February 20, 2011 - Fire To Snow

By: Mallory Brooke
By: Mallory Brooke

We're going from a day of wildfires and dry air to the possibility of accumulating snow. Read about it in today's blog!

Saturday was a day where dry weather and gusty winds took over the day. Several major wildfires were reported, even in the Shenandoah National Park. Of course we'll have the latest updates for you online and on air Sunday.

Moving forward, we have an interesting weather pattern for this upcoming week. We'll be in the warm sector of this complex low pressure system on Monday, bringing temperatures back into the 60's for most areas in the Valley. A few isolated rain showers are possible as well.

Two waves of low pressure will move along the boundary Monday evening into Monday night. The first wave will start to push the cooler air south, with the second wave being more successful with temperatures plummeting from the mid 60's at 5pm Monday to the mid 30's by 2am Tuesday morning. With this second wave of low pressure, we'll see a compact heavy area of snow materialize.

This being said, I think the bulls-eye of this wintry precip would be around Frederick, Clarke & Warren Counties in the northern Valley where accumulating snow is definitely possible. While warm air from Monday will initially hinder snow accumulations, heavy snow rates will be able to quickly overcome that. I think heaviest snows will fall along the I-66 corridor, with significantly smaller amounts as you go south.

Based on most morning models, it looks like we have .10"-.25" liquid in southern Valley areas with .25"-.50" liquid in central and northern Valley areas. Keep in mind that some of this may fall as rain with a fast transition either sleet or snow. Amounts will obviously be hindered by previous rain and warmer air from Monday.

The current prediction: We could probably see an inch of snow in the northern portions of the Valley but I'm not sold on more than a dusting for central areas, and little, if any falling into the southern Valley. Remember, this all depends on how fast the cold punch of air comes south, where the heaviest precipitation occurs, and how fast we cool the ground.

Timing: Most of this craziness will occur while we're asleep, therefore any snow accumulation would impact the morning commute and the bus stop.

This is going to be a very localized snow event and I think the heaviest will hit just to our north. Of course stay tuned to the blog for more updates! Remember you can text "Mallory" to 34792 to get a text alert on your phone when my blog is updated!

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