WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Updated - The Parade Of The Clipper Ships Continues...

...Just not every one is a snow maker this time. Expect a few different events coming down the pike this week, starting with Monday.

Updates Below (most recent 5:30pm)

Another update this Sunday afternoon... this time around I thought I'd make it a separate post (always hard to figure out the line on these things).

Our weather pattern has been great for Clipper systems thus far. With the help of a strong steering current that slices right across the Great Lakes, we've been able to get a respectable several days of snowfall. Heck, my kids have gone sledding three days in a row!

GFS - 500mb Winds - Sunday Night GFS - 500mb Winds - Friday Night

According to the GFS model, our windflow will continue to encourage more of these same systems right through the upcoming workweek. This time around, however, things are not so perfectly wintry. We can only stay like this so long before warmer air gets mixed into the equation. So let's take a look at each storm system as it comes.

Monday Night - Early Tuesday

NAM - Monday Evening NAM - Early Tuesday

Temperatures along and south of I-64 will be creeping just above freezing during this event, complicating and contaminating the prevalence of snowfall in that area. However, up toward Parkersburg and along Rt 33 and Rt 50 we have the opportunity to get more snow. I would put it at another 1"- 3" of snow north of Huntington and Charleston, with a rain/snow mix to the south. The morning commute Tuesday could be a little sloppy, but it's not expected to be as bad along and south of I-64. Both Huntington and Charleston have the opportunity to be a winner or loser on this one (depending on how much you like snow), it may just come down to the day-of small-scale stuff. Notice on the above graphics that both cities are 'on the line'.

Wednesday

Our fast-moving pattern continues, with another shot of energy coming in on Wednesday. This one is the weakest/quickest of the bunch, and I even have my reservations that nothing at all may come of it. Nevertheless, the GFS is indicating a little flit of moisture rotating through:

GFS - Wednesday Afternoon

Not a whole lot of moisture to work with here...and at that we may have to think about the prospects of freezing drizzle instead of snowflakes if the clouds themselves aren't developed enough. In the far left part of that same image, you see yet another impulse of energy getting ready to slide down the track toward the tri-state.

Friday

This one has a little more moisture than Wednesday's event, but now it's warmer. Most of the area is looking at rainfall. Here's the Euro on this one:

ECMWF - Friday AM ECMWF - 850mb Chart -  Friday AM

The left-hand map has the surface low pressure center location as well as the isobar contours. More importantly, it shows the red-dashed line for the critical 540dm thickness line. At the risk of confusing some of you, I've put that in there; we did talk about it in a previous blog entry but I'd be happy to talk about it again. Basically, that is a mathematically derived "rain/snow" line. Most of our viewing area is on the "rain" side of that line. The right-hand map shows us where the humidity is and what the temperatures at the 850mb level are. This is also another way to think about precipitation type, and once again we're coming up rain locally.

After this one, the jet stream balances out again and gives us a taste of the southwest to northeast steering current. That doesn't bode well for snowfall, but we'll keep an eye on it.

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Update (10:30am) - I forgot to put out the projections for the week beyond...Here's what the current modeling says:

6-10 Day Outlook - Temperature 6-10 Day Outlook - Precipitation

 A pattern-shift to be sure. Better get all the sledding in now; it looks like a lot of mud is in our future!

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Update (5:30pm) - Everything is on track so far with regard to the forecast. Folks should be reporting some moderate snow in a thin band in interior Ohio on eastward into West Virginia. (There is a section of darker blue returns on Doppler belaboring this point right now in the maps below). Temperatures are quite sharp right now too, with Parkersburg, WV recording 29° and yet Huntington and Charleston both > 40°. Many of us will be looking at the rainfall and wondering what all the hub-bub is all about, but for those that are seeing the snowfall on places like US Rt 33 and US Rt 50 it can certainly make for a slick commute home. All told, the forecast of 1"- 3" in this region still looks good in my opinion. Anyone traveling northward through Ohio and WV beyond the I-64 corridor should be careful. Not that the weather is completely uneventful to the south, but even a rain/snow mix will be easier on salted roadways compared to are far northern friends. Tonight we do have the possibility of mixing back over to snowflakes, but that will be on the tail end of the event itself and when most folks aren't out and about.

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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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