Update to Possible Sunday Snow -- 2/16/12

An update to the potential for a weekend storm system.

Update to Possible Sunday Snow

On Wednesday we posted a blog about the possibility of a storm system that might be making its way into the Mid-Atlantic by Sunday. The track was still very uncertain and our computer based "forecast models" that we look at were suggesting a wide variety of outcomes. A more northern track would impact our area the most, while a more southern track through the Carolinas would impact our region the least, or could have even missed us.

We know quite a bit more now and these computer models we look at are showing more consistency and agreement.  As Meteorologists we're confident that this storm system will take more of a northern track, impacting our area. Assuming this is more or less the track of the system, just slight changes can still play a big role in the precipitation type and accumulation totals.

Now that we know there will be a system moving through, the big deciding factor will be temperatures. Here's the other kicker, even though temperatures on Saturday will likely be in the lower 50s, we are expecting a big cool down. High pressure that will move from the Great Lakes towards New England will shifts our winds from the south to the north. When you add a storm system to the south, we get a Cold-Air-Damming event (which we've gone into detail about in a previous blog a few weeks ago).

At this point, the most likely scenario is an early morning start with a rain and snow mix for Sunday, changing over to all snow in the mid morning. The heaviest precip will likely be mid Sunday. This system is still evolving and likely to change. Accumulations could range from 1-2 inches and on the higher side, closer to 6 inches. Unfortunately we are still too far away to pinpoint exactly how much accumulation we will see -- Getting closer though!

Could this system just be another bust?  Well, yes. We're looking at very mild temperatures for the majority of this week and into Saturday. Although we are expecting cold northerly winds for Sunday, we are going to need a big punch of cold air to see accumulating snow.

Another issue, will be re-freezing Sunday overnight and leftover snow, that could cause problems for Monday's commute.

A little history about this storm? It originally moved into southern California earlier this week bringing rain and a little snow to the mountains, weakened over Mexico and southern Texas but re-organized along the Gulf Coast.

For now, keep your Saturday night plans but only pencil them in for Sunday, unless you plan on staying inside. Stay tuned for more updates.

AUrbanowicz@whsv.com

jknight@whsv.com

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