Monday, February 1, 2010

The Snow Keeps On Coming

Get your nerd glasses on Will. Above is a radar shot as of 830 PM EST showing what is going to bring a chance of snow to Virginia tomorrow and some light icing in NC. It's an interesting synoptic setup because there are 3 factors in play that will determine what our weather is like tomorrow. #1 is an upper level low in the Mid-West, #2 is an upper level trough and associated precip, and #3 is an area of surface low pressure that is developing and forecast to move up the coast towards VA before quickly moving east out to sea. Right now, #2 will be drawn/catch up to #3 and help the area of low pressure deepen (get stronger) as it moves up the coast. The question is, and none of the models show it, is whether #1, the upper low, will have any interaction with #2. If it did, I would expect an area of enhanced precipitation would set up somewhere in our general area as the low strengthens off the coat due to the increased vorticity and divergence aloft, or "phasing" of the systems. While I don't think #1 will catch up in entirety, I do think enough energy will be present to increase the meager precipitation amounts currently printed out by the models here in Charlottesville. The max I've seen so far is around .25". If that were snow, temps being marginal as they will be, it wouldn't be much, about 1" like the NWS is forecasting for late tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow night. However, if the models aren't initializing the speed or strength or the lows and troughs, the precip amounts could be higher.

So in short: I'm going to go out on a limb and say the models are wrong. I think we will see approx 3" of snowfall here in Cville by Wed morning.

Also, the other storm is still on the table in a BIG way for this weekend. Stay tuned.