WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Update - A sunny mid-week break gives us an opportunity to survey future snowfall possibilities...

High pressure is in control this week, allowing for chilly nights and seasonable afternoons. There's still some hope for snowfall before Christmas, though this year has a little deja-vu with last year.

Update - The forecast is largely on track right through the weekend (so far), so I wanted to update this post with a little viewer picture that I found interesting from the morning:

Notice how it looks like a light coating of snow fell on the ground. However, it never snowed at all. What this is, is "hoar" frost. This represents a particularly thick frost that forms on these kinds of nights through 'deposition', where water goes from invisible vapor straight to ice crystals onto the ground. So it ends up looking like a mysterious accumulation of snow without any actual snow fall.

Point being, your roadway could be covered with this on the way to work, so be careful.
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A good Wednesday morning to one and all.

It's a chilly start today, as temperatures plummet to the 20s region-wide. This can cause some black ice and flash-freezing on any roadways in which poor drainage has left very shallow puddles. Normally, these are secondary roads in which stop-signs and stop-lights are the biggest trouble spots if there's a patch of ice right before them.

High pressure is back in town, clearing out clouds and keeping the sunshine around for a few days.

HPC - Surface Map - Wednesday PM

We'll still have the chilly mornings, but gradually thaw out before the weekend. Showers are heading back into the mix by Saturday. But, before all those snow lovers get all gloomy, we do have some opportunities ahead. Let's look at each one and their likelihood...

1. Monday Morning

This is the tail-end of the next long-form rain event that will come through. Any snow that comes from it will arrive on the back-side in the cold air combined with windflow off the lakes.

It certainly gives us a chance, but at this point I would remember Tuesday's "flakes" as the best representation of what we'll end up with as of now. It had a very similar setup. The ski slopes will appreciate the return to snow-making conditions.

 

 

2. Early Wednesday

Quickly on the heels of the first system comes another one, moving on the southern track suited for El Nino scenarios. This one holds a little more promise, if for no other reason than we are going to be on the North and West side of the storm (a good place to find snow). Things working against us would include the "shadow effect" of the mountains, and a slight warming component owed to wind blowing downhill.

In fact, crazily enough, this storm looks better for the Tennessee Valley than the Ohio Valley for snowfall. This reminds me distinctly of last year, where Alabama and Mississippi get accumulating snows and we're left in the lurch. Check out the video of this one here:

Eerily similar to this same time of year, eh?

3. Christmas Eve

This is what looks to be the coldest temperatures of the season so far, right before Christmas itself. There's a strong off-shore system that creates a wide cyclonic windflow that does include the lakes.

The thing hurting this solution is that it so far out and manifesting weak moisture signals. It's not fatal or anything, but I'd be wishing for a closer storm system and a stronger wind gradient. The cold air is fine though (well, not without snow it's not). At least this wouldn't speak to rain on Christmas! But, this far out, it's still anyone's game.

We'll continue to keep an eye on these events while the Sun shines overhead these next few days.

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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