It's the last day of February, and at least there's some snow on the map.
However, it's not that we'll be getting much of it. This system will be following a cycle that is modeled well by the NAM:
|NAM - Precip Type - Thursday Morning||NAM - Precip Type - Thursday Afternoon||NAM - Precip Type - Thursday Night|
When the Sun is down, temperatures are cold enough to support snowfall, and the lack of direct solar radiation (behind clouds or not) gives it the best opportunity to stick. Grassy surfaces, walkways, and bridges/overpasses are the best targets, but keep in mind there's not a whole lot of moisture available in these bands. During the day, temperatures inch warmer, and the above-horizon Sun causes drizzle instead (and melts any coating from the overnight away). Then, when the Sun goes down again, we start it back up.
The only real concern we have with this prolonged weather event is the possibility for an ill-timed snow band to cut across during the early part of the morning commute. Even if it's not expected to be bad, if there's a glaze on a bridge you cross to get to work, or flakes in the air lowering visibility, that's at least something to be aware of.
As we've discussed in previous blog posts, we're going to be in this same pattern with wheel-spoke impulses of precipitation rotating around the Great Lakes all the way to the weekend. For most of us, if we get anything, it'll be when it's dark, and it'll be gone during the day. The WV mountains however stand an opportunity for a couple inches of snow with each pass. This is great for the ski slopes again, but more annoying for any over-mountain travelers.
Since the GFS covers the near and mid-range, and is finally understanding the upslope nature of these snow showers, here's what it is looking at for accumulations into the weekend:
|GFS - Snowfall Projection - Through Sunday|
I would venture to say the snowfall will be even more concentrated than this. The ridgetop slopes at or above 2000' will see that snow stick, amounting more than a half-foot by Sunday at places above 3000'. Most of the populated areas along I-79 and I-64 / Rt-119 will be left out (again). Beckley does have a shot at enough snow to scrape or shovel, but it's not going to be additive across events (there will be melting in between such that this map is not as accurate in the long-run).
The way things are going, the next good opportunity for multi-hour sunshine is...
|Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking||
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|
|Click For Larger||Click For Interactive Radar||Click For Larger||Click For Larger|
Have a great day everyone!