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02/07/2012

SOLAR SPRING SNOW

HAPPY SOLAR SPRING! YES INDEED, THE SUN WILL HAVE INCREASING STRENGTH IN THE WEEKS AHEAD, AND WINTER WILL EVENTUALLY RUN OUT OF TIME. IN THE MEANTIME, WE ACTUALLY DO HAVE SOME WINTRY WEATHER IN THE FORECAST...BOTH SNOW, AND COLD TEMPS.

THE COLD FRONT THAT WAS HUNG UP JUST TO OUR NORTH TODAY CONTINUES TO SLOWLY SINK SOUTHWARD. CHILLIER, BUT NOT TERRIBLY COLD, AIR WILL FILTER INTO THE REGION TONIGHT WITH A LIGHT NORTHERLY FLOW. MEANWHILE, AN UPPER LEVEL SHORT WAVE IS MOVING INTO THE SOUTHERN PLAINS STATES. THAT DISTURBANCE WILL HEAD QUICKLY EAST-NORTHEASTWARD IN THE FLOW, AND SPAWN A WEAK WAVE OR WRINKLE ALONG THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY THAT WILL BE TO OUR SOUTH TOMORROW. AS A RESULT, SKIES WILL TURN OUT CLOUDY HERE TOMORROW, AND IT STILL LOOKS LIKE WE ARE IN STORE FOR A PERIOD OF MAINLY LIGHT PRECIP DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY NIGHTTIME HOURS. THIS WILL BE ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE TEMPS ALOFT ARE PLENTY COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW...THAT IS CERTAINLY THE CASE LOOKING AT THICKNESSES AND 850 MB TEMPS. THE ONLY POSSIBLE ISSUE WILL BE WHAT THE BOUNDARY LAYER WILL BE LIKE WHEN THE PRECIP GETS UNDERWAY. AT THIS JUNCTURE, WE FEEL THAT LOW LEVEL TEMPS MAY BE JUST MARGINAL ENOUGH FOR AWHILE FOR SOME RAINDROPS TO BE PRESENT FROM THE CT. COAST, ACROSS LONG ISLAND, DOWN ALONG THE JERSEY SHORE, BACK TO NEAR PHL AND THEN SOUTHWARD INTO THE DELMARVA PENINSULA AND BACK INTO THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AREA. EVERYWHERE NORTH AND WEST OF THERE, THE ATMOSPHERE IS LIKELY TO BE COLD ENOUGH FOR ALL SNOW TO FALL. BY TOMORROW EVENING, WITH FURTHER COOLING TAKING PLACE IN THE BOUNDARY LAYER, EVEN THE AREAS THAT STARTED OUT AS A MIX WILL PROBABLY GO TO ALL SNOW. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THAT MAY BE THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE DELMARVA WHERE RAIN WILL GO TO A MIX.

LOOKING AT THE VARIOUS SOLUTIONS ON THE MODELS, IT APPEARS THAT THE BEST UPWARD MOTION WANTS TO EVENTUALLY TRACK ACROSS SOUTHERN PA, MD, WV, VA, AND THEN OVER TO THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST. THE QPF WILL DEFINITELY BE ON THE LIGHT SIDE WITH THIS SYSTEM...GENERALLY 0.10" OR LESS. THAT WILL TRANSLATE TO A COATING TO AT MOST AN INCH OF WET SNOW, WITH THE BEST CHANCE OF THE 1" BEING IN THE SOUTHERN PARTS OF THE COVERAGE AREA. WHILE MOST OF THE ACCUMULATION WILL OCCUR ON NON-PAVED SURFACES, WE DO HAVE TO COVER FOR SLICK SPOTS DEVELOPING TOMORROW NIGHT AS TEMPS DROP BELOW FREEZING.

BEHIND THIS FEATURE, DRIER AIR WILL QUICKLY RETURN, SETTING THE STAGE FOR A REALLY NICE DAY WEATHER WISE ON THURSDAY WITH AN UPTICK IN TEMPS. FRIDAY WILL BE OUR MILDEST DAY OF THE NEXT SEVERAL SINCE WE WILL BE PRE-FRONTAL THAT DAY WITH A DECENT SOUTHWESTERLY BREEZE.

THE WEEKEND WEATHER IS FULL OF CHALLENGES, NOT JUST DEALING WITH THE TIMING AND INTENSITY OF THE MUCH COLDER AIR, BUT ALSO FIGURING OUT WHETHER OR NOT THERE WILL BE ANY PRECIP...AND IF THERE WILL BE RAPID CYCLOGENESIS JUST OFF THE EAST COAST AS HEIGHTS CRASH INTO A TIGHT BAROCLINIC ZONE. FOR NOW, WE HAVE ADDED THE CHANCE OF FLURRIES FOR SATURDAY, BUT WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A HEAVIER SNOW SHOWER OR A PERIOD OF STEADY SNOW.

A BITTER WIND SATURDAY NIGHT & SUNDAY WILL USHER IN THE COLDEST AIR SINCE JANUARY 21ST.

 

Posted by Lee Goldberg on February 7, 2012 | Permalink

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