WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Searching for holiday snowfall...

Another tricky morning with frost and fog being a possibility, but the hope is that we can get more quickly to sunshine this time. In this post, among other things, we look at upcoming storm systems to see about that White Christmas thought...

Friday is here... And the crowd rejoices {yaaaay}

Unfortunately though, we still need to be on our toes this morning in case there's more freezing fog and frost showing up. Frost occurs whenever a surface is cooled below the dewpoint of the surrounding air, and when that dewpoint is below freezing. On clear, crisp nights, radiational cooling takes over and drives the temperatures down to the dewpoint, which are still in the 20s. The presence of fog will be the best indicator of the most dangerous weather conditions, as 'freezing fog' and frost combines in nasty ways, particularly if you haven't been keeping up with your windshield scraping.

The Cameras below should help you keep tabs on things. Remember, bridges and overpasses have been particularly susceptible for freezing fog and thick frost the past several days. If you see any on the cams, be very careful traveling in those directions.

WEATHER CAMS

Charleston (looking west) Charleston (looking east)
Huntington Ashland

------------Tangent: Geminid Meteor Shower------------

Speaking of these clear, calm nights, they also happen to coincide with the peak of the Geminid Meteor shower. In fact, this could be the best one of the year, with near 100 streams per hour. Here's where you should be looking:

I know it's cold out there, but it'd be worth it. Some of you with those fancy-shmancy cameras could even capture a couple on camera. Feel free to send them my way ;-)

For those who like to watch astronomical wonders from the comfort of their own homes, there is a live-stream provided by NASA. Hopefully it works beyond my initial testing of it, but I'll share it below:

 

--------------- End Tangent ----------------

Back to the weather at hand...

We've got another day of sunshine lined up today, as high pressure still dominates. After the morning fog, we'll get warmer this afternoon.

HPC - Surface Map - Friday PM

Notice that storm system advancing toward the Mississippi Valley...We'll be watching this one for the weekend, but much of Saturday itself will be just fine.

NAM - Saturday Night NAM - Monday Night

When looking for the possibility of snowfall in the winter months, we start looking at the temperature profiles within the clouds in addition to other smaller tweaky elements. A quick and dirty ball-park area to look for snow would be wherever there is precipitation showing up on the maps in areas where the 850mb temperatures are less than -2 Celsius (that's why the above images always include the 850mb temperatures instead of the surface numbers). In the fall, that number is much colder-- you'd need to be around -6 to -10 C, but usually -2 or colder is the sweet spot. Notice above, we're all rain with this one. So, let's look at the next one.

GFS - Tuesday GFS - Wednesday AM

This is a much better opportunity for snow showers, but the problem is that it has been unstable on the models. This scenario depends more on the wrap-around moisture and lake enhancement, rather than the direct impact of a storm system. The storm itself is progged to be pretty fickle in the New England area as it is, and the tri-state will be hinging on second-order effects from that as far as flakes go here. I wouldn't get too hopeful just yet. A better position to be in would be to be staring at a blizzard in the long range and then watching it whittle down to a little snow by the time the day arrives. Starting out at something weak like this isn't the best for snow-lovers.

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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