Update - Early morning ice makes things slick

Today puts us at the best opportunity for sunshine, but our next system arrives overnight.

Update (2/22) -  Ice has come in on-cue to the tri-state area this morning, but the warmer air will eventually scour it out of the I-64 corridor (and points south/west). Early reports have had viewers talking about ice all over the cars and windshields, but yet just wet roadways. This may be true for the more urban areas, but that sort of thing should still be taken as a caution sign for the morning drive. North of the Ohio River and on into interior West Virginia will be where the ice threat is greatest. It won't be long into the morning hours before we see the moisture pushing out of our area. The afternoon will be a much easier time, with temperatures even pushing 50 in our western counties.

Be careful this morning, but you shouldn't have to worry this afternoon.


Welcome to Thursday... almost there :-)

This morning will be another really chilly one, owing to the finally clearing skies. Winds also become lighter, setting up a good radiational cooling scenario. Expect the upper teens in the city, with something lower in the valleys. As has been said before on this blog, a good approximation of the morning low temperatures will be to look at the dew points. Here's what the NAM is putting forward this morning.

NAM - Dew Point - Thursday Morning NOHRSC - Snowfall Depth (Satellite Est.)

Another factor this morning will be wherever there is a lingering snow cover, as that allows for a much higher magnitude of incoming radiant heat energy to just be sent back into outer space instead of warming the ground. There are a few spots in far northern Ohio than fit this bill, but most are in the eastern WV mountains. For example, I wonder how deep into the single digits places like Elkins and Glady sink.

Our day finally features a modicum of sunshine, as high pressure works out the low-level moisture slipped in by that lake effect circulation yesterday.

HPC - Surface Map - Thursday

Our next weather system is on the prowl through the Mississippi Valley, and we can expect it to come across Friday. It will be primarily a rain-maker, but an initial mix of sleet in the eastern mountans and northern counties is something to consider. This ends up being a similar experience to the last system we went through.

Persistent Long-Wave Pattern

The next two storm systems to affect our area will follow a fairly common pattern as far as winter events go, however we specifically will find ourselves in one of the more complicated areas of each.

Essentially what happens is that we'll have a strong surface low pressure area move from the Central Plains towards the Great Lakes, but spawn a secondary low to our east near the Carolinas, which will then take over up the coastline of the Northeast states. The GFS has identified this--

GFS - Surface Map - Friday Afternoon GFS - Surface Map - Saturday Night

...and again early next week...

GFS - Surface Map - Monday Morning GFS - Surface Map - Tuesday Afternoon

Back-to-Back Nor'easters is a forecaster's playland for those who live in New England, but unfortunately for us it's a much more muddled picture. If you notice for both systems, we'll be right in between the tug-of-war where the coastal low is taking over from the previously stronger parent system heading into the Great Lakes. In meteorology, the air we'd find ourselves in is 'occluded'. It's hard to pinpoint whether or not we're going to experience the cold air return around the back edge of the coastal low, or still be in the fetch of the warm air flow out ahead of the parent system to our west. Usually, it's a complicated mess of both. The moisture will be difficult to group into nice pieces too, as the energy gets torn between the two main areas.

GFS - Friday Night GFS - Tuesday

Oddly enough, the GFS is presenting both typical "options" that this kind of weather scenario provides for those stuck in the middle like we will be. On the one hand, Friday night's weather acts like the moisture just splits apart, concentrating around each separate low with just drizzle in between. The GFS is advertising here that the parent low still retains the most influence through most levels of the atmosphere. On the other hand, the Tuesday system carries a more solid precipitation signature throughout both systems, but has great difficulty in assessing what wins out in between. Notice how that 0-C line snakes around all over the place. All precipitation types are still on the table :-)

We call this a "long-wave" pattern, because these things are very large in the upper levels of the atmosphere. So, even though there's a day or two of calmer weather in between, these things are in reality backed right up against each other as far as the meteorology goes. It's quite an interesting thing, and we'll be looking at both systems intently in the coming days. Some folks in New England may end up with back-to-back snowstorms out of the whole mess. Nope, not us though.

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!


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