WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

A busy weekend brings busy weather

It's all fall from here on out. And forget about first frosts... how about first flakes..?

We've finally made it to the weekend!

And a chilly start it is... Sunshine on Friday brings back the chilly reminders of what time of year it is now. At least there's a breather in there. Highs are stuck in the 60s with higher elevations in the 50s. This will be a theme all weekend long. Another system scrapes the area on Saturday, and we'll be watching the weather conditions for Bridge Day out in Fayetteville and along the New River Gorge.

NAM - Saturday Afternoon

A weak frontal system is approaching, with most of the moisture missing us to the north. However, this front has a good shot of colder air behind hit, so we should still be on the lookout for a few scattered afternoon/evening showers. One of the things to be wary of out at Bridge Day though will be the winds in the afternoon.

There's a pulse of wind coming through with the frontal passage Saturday afternoon that can gust up to 20kts or so. The morning jump weather seems fine enough (folks will be leaping from 9a to 3p ... and note, US-19 will be closed at the bridge from 7a-5p and the detours are all at least 30 minutes longer than your normal trek). Besides lightning, gusty winds are about the only thing that causes concern on Bridge Day. I think in the end it's a manageable wind, but I bet we'll have stories of folks landing in the trees instead of the X. :-)

First Frost Prospects...

Following this weekend's front and the clearout for Sunday, temperatures will fall with the benefit of radiational cooling and calmer winds.

The GFS is now trying to position Sunday morning as the coldest one, but Monday will also still put frost on the menu. This won't be a freeze situation, but it would be a first of the season for many local folks. Lots of lawns out there have been newly reseeded and there are fingers crossed that no complications would arise out of this, but for the most part we should be okay :-)

First Flakes..?

Okay, so this has been another interesting development we started talking about yesterday. I want to first get out the less likely of the two scenarios and then talk about the better one. Let's begin with the NAM:

So on the left-hand map, we see that the 850mb temperatures dip below freezing, even to -1°C. This is around 5,000ft (where we find places like Spruce Knob and Snowshoe Mountain). There's an itty-bit of moisture hitting the up-slope as well, so it raises an eyebrow. Hop over to the SREFS ("Short-Range Ensemble Forecasts") and we see that one member-- a single member, is advertising a changeover to snow at those high elevations. Whenever the SREFs have just a single member out of a couple dozen showing a particular solution it's not a cause to go crazy. But, since everyone loves to look for the first opportunity for flakes, I'd toss this one out there. Again, only really for the ski-slope type altitudes if it happens at all on Sunday.

Now to the better possibility...

The Euro (and the GFS for that matter) has been developing a run-to-run consistency of dragging in a serious cold-air push next week, good enough to get the whole of the tri-state into a near snowable low-atmospheric environment, though only the lake-enhanced areas stand a chance at turning that into snowfall. Nevertheless, as the NCEP map at right shows, this is looking more and more like a 'first-flakes' scenario for the 3000' level. Not that it's a weather alert scenario or anything, the "first" is always something of note. Speaking about notes, this would represent a later first-flake date than the past two years, as we barely got out of September in both 2011 and 2012 before the flakes flew at those altitudes. It actually happens on average right around this time.

We'll keep watching!

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Have a great day everyone!

-B

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