WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Update - So what's next...?

We've been talking so much about "Frankenstorm" lately, but it's time now to begin to turn the page... What lies ahead?

Updated Below

Good Thursday morning to one and all!

The remnants of what was "Superstorm" "Frankenstein" "Sandy" is still departing to the north into Canada today, but yet there still are some lingering effects of light rain and snow hanging around the region, particularly at elevation.

I want to let you know that I've put up a storm summary of this system on the blog as well, and you can find it here:

Super Frankenstorm Sandy Summary

The above storm summary was largely the result of your participation with WSAZ's continuing storm coverage. Your timely storm reports and pictures brought the local weather experience to everyone, which comes in quite handy when so many are stranded and/or without power. No doubt social media and internet usage via SmartPhone skyrockets during times like these.

Looking ahead...

HPC - Surface Map - Thursday PM

Thursday will be spent still battling the last vestiges of Sandy's remnants, but mostly this will be in the form of light (annoying) rain, with the higher elevations trying to get flakes, but there is no longer sufficient amounts of moisture available at areas within the clouds that would be producing the flakes-- and thus they'll see an even colder (more annoying) drizzle. About the only place that might get an additional coating beyond the morning today would be up in the Canaan Valley area of the northern WV mountains, but what's a dusting among 3-4 FEET of snow?

Friday will feature the quick slipping through of that little area of low pressure that will move across the lower sections of the Ohio Valley.

NAM - Friday Morning NAM - Friday Afternoon

Not looking for much here, just more annoying sprinkles (and mountain flakes), primarily focusing on Southern Kentucky and West Virginia.

That area of high pressure to the north will dive down in, but there's a very thin window for it to have an appreciable influence locally. The best opportunity we'll have for good sunshine arrives Friday afternoon and Saturday, however, if this quick-moving patch of showers instead decides to loiter across the Appalachians it can be a little more stubborn.

One of the things that is more certain, is that the cold air is going to make it in. Here's a look at morning temperatures in the region (from the GFS):

GFS - Minimum Temperatures - Friday Morning GFS - Minimum Temperatures - Saturday Morning

Radiational cooling will set in here if we can get the night skies to clear. An enhancing element will be the reflectivity of any remaining snowpack (also called 'albedo'). This will allow even more radiational cooling, and reflect a greater portion of incoming solar radiation. One result of this will be for the re-icing of melting snow, causing slicker conditions in the early morning without getting new precipitation (so be careful). Even in the lowlands, the continue run-off trickles may also slicken up when we get down to the freezing point.

Not Again...?

Looking ahead into the distance...another storm is brewing (true). Fortunately, this one doesn't have another hurricane to capture, but we are looking at a vorticity-forced dive in the jetstream that will scare up a weather system all by itself, and need not look for help in the Atlantic.

GFS - 500mb Chart - Monday PM

There are two very potent short-waves rotating through this trough (that actually sinks as deep or deeper than the one that captured Hurricane Sandy). As is usually the case, it's the second or third-man-in on the fight that makes the difference, so we'll be watching that second lobe of positive vorticity in Canada to see how it energizes whatever system we get once it gets to rotate around the base of the trough. Here are some mid-range representations:

GFS - Tuesday Night ECMWF - Wednesday AM

So far, both models are not phasing the two short-waves (like it did with the Superstorm), and the Euro wants to keep this first system a little farther offshore with less cold air behind it. That doesn't bode well for storm-lovers, but I think I would enjoy a break :-)

Update - The latest snow depth map has come out from the NOHSRC, and it shows a dramatic change from yesterday:

NOHSRC - Snow Depth - November 1st, 2012

Compare to the map of yesterday, the theoretical accumulation/snow depth peak for most areas below 2500-feet. Well, I take that back, other areas north and east of Charleston up I-79 also got some accumulating snow since the AM of October 31st, but they also got melting. The places that melted all the way to the ground had the weakest amounts that were not expected to last as per the forecast, but there still were a significant amount of snow still around-- even in some of the lowlands, away from Kentucky and Ohio. In the higher elevations, above 2500-feet another 6" or so of snow fell. Incredible. The higher amounts of new snow were up in the northern mountains of West Virginia, where I expect the highest overall totals to appear. However, this is always a tenuous thing, because it's difficult to bother remembering to appropriately measure snow in a blowing/drifting blizzard without power or heat and trying to save your house from a roof collapse.

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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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