WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

A January Thaw on the Way, but a Wintry Finish to the Month Perhaps?

What little snow remains will have a hard challenge staying around this week. Temperatures may hit 60 before we see snow again. Of course, it also may not be all that long before that happens.

It's back to Monday!

All things considered, despite our unpleasantly cold weather and freshly fallen snow, it really wasn't thaaat cold (and certainly not that snowy) by typical winter standards. I know a lot of you have been wondering things like "are we never again going to have the cold and snow of old?" Well, don't forget that it was only 2 winters before this one where we did have the kind of snow you'd probably be happy with. The law of averages will always bring at least some balance back into the equation...

Now, if we can only try to get some semblance of "average" snow this season. If it's to happen, February had better step it up ;-)

The last week of January isn't very promising.

HPC - Surface Map - Monday

The orange arrow represents the wind-flow coming up from the southwest bringing much warmth to the Ohio Valley. That warm air overruns the warm front and begins to lift up in the air, eventually appearing above the denser cold air at the surface above the dotted blue line. This region is typically where you get your icing. Fortunately for us, this zone is nudging out of our area, but during the first part of the day today we can have some of that same icing in the deeper valleys east of the WV mountains. This is what has sparked the "Winter Storm Warnings" that have been posted for various counties on the edges of our area (in interior Ohio and eastern WV-- see the tracking maps below). It will instead be a chilly rain for most of us, and then the warmth fills in.

The Next Storm

GFS - Wednesday AM GFS - Wednesday PM

After a period of spring-like warmth (the models are pushing 50s and even 60s -- see the 7-day below), another storm system swipes through the Ohio Valley and passes us to the northwest. This weather pattern brings us a shot of rain (and even a possible thunderstorm), followed by that rush of cold air behind it. Given the timing on the model, it's going to be much warmer at the beginning of the day than the finish. The model is even advertising a change to snow during the PM commute-- though I'd let a few more runs go by before worrying about this. Obviously black ice could also be an issue if the cold snaps hard enough.

(Just so you know... the Euro is pushing the same time-frame as of now). It should be noted though that these storms have a history of taking their time, so perhaps expect the cold rush early Thursday morning instead. We'll be following this during the week.

Closer to the weekend we have another opportunity for light snowfall, as another clipper system swipes through.

GFS - Saturday Morning GFS - Overnight Into Sunday

At least February looks like it wants to start off on a more wintry note :-) If it gets in any quicker, the groundhog may himself signal an end to winter with the clouds arriving.

Looking beyond this coming week into the week ahead (generally), this is what the computer models project for precipitation and temperature anomalies.

6-10 Day Outlook - Temperature 6-10 Day Outlook - Precipitation

It appears the cold is going to stick around a little longer, and that we'll be visited by more Clipper-type systems. The track record has been pretty good with this model when it comes to temperatures 6-10 days out, so maybe February may well turn out to be a winter winner for us.

Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking

Accuweather Radar

From the Storm Prediction Center (below): Click For a Larger Image

Activity Overview Storm Outlook Watches Potential Watches Storm Reports
Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active Warnings
Current Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active NWS Warnings
Click For Larger Click For Interactive Radar Click For Larger Click For Larger

Have a great day everyone!

-B

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