Sunshine returns, but another "winter" storm in the works

Of course... It's spring, so naturally we'll be tracking more snow opportunities. sigh...

Happy Friday everyone!

(And hopefully it will be a little happier, just because of the returning sunshine)

High pressure comes in to clear out the clouds and lake-effect moisture, leading to a decent-enough day to finish off the workweek.

HPC - Surface Map - Friday Afternoon

Expect sunshine today, but less so on Saturday. But, because each day is dry we can see that March Sun-angle jump our temperatures from the 30s yesterday, to the 40s Friday and then above 50 on Saturday. You'd think that's the start of a return to normalcy (we should be in the upper 50s this time of year). You would be wrong.

The next storm...

We're tracking a strong storm system that is modeled to slice through the Ohio/Tennessee Valley and then redevelop on the other side of the mountains (much like we've seen happen before). The fact that this is happening in late March is novel on its own, because the opportunity for this is climatically diminished. The initial salvo of this storm comes in late (overnight) Saturday, but by church-time on Sunday we could have a little bit of a mess on our hands...

NAM - Sunday Morning NAM - Precipitation Type - Sunday Morning

The model product at left shows the temperature profile at the base of the clouds, combined with the intensity level of precipitation. The right-hand image indicates what the NAM thinks the various atmospheric components say about precipitation type. My own sense currently is that south of I-64 we'll get to a cold rain, while north we'll see sleet and ice, with light snow on the northern rim. The most intersting part about this one is that the NAM is trying to put parts of our area as all-snow all the way through the event. This would end up being a plowable snow event (a rare one at that) if all things held. Another interesting element is that the GFS is hinting at the exact same thing, and one of my favorite ways of monitoring the best accumulating snowfall when we have a significant low-pressure system is by tracking the 700mb low associated with the surface system. Here's the GFS:

GFS - Early Monday GFS - 700mb Chart - Early Monday

By early Monday, the storm is transitioning to the coast (and redeveloping), but notice where the center of the action is at the 700mb level-- right over-top of us. Now, we're still days away from seeing this verify, but that sort of arrangement typically tells me that the focus of whatever this has to offer for snow will come right through the tri-state.

I know a lot of you have made the transition to a spring mind-set and would hate to go back to winter, but check this out...

NAM - Snowfall Projection GFS - Snowfall Projection

(Click on either image for a larger pop-out)

You should be drawn to the extremely sharp gradient of snowfall when heading north to south-- projecting over a foot of snow in southern Ohio, but only like 1" south of I-64. That is going to be a complicated thing to pinpoint in the coming days unless there is a wholesale change to the forecast. And, speaking of the forecast, this currently represents the highest snowfall projection of any storm we've seen this year for many parts of the River Cities area (for example: Ashland, KY, Greenup, KY, etc.) Huntington is close to it as well.

Could it be that some folks get their greatest snowfall of the season darn close to April? What?!

Well, that will certainly be the focus over the next few days, because typical climatology would mandate this fall apart somehow. After all, this very time last year we were in the midst of a 5-day stretch of 80-degree temperatures ;-)

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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