WSAZ - Blogs - Kelly Ann Cicalese

Friday Night Update

More on the next round of snowfall expected late Saturday night into Sunday.

Today was quite eventful weather wise- we saw thunder snow in Kentucky and passing snow squalls region wide! Since tonight's chance of snow will be minimal, I'll focus more on the next snow system heading our way.

 

Although there are still some slight timing differences between the models, the snow should start to enter our region late tomorrow evening (after 10 PM). Right before dawn, snow will become widespread...

By the late morning, snow should start to taper off. Lingering mountain snowfall will be possible into the afternoon.

So now the question is, how much snowfall will we see?

Below is the quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) released by the HPC...

This shows how much moisture the HPC expects to fall from tomorrow through Sunday. Keep in mind, in a typical snowfall about 0.1 inches of moisture is equivalent to 1 inch of rain. This equivalency can vary greatly. For instance, mountain snow is typically much dryer so less moisture would be needed to produce an inch.

So, without looking at any other parameters, the forecast is about 1-2.5" of snowfall (with closer to 5" in the mountains).

However, upper level dynamics will play a part with this next snowfall and needs to be accounted for. Here is a look at the vorticity field at the 500 mb level...

An area of strong vorticity approaches the western extents of our region at 4 AM, affecting mainly Eastern Kentucky (left). By 7 AM, this stretch of vorticity pushes into the southern extents of our region, affecting mainly S. Kentucky and S. West Virginia (right). This should help support snowfall in the aforementioned areas and as a result, accumulations should be slightly higher there.

Here is a look at the moisture in the upper levels....

 At 700 MB, a relative humidity spike of 95-100% hits eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia (left). The rest of the region looks not as moist, but still has over 80% humidity (left). At the 850 MB level, there is more widespread moisture; however, notice how the bright blue color (which indicates 95-100% humidity) only covers southern Kentucky, areas south and east of Huntington in WV, and far eastern Ohio (right).

Considering the outlook for both of these parameters, it can be inferred that the best chance of higher snowfall accumulations will be in the southern extents of our region and in the mountains.

At this point, I would say most of the region will see up to 2 inches, but there is a chance that slightly more snow falls in S. Kentucky and S. West Virginia (for reasons I stated above). I will continue to monitor this.

As for the mountains, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw over 4 inches of snow considering that the models are hinting at lingering mountain snowfall throughout much of Sunday.

I'll keep an eye on the models and will update this forecast if needed!

 

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Have a great weekend everyone!

-Kelly Ann

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