Update - The sun returns, but it's still winter

Snow flurries scatter about today, with some light accumulations for the mountains.

Update (3/14) - Scattered snow flurries continue as I write this, though most places still have simply seen the cycle of coatings and meltings. You can track the progression of the snow using the radar maps below. As indicated by yesterday's forecast discussion, we'll eventually get under the influence of high pressure coming in from the west today. This will shut off the lake effect snow guns this morning, and provide some rest-of-the-day sunshine. Temperatures won't evoke spring though, as we'll be stuck in the lower 40s.

Overnight tonight we'll see the first of our little piddly systems scoot through, this one bringing a mix of rain and snow through a small time window. Look for temperatures to spike higher Friday, perhaps bringing those good spring feelings back :-)

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We've reached the middle of the week-- Wednesday's here!

Unfortunately, our weather looks nothing like what we enjoyed this past weekend. Yesterday's highs were more than 30-degrees colder than Sunday's. Bummer. Well, I guess it depends on your perspective, because the ski resorts were cold enough to make some more snow and keep solid skiing conditions alive at a time when often they'd be closing down (like last year).

Like we've been talking about on the blog these past few days, today will have winter written all over it. A weak impulse of energy rotates around the base of the Great Lakes and meets us during the day.

HPC - Surface Map - Wednesday

As temperatures stay in the 30s all day long, we'll be seeing periodic snow flurries in any spot in the tri-state. Most of the lowlands should not expect accumulations out of this, as even temporary coatings will melt quickly once a snow band moves along. Above 2000-feet though, accumulations will range in the order of about 1"- 3". Check out the radars below to track the snow bands as they work through.

Following this, skies clear for a nice break Thursday (but only really lasting the one day). By Friday, a series of small nuisance systems squirrel their way through the Ohio Valley. Each one doesn't last too particularly long, so some "intermissions" will break them up. However, expect a generally unsettled period starting Friday. Here's how each episode looks on the GFS:

GFS - Early Friday GFS - Saturday PM GFS - Sunday Evening

The first little ditty that comes on by is close, but largely all these events are more rainfall than anything else. Perhaps spring is going to come along in fits and starts this year.

Looking back 20 years ago... The "Storm Of The Century"

I believe all the news outlets will be talking about it, but we can also take a look back to that great March snowstorm of 1993. It remains the storm of record for both Huntington and Charleston at upwards of 20" of snow. [As an odd aside, some of the biggest snowstorms in tri-state history occur on the very edges of the season-- the Thanksgiving Storm of 1950 also was a big one for us]. On March 13th, 1993, we were getting the bulk of our snow.

Enhanced Satellite / Surface Pressure - March 13, 1993 Storm Total Snowfall - March 12-14, 1993

Click on either image for a larger pop-out.

Truly a classic winter storm / Nor'easter. The deepest snow fell at Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina (50"), but several reports upwards of 45" were seen in the West Virginia mountains. Years later, meteorologists have developed a system to try to comparatively classify blizzards into categories similar to those of hurricanes. This is called the "Northeast snowfall impact scale", or NESIS. Anything over a 10.0 on the scale evokes a Category 5 storm. This storm is historically the worst on record, with an off-the-chart 13+ rating on the scale.

When the seasons begin to change in March, there still is comparatively cool ocean water (the ocean is slow to warm and slow to cool, which is why the peak of the hurricane season is in September and not July). This means there's much more energy available, contrasting the cooler ocean with the warming climate air. Three out of the top four snowstorms all occurred in March.

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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