Weather

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


Midnight Update

February 26th, 2015 at 12:27 am by under Weather

And so it begins!!! The snow began just after 10 PM across North Carolina and now the snow is pushing into Virginia as I start writing this (11:30 PM). Once the snow starts, it will really comes down quickly. It should also start out as a wet snow, so the flakes may be rather large. Our Liz Palka reported that the roads in Elizabeth City became snow covered in less than an hour. So road conditions are going to deteriorate quickly, so it’s best to stay off the roads tonight and even early tomorrow morning. This event is just starting and the heaviest snow will fall between now and 7 AM Thursday morning. Our latest Future Trak model is doing a very good job of showing where the snow is right now, so its solution should be reliable over the next few hours. Here is what it has at 3 AM. Notice the heavy snow is located right across the Metro area.

Future Trak at 3 AM

Future Trak at 3 AM Thursday

The snow will continue right into tomorrow morning. Notice that the model has rain for much of North Carolina most of the night. I think the snow will change over to more of a mix of snow/sleet/rain for North Carolina. That is why we think snow totals will be lower there. I even think we will see some of the mix move into Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, which could reduce totals there too. Keep in mind that there is going to be a tight gradient in snow totals. For example…you may live in Northern Virginia Beach and see a few more inches than areas in Southern Virginia Beach.

Future Trak at 7 AM

Future Trak at 7 AM Thursday

Roads are still going to be snow covered in the morning because the snow will not stop falling until Thursday afternoon. Make sure you check the closings scrolling at the bottom of our screen on WAVY-TV 10 or check the closing lists on wavy.com here.

Here are our latest snow totals forecast zone by zone.

North Carolina Snow Forecast

North Carolina Snow Forecast

Southside Snow Totals

Southside Snow Totals

Peninsula Snow Totals

Peninsula Snow Totals

Northern Zones Snow Totals

Northern Zones Snow Totals

We also expect a burst of heavy snow to develop overnight. If that band moves over your region, you could see snow fall at the rate of 1-2 inches per hour. So isolated higher totals are definitely possible. You may even hear some thunder, since this system is so dynamic.

High temperatures will only rise into the lower 30s tomorrow, so don’t expect a lot of melting. The kids will have plenty of time to enjoy the snow!

If you are going to be up late tonight, tune into WAVY TV 10 at the top of each hour. Chief Meteorologist Don Slater and I will have continuous updates on this winter storm. Our next newscast begins at 4 AM with Meteorologists Jeremy Wheeler and Ashley Baylor.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 


This Storm Has Some Teeth

February 25th, 2015 at 5:46 pm by under Weather

Our next storm is nipping at our heels and will make its debut in Hampton Roads around 9 PM (give or take an hour).  A *WINTER STORM WARNING* will be in effect from 7 PM through 1 PM Thursday.

Winter Storm Warning

Winter Storm Warning

This is a solid 18-hour storm, so it has a lot of time to drop a lot of precipitation on us.  This isn’t an all snow or all rain event – we will see a little bit of everything!  The best way to get through this is to go screen shot by screen shot with our FutureTrak forecast.

As I said, we will rain and sleet will move into North Carolina and the Southside around 9 PM.  The rain and sleet will continue to spread northward, so the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore will be the last spots to see any precip.

Future Trak 9 PM

Future Trak 9 PM

Southern parts of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach will be the places that see a mix of rain/snow/sleet through the overnight hours into 7 AM.  The heaviest band of snow will set up just north of the wintry mix line.  Right now, it looks like the heaviest snow and the highest totals will stretch from Franklin through Hampton/Newport News, into Williamsburg, Gloucester, Cape Charles, and Melfa.  **THIS COULD BE A GAME CHANGER**  IF this wintry mix line shifts a little more north or south, that will affect our snowfall totals.

Future Trak 7 AM Thursday

Future Trak 7 AM Thursday

Light to moderate snow is expected through Thursday morning into the midday hours.

Future Trak 12 PM Thursday

Future Trak 12 PM Thursday

Most of the snow will taper off after Noon, but I can’t rule out a few lingering flurries/snow showers through the afternoon.

Soooo this brings us to our latest snowfall forecast:

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall Forecast

5″ to 8″ is likely across most of the region.  3″ to 6″ possible from southern Suffolk, southern Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.  1″ to 3″ is expected from Edenton to Elizabeth City, down to Kill Devil Hills.  I can’t emphasize enough that IF the wintry mix line shifts, that will cause the heavy snow line to shift, which will affect snowfall totals.  One other player to keep in mind – if we end up seeing a wintry mix longer than we expect, that could also affect snowfall totals.

There are other forecast models, like the EURO and NAM that bring almost a foot into snow into Hampton Roads.  They’re trying to sell it, but I’m not buying it just yet.  (We are still haggling over price.)  This may turn into a situation where we see a sharp snow gradient between Virginia Beach and Newport News depending on how much rain and sleet falls.

