Rain showers today, with an ice storm east of the mountains

It's tracking day for the arriving rain. We'll be watching the ice to the east as well. If you're not pleased with today's weather, it's not getting much easier through the week.

Good Tuesday morning to one and all.

Today begins our trek through a complicated weather week. Warm air rides in across two areas of low pressure and scrapes across our region from the southeast. Areas east of the mountains see cold air stuck against the slopes, while that same wind flow then works down the mountains toward the Kanawha Valley. That downward air motion is a warming wind (and a drying wind-- more on that later). Here's the breakdown on the NAM model of today's weather via precipitation type:

NAM - Tuesday Morning NAM - Tuesday Afternoon NAM - Tuesday Evening

And here's the relevant map regarding wind flow:

NAM - Wind-field - Tuesday Afternoon

So the air is coming in from the east, dips down ever-so-slightly into the Shenandoah/Greenbrier valleys, and then rockets over the higher WV mountain peaks (30-50mph!). Next, it weakens to the west into Kentucky and Ohio. The biggest issue with this storm system will no doubt be the icing threat for the roads east of the mountain peaks in West Virginia. Travelers beware, some "ice storm warnings" are in effect. This, combined with the wind, we can end up with power outages and all that. Fortunately, this is just outside of our viewing area to the east (but it's never good for whomever it hits).

Temperatures will spike into the upper 40s (and even the low 50s) in the Kanawha valley west to the WV border because of this downsloping wind. Notice the lack of rainfall at times on the maps in the afternoon for parts of the tri-state. That downsloping wind will also contribute to the drying of the air and scattering of the showers. Don't be surprised at all to catch some breaks later in the day.

But that isn't the end of things as we've been saying the past few days. Our low pressure system stalls out in the eastern sections of the Great Lakes, and brings a moist flow back across our region from the west, keeping up the threat for light rain/snow/sleet/drizzle/ice/slop/nastiness for the rest of the week. Here's the GFS with an example:

GFS - Wednesday Evening GFS - Friday Evening

Eventually, enough colder air will work into our area to make our occasional drizzle turn into frozen precipitation. It's still expected to be rather light over-all, so it's got more of an annoying tint to it than anything resembling a flood threat or a snow threat. In fact the biggest issue may be the idea of freezing drizzle that can put a glaze down on the roads without much effort. However, if we just stay a mix of rain and snow there may not be any lasting effects from this event through the rest of the week outside of the depressing nature of its continual presence.

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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