Blog: Complex Snow/Mix Mess!

mixed weather mess.jpg

This morning we started off with some nasty weather.  It was cold, drizzly, and breezy.  The weather will get worse as we go through the day in several ways.   A complex system is impacting the eastern half of the country.  We have one area of low pressure that has already moved offshore.  A second area of low pressure was still to our west.  That and an upper level system were causing lots of snow over the Appalachian mountains and the Ohio River Valley.

Regional Weather Map

At the time of this writing we have some snow showers sneaking into a few of our inland locations.  It was coming down pretty good for a bit in James City and York counties.

Radar This Morning

Winds were out of the north at 5-15mph.  They were starting to turn out of the northwest.  They will increase to 10-15mph with gusts up to 25mph.  The wind will be a key player in the forecast as it should pull down some colder air into the region today.  Temperatures this morning were in the 30s and 40s. Temperatures will probably fall as the precip comes in this morning.

Future Trak (11am)

The rain/snow line moves east for a while.  After the mid-morning hours then a lot of the models try to warm up the temps about 3-4 degrees.  This lets the models turn the snow back into a mix or rain.

Future Trak (Early Afternoon)

The problem is that I don’t think we’ll warm up much (if at all).  We’ll have quite a bit of precipitation in the region whether it’s drizzle, rain, or the wintry mix.  Clouds will hang tough all day.  Plus the breezy northwest winds should kick in.

Wind Forecast (This Afternoon)

This….theoretically… should pull down colder air from the central Piedmont.  With all of those factors it seems like temperatures would either hold steady or even fall this afternoon.  Future Trak and the HRRR do have that slight warming.  They still have snow north of the metro, but they mainly have rain and a mix from North Carolina to the Southside.  Those models keep it closer to 40 during the evening in Hampton roads.  This keeps the precip as mostly rain or a mix in Hampton Roads through that time.

Future Trak (This Evening)

We’ll have some scattered snow showers and a mix at least north/northeast of the metro this evening.  I think there will be some mix in Hampton Roads.  Then we’ll dry up during the later evening.

So…using my theory that some colder air will try to drop southeast.  Here is my snow forecast:

Snow Forecast

I’ve said over and over this morning that a lot of the snow in Hampton Roads would be on grassy areas and decks as temps will be above freezing.  So keep that in mind when you look at the map.  However, I also mentioned yesterday that if the precip gets heavier than expected that it could drag down the cold air to the surface.  This could allow it to stick.  It could create some “snow islands” where you have one town that has some sticking snow and the next town over has nothing.  Soil temperatures are well above freezing.  So we’ll see how this plays out.  For now it looks like Hampton Roads will be fine.  I just think there will be more frozen precipitation than the models show.

Here is Future Trak’s snow forecast.

Snow Forecast (Future Trak)

No Surprise it has a lot of nothing in the region.

The GFS model has had more though since yesterday.

Snow forecast (GFS)

To make it even tougher….The radar at NWS Wakefield is down for maintenance.  So we are using other radars in the network to view the precipitation. Stay tuned for updates.

Tidal flooding won’t be a big issue, but we’ll have some nuisance to minor tidal flooding between this afternoon and tonight.  Then the tide should go down.

Tide Forecast

The system will become a nor’easter for the northeast states again.  More snow is forecast for there today through tomorrow.

We’ll have quiet weather locally between Thursday and Saturday.  On Sunday there will a weak are of low pressure passing just to our south.  We have been on the edge of this precip for the past couple of days. So the forecast has gone back and forth.  The GFS model this morning put the precip back in.  So it actually has some snow and rain possible on Sunday.  The higher chances would be over North Carolina, but some could get into southeast Virginia.  There is still a good amount of time for things to change again.  So stay tuned for those updates.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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