No matter what happens, just remember:

  • Stay off the ice on ponds and rivers.
  • Wear warm layers if you do have to travel or shovel.
  • Don’t exert yourself too much when clearing the snow/ice.
  • Check on neighbors.
  • Bring the pets inside.

We’ll be here throughout the storm, keeping you updated on the situation.  Chief Meteorologist Don Slater and Meteorologist Tiffany Savona will have the latest for you on WAVY News at 11 PM, then Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler and Meteorologist Ashley Baylor will take over starting on WAVY News at 4 AM!

Stay safe out there!


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


Round 3…Wednesday/Thursday Storm

February 24th, 2015 at 7:05 pm by under Weather

Round 1 of snow was last Monday. Round 2 was today. And round 3 will be late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Round 3 will be the knockout round because it COULD be the biggest snow storm of the year. COULD BE… More on that in just a minute. The snow is still falling this evening and has accumulated on grassy areas and roads, resulting in numerous accidents. Almost everyone saw at least a dusting, but many of you saw between 1-2 inches with some isolated higher totals. The snow is starting to become more scattered now and should taper off before midnight. Use caution when driving tonight, especially on bridges and overpasses.

Any snow that has accumulated tonight will melt tomorrow as the sun comes out and highs rise into the lower 40s. You won’t need to leave work early tomorrow since the snow won’t move in until after 9 PM. There is still a lot of uncertainty with this storm system since it is still spinning over New Mexico and Texas right now, so it has a long way to go before getting to Hampton Roads tomorrow night. All computer models agree that the low is going to move across the Gulf of Mexico, pick up some moisture, and then move off the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina. Where they differ is… how close they bring the low to our coast. The NAM model is still the most aggressive and has the highest totals because it brings the low very close to our coast. The GFS model has the low farther offshore, resulting in lower totals. The European model is in-between both the NAM and GFS, but is much closer to the GFS solution. Either way you slice it, we are going to get snow, and SOME part of our viewing area could see big-time snow out of this storm.

Our Future Trak computer model has the snow coming in after 9 PM Wednesday. Then the snow really gets going by midnight and will continue right into Thursday morning.

Future Trak at 10 PM

Future Trak at 12 AM Thursday

The worst of the storm will between 12 AM-7 AM, while most of you are sleeping.

Future Trak at 7 AM Thursday

Future Trak at 7 AM Thursday

To make things more complicated comes the possibility of sleet and freezing rain mixing in with the snow, which makes road conditions even worse. I’m sure you all know exactly what I’m talking about after what we saw last Monday. We could have a similar outcome across North Carolina with several inches of snow and then sleet and/or freezing rain on top creating a glaze of ice. The snow should become lighter and should taper off Thursday afternoon. So given the differences in the computer model solutions, here is the latest snow totals map Don and I created.

Forecast Snow Totals

Forecast Snow Totals

The ranges are large right now to show the uncertainty of the situation. It looks like the highest totals will be across the Southside and North Carolina. But that purple area could shift farther north or farther south. So just make sure you are prepared for significant snow where you may be stuck in your house for a day or even a few days. Stock up on your bread and milk! :)

We will be refining this snow map tonight and tomorrow, so make sure you check back for updates. Things WILL change! Chief Meteorologist Don Slater will have another update with a newer model run on WAVY News 10 at 10 PM on FOX43 and WAVY News 10 at 11.

Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 

 

 


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


Tuesday Snow Update

February 24th, 2015 at 6:46 am by under Weather

Yesterday, the models were hinting at snow for today.  The models have changed their tune.  Now it’s more than a hint.  This is a quick update. I’ll have a fuller update later this morning.  Scattered snow showers have moved into northeast North Carolina.  These were likely flurries and light snow showers.  Temps were in the 20s over most of the region.

Scattered Snow Showers

Scattered Snow Showers

The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the Virginia Southside and all of northeast North Carolina.  This is from this afternoon through midnight tonight.

Winter Weather Advisory

Winter Weather Advisory

The snow is expected to increase through the afternoon.  I have conflicting information from the computer models.  So based off of what I’ve seen, I’ve put together a snow totals map.

Snow Forecast

Snow Forecast

Temperatures will be cold enough for the snow to stick.  So by this evening we may see some on the roads during the evening commute.  Now I know the forecast changed since yesterday.  This was hinted at by some models, but not all.  The National Weather Service had a good discussion this morning. They mentioned that yesterday’s Arctic air didn’t push as far south and as fast as forecast.  So there is a boundary a little closer to us today, and also there is more moisture to work with.

Again, this is just a quick update.  I’ll have a bigger blog out later this morning around 9am.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler