little bit of freezing rain/drizzle to cause a lot of problems on the roads. Freezing rain is when rain freezes on contact, creating a glaze of ice. Here are the forecast lows for tomorrow morning.

Forecast Lows

Forecast Lows

Most of metro should see temperatures above freezing, but we are concerned for inland locations. Wet roads could be slippery and have patches of ice, so be careful when driving. Bridges and overpasses always freeze first, so use caution tonight. Watch for ice accumulations on decks, cars and handrails. Our latest Future Trak model has the wintry mix continuing overnight. Here is the solution at midnight.

Future Trak at 12 AM

Future Trak at 12 AM

Most of North Carolina will just see a cold rain. A rain/sleet/freezing rain mix is possible for the parts of the Southside and the Peninsula, but more likely for our northern and inland areas.

Precipitation Type

Precipitation Type

I talked more about the possibility of nuisance tidal flooding in my previous blog, so check that out.

Meteorologist Don Slater will be tracking the precipitation and the temperatures tonight. He will have an update on WAVY News 10 at 10 on FOX 43 and WAVY News 10 at 11.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 


Monday Afternoon Update

March 17th, 2014 at 2:04 pm by under Weather

The National Weather Service has dropped the Winter Storms Warnings for our northern counties and replaced them with Winter Weather Advisories until 5 PM. These areas could see minor snow/sleet accumulations through the afternoon. The areas not highlighted will see mostly a cold rain with sleet/snow mixing in at times.

Winter Weather Advisory

Winter Weather Advisory

Jan in Reedville has already reported 1.5″ of snow at her house across the Northern Neck.

This second wave of moisture moved in a little bit earlier than expected and it should still continue through the evening commute. Here is the current satellite/radar image.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

Notice that the arrows indicate that the precipitation is moving east northeast, so we will see the rain and sleet push back into the Southside and North Carolina over the next few hours. Our latest computer mo0del has this solution at 4 PM.

Future Trak  at 4 PM

Future Trak at 4 PM

I think this model is under doing the coverage. I think we will see more rain across the Southside and North Carolina at this time. A few sleet pellets could mix in too. Rain/sleet mix possible for the Peninsula and more of a sleet/snow mix likely for the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and Eastern Shore. Most of the precipitation should taper off tonight, although we can’t rule out a few light showers. Computer models have more rain moving in by Tuesday morning. We will have to monitor the temperatures Tuesday morning. It looks like some locations will be hovering around 32° and if that happens, then we could see freezing rain. Stay tuned!

Since the wind speeds have not been as strong as once previously thought, we should see the water levels come down a little bit over the next few high tide cycles. Tides will still remain elevated due to the northeasterly wind direction and the almost full moon, but we should only see nuisance tidal flooding if that.

Sewells Point Tides

Sewells Point Tides

I will have a complete update on WAVY News 10 starting at 4 PM. Meteorologist Don Slater will have a full forecast on WAVY News 10 at 5 , 5:30 and 6 PM.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 


Another Mess In March

March 17th, 2014 at 7:49 am by under Weather

Here we go again!  Did we ever stop?  It’s another lovely wintry mix in the region.  Yes…that was sarcasm.   I mentioned in a blog weeks ago, that we would have a chance for snow through at least March.   I wouldn’t be surprised to see this keep up through April.  Anyway, here’s what’s happening with the current system.  We have had snow and sleet falling to the north of Hampton Roads through the overnight.  We had mostly rain with some sleet in the metro area.  It has been trying to change over to some snow this morning in the metro, but surface temperatures are above freezing.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

An offshore low was scooting northeast along a stationary front.  As the moisture pushed up from the south it hit some colder air over northern Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Heavy snow was falling from D.C. to New York.

As we go through the day, the precipitation will taper off for a while.  This is expected from the late morning through the early afternoon.

Future Trak (Noon)

Future Trak (Noon)

By the mid-afternoon another round of moisture will push into the region.  This will be along an upper level pocket of energy.  So another mix of rain, sleet, and snow (blue) will enter the viewing area:

Future Trak (3pm)

Future Trak (3pm)

This second round will push through by about 6-7pm, then precipitation will become widely scattered again except for coastal North Carolina .  Forecast snow totals will be highest on the Northern Neck.  Jan in Reedville had about an inch from last night.  Factoring in what we’ve already had, and another inch or so here’s what the snowfall forecast is for today.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

Highs today will only be in the upper 30s.  Winds will be northeast at 15-25mph with a few gusts up to 45mph near the shore.  The winds will lead to some nuisance to minor tidal flooding between 9:30 and 11:30am.  High tide is at 10:30am this morning.

Tide Forecast

Tide Forecast

By tonight the precipitation will taper off even more.  We should hold on to quite a bit of clouds.  This should stop the temperatures from falling too much.  So lows will be in the low/mid 30s.  Northeast winds will still gust up to 30mph, but they won’t be as strong as today.  We’ll see some scattered rain showers with a bit of sleet mixing in at times.  Tomorrow another offshore low will form, but farther away than today’s system.  This will give us another chance for rain showers.  The good news is that we are expected to warm up a bit.   Highs will be in the 40s.  We’ll still have northeast winds, but not as strong as today.

We could see a few more rain showers between Wednesday and Thursday.  I can’t rule out a couple of sleet pellets in the mornings.  At least high temperatures will warm up into the 50s for both of those days.  We’ll be warm going into next weekend, but we’ll come out of the weekend with another shot of cold air.  I’m over it as many of you have also indicated.  In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb?  I think we’re more like in like penguin, and out like a laughing hyena.  The latter due to this weather being a joke.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 


Definitely A Moving Target!

March 16th, 2014 at 11:00 pm by under Weather

Just to add a little to what Tiffany posted earlier. I’ve taken some screen shots of “accumulated snowfall” from two different models. I am posting from home, so I don’t have access to the better illustration of the Future Trak models. Nevertheless, these are certainly some of the other models that we look at on a daily basis. First, the GFS:Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.23.27 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.23.44 PMAnd secondly, the NAM:

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.24.17 PMYou will note that for the Hampton Roads cities, each of these are showing a 0″ to 1″ accumulation across at least parts of the Peninsula. The GFS is a little farther south with snowfall accumulations, but the NAM has heavier accumulations for the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. With all that being said…precipitation amounts are likely to be even lighter than either of these models are projecting! A lot of the precipitation just isn’t happening…or is lighter than expected. Additionally, the colder air has just not pushed far enough southward.

Through last Thursday and even into early Friday, the forecast models were showing rain for everywhere except the Northern Neck. But then the Friday afternoon and evening model runs started showing the snow (& wintry mix) farther south. Then throughout the early part of the weekend, the models were just not coming into agreement at all at a final solution for Monday and Tuesday. And as I type this out, Winter Weather Advisories have been dropped for the Peninsula. Those Winter Weather Advisories continue for the Middle Peninsula and Accomack County on the Eastern Shore. Winter Storm Warnings continue for the Northern Neck. And in all of these areas, forecast snow totals have been been significantly pulled back. Just as an example, here is the latest snow total map from the National Weather Service:totalThis storm is definitely a moving target. For the vast majority of us, this will likely be occasional chilly rain! Tiffany Savona has a much more detailed snow total map on WAVY News10 at 11. Jeremy Wheeler will be on the air with WAVY News10 Today at 4:00 AM and Noon. And of course, I’ll be there bringing you the latest Monday afternoon and evening.