WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Updating next week's winter visit

Several more runs have come out since the last blog post... Has the thinking changed at all..?

Greetings to all....

I hope that you have been able to enjoy a slice of your weekend in relative peace. We're locked into a nice dry stretch, which always has its positive side. Of course, the fire danger soars during times like this, so please be careful. Most area burn ordinances call for burning only at night, and only vegetation-- but I think y'all know that.

Let's keep doin' what we're doin', and see how things have changed, if at all, with regard to the latest suite of models covering the potential for snow next week. First up, we'll cover the GFS...

GFS - Tuesday Morning

So we see the same general set-up the GFS has been on consistently for the past few days. We've still got some good pieces of vorticity rotating along the mean flow (left-hand map), but they are also still out of phase, and not going to align until the action has not only swung through the Tri-State but be well off the East Coast itself. Nevertheless, the upper-air energy is still going to be generating precipitation, which is visible on the right-hand map. This stuff is even post-frontal and can have a notable lake-effect component given the expected northerly wind flow channel between the high and the low.

One thing we have been seeing is a shift towards an earlier arrival time. This map progs that snow flakes will be flying in our area by Tuesday morning, rather than a Wednesday thing (though it can linger). And yes, this is a snow solution, given the 850-temperatures diving down to -10C during the day.

EURO - Tuesday Evening

The Euro has also become more consistent, but more consistent in showing what the GFS had initially presented. Our vorticity lobes are rotating through a deep trough, still unphasing until well off-shore. The precipitation will be in the form of snow, and occur primarily as such after frontal passage in the breezy northerly winds that tap additional lake energy.

At this point, I think it's safe to back away from blockbuster land and concentrate on what would normally be a pedestrian snowfall event, except for the fact that it'd be the first one for much of the region.

So how much snow are we talkin'?

Given the relative parity between the two models, I think the accumulation amounts would also be similarly projected as well. We're not into NAM range yet, so I'm not ready to declare something bankable yet. But, here's the current GFS projection:

Now, I say at the outset that I don't often like how the GFS's rough terrain grid messes with where the maxima and minima show up. The NAM is better at this part so we'll see the difference soon enough. All told it is being presented as a 1-3" kind of event, with some of the southern valleys getting less. But, you can't tell me places like southern Nicholas county isn't going to get more than the valleys of Mingo county, etc. etc.

Oh, and another thing...

It's going to be cold... As in real cold. Jumping a few steps in incrementally ushering in that winter chill... Check out these numbers:

GFS - Max Temperatures

Lows in the teens and 20s, highs struggling to get back to the 30s... That'd be cold in any month!

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Have a great day everyone!

-B

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