Pre-Valentines Day Winter Weather 2/12

Another underwhelming system, but timing could make this one tricky.

Big changes are underway as we are watching a developing system to our south.

The mild temperatures of Monday and Tuesday will not be lasting into the rest of the week. In fact, by the weekend, look for a major cool down. as an area of Arctic High pressure builds in.

Let's talk about Wednesday's system though. We've been watching this one since last week but it's always been one of those systems that could put down a wet, slushy, coating, up to maybe a couple inches.

The kicker is, surface temperatures tomorrow will be near 40 degrees, and even into the lower 40s for a few areas. However, cold air aloft will be thick enough to support snow . The trick is, how much melts before it starts to stick, and that leaves some room for error with snow accululation.

This does look to start as a rain/sleet mix. There could be a little bit of snow mixing in early, especially in the higher elevations, but we will likely not see a whole lot of snow making it to the ground until the mid-late afternoon. (Just in time for the commute home)

It will be a bit tough to get anything to stick early because ground temperatures have been warm the last few days. However, once the sun sets and some precipitation cools the ground, then we can get some stickage. There is some energy moving in for Wednesday evening with this system, so there could be a heavy band or two especially right around 6/7pm.

Temperatures will stay in the mid 30s so it will be a heavy wet snow, that also really limits visibility if driving in these conditions.

Here is a look at some snow probabilities put out by NOAA, which helps with our confidence in this system.

This is the chance of 1" or more of snow.

For the Valley, to the Blue Ridge we're looking at generally a 30% to 50% chance of more than 1".

For the ridgelines and the Highlands, a 40% to 70% chance of more than 1".

The good news is, this system quickly moves out after midnight so the snow will not be falling for Thursday morning.

However, as overnight lows slip just below freezing there will likely be some slick spots, so very early Thursday morning could create some problems.

This is what we are expecting through Wednesday night.

The Upslope snow regions will likely see 4" to 6". 

The rest of the Highlands, plus the Ridgelines are looking at 1" to 3".

Elsewhere in the Valley we could see a heavy, what I call coating. (It's hard to say a dusting with heavy wet snow) up to 2".

These are totals of what we would call a "nuissance" event.

Definately not a major event, but as the rain/wintry mix does change to snow, that could create some issues for the evening commute. The system does have room for error because of temperatures so we will still have to watch temperatures for Wednesday.

It won't last for very long, so IF you get enough snow to go sledding, do it early Thursday! 

As with any winter system, things will likely change between late tonight and tomorrow as it continues to develop so make sure you stay tuned for the latest.

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.

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