February 9, 2010 - A Look At The Morning Models

By: Mallory Brooke
By: Mallory Brooke

The third winter storm of February is moving towards the Valley - what's the latest? Read all about it in my blog!

In yesterday's blog I mentioned how the weather is cyclical - but unfortunately for forecasters, not every storm acts the same. Would it be any fun if a storm followed what it was supposed to do based on the models? I guess not...

Radar signatures this morning show significant drying in this system before it taps into the Atlantic moisture. I'm sure most of us noticed the Washington DC forecasts have much higher accumulation amounts with this system. The majority of the significant accumulation will be caused by "wrap around" snow from coastal low pressure. This will only affect limited areas of the Valley, which is why our projected snow totals are lower than those of DC and Baltimore.

There are significant breaks throughout this storm system at the lunch time hour. We saw a few snow showers move through the Valley this morning, leaving us with a trace of snow or slightly more. Our next major batch of precipitation will arrive around the afternoon/evening rush hour. This batch will be the main area of snow for the majority of the southern Valley, as we'll be too far south to be affected by wrap around snow Wednesday. With the current breaks in the storm combined with the lack of wrap around snow Wednesday, we can probably scale back the southern Valley snow totals an inch or two from the Daybreak numbers.

One of our models, the WRF model, significantly reduced precipitation in the Valley with this storm system. However, the GFS and Canadian models still bring at least .50" of liquid with ratios of at least 10:1. That would give the Valley at least 5 inches of snow.

One aspect that we haven't dealt with too much in our winter storms is wind. That will be a different story for Wednesday. Expect winds to pick up after this light, fluffy snow has fallen. This will not only reduce visibility throughout the Valley, but also bring a thin layer of snow back on the roadway. Some gusts will reach 35-40 mph - therefore make sure you are prepared in case power goes out. Barely any of the snow has melted from our "Snowpocalypse". Heavy snow pack combined with high winds may lead to more power outages.

I'll give another update once the first batch of afternoon models come out. Stay safe outside!

Remember, TV3 will have updates all day long on the winter weather!


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