WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Wintry Weather Headed In Tonight?

It's not a strong system, but some of us can get a little more white before the end of November. Let's take a look at it.

It's back to work everyone!

Time to arouse from the long turkey-leftover coma :-)

...And what do we see coming down the stream?

HPC - Surface Map Monday PM

A storm system is developing along a stalled out frontal boundary. As these things do, it will ride along the front toward the north and east, which angles it right at the tri-state area. The bad news for snow-lovers is that it's a rather weak system (central pressure is around 1015mb, where the average pressure on the Earth is actually 1013.5mb). It's more that the area of high pressure to the north/west is particularly strong. Now, sometimes you can get a good snow event when a relative area of low pressure finds itself in the middle of an environment of high pressure overall-- but this isn't one of those times. Instead of this being a high-precipitation "Ohio Valley Soaker" event, it's the hat without the cowboy.

Let's break this one down using the high-resolution simulated radar...

NAM - SimRadar - Tuesday 4am NAM - SimRadar -Tuesday 7am NAM - SimRadar -Tuesday 10am

I wouldn't quite pay attention to the time-stamps as Gospel, because we can track that over the day today and see if there's any adjustments that need to be made. The two take-aways from this though are as follows: (1) That the storm is quite progressive, moving out of the area before the mid-afternoon; and (2) that the best chance for snowfall again arrives right during the morning commute-- something to keep our eyes on.

Overall, what will happen is that we'll start off with a chilly rain for most of the area, but as the rain falls the temperatures will start to cool (the chill that occurs as falling water is evaporated into the air). Once the limit is reached, the rain will start changing over to snow. Then it becomes a game of how long the moisture can stick around to keep the engine of snowfall going before it high-tails it out of here. The elevations have the best shot at getting the flakes to stick. This can even mean a difference of nothing in downtown Charleston/Huntington, but a coating in the hills and ridges even within city limits. The roadways below 2000' primarily don't look to get affected by this one, as there just doesn't seem to be the gusto to get enough flakes to stick vs. the melting that occurs on the still warm ground.

Here are the model renderings for snowfall accumulation if you're interested in the different scenarios:

GFS - Snowfall Forecast - Tuesday Event NAM - Snowfall Forecast - Tuesday Event

The GFS has a coarser resolution than the NAM because of it's longer-duration model run, but they're essentially looking for the same things. The southwestern WV and southern KY mountains may be on the outside with this one, as the cold air doesn't quite penetrate southward enough before the system is already out of town. The mountains from Beckley through Canaan Valley stand to get the best from this one (as usual), but the "best" is not a whole lot-- a couple inches. There "may" be a Winter Weather Advisory issued for this if we do end up seeing coatings spring up during the AM commute on Tuesday, but regardless whatever lands will be gone by the end of the day, as early season snowfall is like filling a leaky bucket with all that warm ground temperatures. However, once we get into December and beyond, that will become much less of an issue just like it's no longer in the mountains.

I'm good with the models on this one, just keep in mind the ridgetops are the best places to see flakes stick, with more than likely nothing for the urban areas at relatively lower elevations. Still, it is something to recall for Tuesday morning's commute, because if anything is going to be happening, it'd be happening then.

The look ahead doesn't seem so promising for snow-lovers in the start of December (just yet anyway).

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

Warmer than average temperatures are projected for that first week of December. It is getting to be that time of year when we deserve some snowfall, so we'll have to see if we can catch some luck.

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

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrandonButcherWeather
Twitter:
www.twitter.com/WSAZBrandon

Read More Blogs
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability