Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goodbye February

Stubborn low pressure system continues to pummel the northeast states, drawing moisture from the Atlantic, combining with steady northwest flow from the lakes. This system will finally push off to the east Monday. Anticipating a few snow showers to produce an additional 1-3 inches in the lowlands and 4 or 5 inches in the mountains through Sunday. Sunshine will break through otherwise mostly cloudy skies Sunday to help raise temps into the upper 30s. Temperatures will continue to reach the upper 30s all next week to boot. A sun/cloud mix and a few isolated mountain showers are on tap for Monday. Low pressure will build over our friends in NOLA and will move northeast, becoming closed off by Tuesday morning. So we’ll see more clouds Tuesday as that low draws moisture from the Atlantic coast. Again, this system will combine with the ever-persistent northwest flow providing a slight chance of snow Tuesday night. Count on more snow Wednesday. Although after our snow bound February this mid-week blast of winter weather will seem like a day at the park. Expect 4 inches in the lowlands and 6 inches in higher elevations Wednesday with showers gradually ending Thursday. High pressure will build into our area Friday. Forecast perks up for next weekend! Warmer and dry with temps likely reaching the low 40s. Rain/snow mix on tap for Sunday and Monday.

photo courtesy of Drawbones Blog

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Keep Smilin'

Upper level low pressure system situated off the mid Atlantic coast continues to strengthen and will reach peak intensity Friday. This system will wrap around and combine with an impeccable northwest flow from the Great Lakes region, providing ideal setup for prolonged snowfall in our mountain counties through the weekend. We can also expect wind speeds to increase overnight, especially in higher elevations as the low to our northeast gains strength. Wind advisories have been extended to include a larger portion of our state as wind speeds will spike above 50 mph on some ridge tops. Luckily, overnight lows through the weekend will hold out in the mid 20s, but winds Friday will make it feel much colder. Snowfall totals are difficult to pinpoint as daytime highs will rise well above freezing. Even so, folks in the lowlands of WV can expect waves of snowfall separated by dry spells, producing 1-3 inches for each 12 hour period with snow gradually ending late Saturday or early Sunday. Those of us bold enough to venture into the mountains will mark steady and persistent snowfall through Monday or even Tuesday. Higher elevations can expect upwards of 15 inches of snow accumulation. Lowlands will escape with 8-10 inches through Sunday. Count on seeing some sunshine in most places sometime on Sunday. Forecast remains dry for the lowlands of WV to start the 1st week of March.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Footprints In The Snow

Sunshine and warmer temperatures this past weekend along with steady rain showers and mild temps over the past 24 hours provided an ideal venue for getting rid of much of the snowpack from the past few weeks of continued snowfall. Water levels are up, but are nowhere near critical. Conditions remain chilly and damp for the rest of today. Expect cloudy skies overnight with spotty drizzle possible. Look for a low tonight around 25. A respectable trough of arctic air will once again trend temps down to below average for this time of year. Low pressure from our east coupled with a steady northwest flow will provide ingredients for another prolonged snowfall event beginning with slight chance POPs late Wednesday. Heavier snowfall is expected to arrive Thursday. Steady snow will continue to fall, especially in our mountain counties through Monday for much of West Virginia. Lowlands can expect 8-10 inches of snow accumulation throughout the event. Mountain counties will squeeze out upwards of 15 inches by Monday. Look for daytime highs to spike just around freezing as lows remain in the lower 20s through the weekend. Expect winter weather advisories for Thursday and school delays/cancelations to give much of WV an early start to the last weekend in February. This storm will also continue to provide steady snowfall through the weekend for much of the northeastern U.S. Areas north of the northeastern PA state line will experience the most widespread heavy snowfall this weekend.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good News/Bad News

The west northwest trend will continue for the rest of the workweek. Although upper air soundings do not indicate total saturation, west winds will continue to provide ideal conditions for lake effect snow accompanied by breezy and cold conditions especially in our mountain counties through Friday. With all the blowing snow, measuring actual snow totals may prove to be fruitless. Nonetheless, we can expect an additional 1-3 inches of snowfall in the lowlands and 4-6 inches in higher elevations for both Wednesday and Thursday. Light snow flurries will continue Friday morning, but will gradually diminish late on Friday. Winter weather advisories will also continue for much of West Virginia over the next several days. That was the bad news that we all knew to be true in the back of our minds anyway. The good news is that we can expect daytime temperatures to gradually reach the mid 30s for the weekend. High pressure will also build into our area allowing partly cloudy skies and a dry forecast Saturday. This pleasant outlook will be short-lived as strong low pressure will deliver wintry mix or all snow back into our forecast for Sunday and Monday. Check back here for updates later this week!

The forecast sounding is yet another tool in the weatherman's arsenal. This has been the typical pattern over the past few days...Just below freezing and JUST moist enough for precip. Again, look for that to continue.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pure Snow

A few light snow flurries will continue to fall in the mountain counties of West Virginia today. For the most part we’ll get a break from the snow today as another strong low pressure system looms on the western horizon. Look for increasing clouds tonight with lows around 20. The cold/snowy trend continues through next week. Temps all week long will struggle to reach above freezing as a trough of arctic air cuts into the Deep South. A winter storm watch will go into effect late tonight and continue through Monday for most of north and central WV. Although Monday will mark the heaviest snowfall of next week, we will see some dry periods Monday as the low wraps around to the north and east. Still, expect snow accumulations in most of the northern lowland areas of 4-6 inches by Tuesday. Higher elevations will see totals closer to 8+ inches. Light and periodic snow flurries will continue through most of next week with temps steady in the 20s. High pressure will pass quickly Friday, providing slightly warmer temps and a dry forecast before another wave of snow arrives next weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just Paint It Grey

Mostly cloudy with a few snow showers overnight. Temperatures stay in the lower 20s as snow showers come to an end Friday. We’ll start the weekend dry enough and we'll even see a few peaks of sunshine between otherwise partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 20s. A quick blast of lake effect snow will pass late Saturday, persisting in the mountains on Sunday. We'll see weekend snow totals of about an inch in the lowlands and few inches in higher elevations through Sunday. The cold air trend continues this weekend and through next week as temperatures peak just below freezing. A stronger low pressure system will arrive Monday, producing an additional 4+ inches for Tuesday. Light and periodic snow showers will persist through next week with accumulation of another inch or two through Friday. High pressure will finally disperse any lingering moisture in time to finish the workweek. Another wave of widespread snow waits on deck for most of the eastern U.S. for next weekend.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter's Grasp

Snowpack is beginning to melt slowly this afternoon as the mercury in Morgantown reads 38 degrees in the last hourly report. This will be an important factor as winds begin to pick up and more steady precipitation in the form of a rain/snow mix, changing to all snow this evening adds to an already busy week of winter weather cleanup. This afternoon’s above freezing temps will allow snow to continue to melt from tree branches reducing the likelihood of fallen branches and downed power lines. Still, the combination of very moist soil and high winds Wednesday means that fallen trees/tree limbs and more power outages could still threaten our area over the next 24-48 hours. Look for 2-4 inches of accumulation through tonight once precipitation changes to all snow. Conditions will become breezy overnight and snow showers will continue through Wednesday, producing an additional 3-4 inches in most areas. Snow showers will begin to taper off Thursday as high pressure moves quickly through the area. The cold air trend continues Friday through the weekend. It looks like we’ll finally have some dry weather Friday and Saturday, although we may get clipped by some brief lake effect snow overnight Saturday/Sunday morning. A stronger low pressure system will pass overnight on Sunday, producing snow showers for the beginning of next week. Temps will warm up a few degrees for Tuesday.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Deja Vu

Measured 11” of snow outside my door here in Morgantown at 2 PM. As much as 30” of snow have been reported in the eastern panhandle of WV with more snow steadily falling. Now that the storm is being pulled out into the Atlantic Ocean, snow will begin to taper off and any lingering moisture will surely be gone by 8 PM tonight. High pressure and significantly colder air will begin building into our area tonight dropping temperatures into the single digits. Sunday, partly sunny skies will allow temperatures to reach the low 20s, but Sunday night will be another cold one as the mercury drops to around 9 degrees. Monday will be partly sunny and dry with temps reaching the upper 20s. Tuesday brings another round of winter weather strangely reminiscent of last night’s storm. Warm air will once again wedge in from the southwest. So we’ll again see a mix of rain/freezing rain changing to all snow late Tuesday continuing through Wednesday. Snowfall accumulation will depend greatly on the behavior of that warm air wedge Tuesday afternoon. If the warm air maintains a position of relative control, we can expect 3-4 inches of snow Tuesday and Wednesday. If colder air prevails, we can anticipate 8-10 inches of snow by midweek. The “bullseye” of excessive snowfall Tuesday/Wednesday will be centered over southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and eastern Maryland. These areas can look forward to 16-20+ inches of snow by midweek. Conditions will begin to clear out again on Thursday as high pressure builds back into the area the finish out the week. Next weekend’s weather will depend on the track of a strong low pressure system from the Gulf of Mexico. For now, this system seems to want to trend SE towards FL, SC and NC and into the Atlantic. This may simply throw some cloud cover our way for the weekend. Of course, the track of that system is still uncertain, so will stay up on any developments.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Supersnow Sunday

We’ll stay mostly sunny with temps in the upper 30s to low 40s for the rest of Thursday. Becoming breezy with a low overnight of 27. Friday morning expect a mix of rain and freezing rain as warm moist air wedges in from the southwest. Precipitation will gradually change to all snow as the day progresses. Look for 4-6 inches of snow Friday night with an additional 3-5 inches of accumulation Saturday. Friday’s changeover to snow will occur much faster to the north and east of Morgantown. In fact, that warm air mass may not even reach much farther east than Bruceton Mills, so portions of southern PA, Western MD, northern VA and the eastern panhandle of WV will likely experience mostly snow and could come away with 12-16+ inches through Saturday. Snow will finally begin to taper off Saturday night as this storm moves east and continues to produce heavy snow far off the Atlantic coast. Nighttime lows through the weekend will dip well into the teens and could reach single digits by Sunday night. Although the snow and heaviest winds will have died down well before kickoff on Sunday, wind chill will still be a factor worth considering when venturing outside. Conditions remain dry as temperatures Monday will trend back towards average for this latitude. However, more snow looms on the horizon for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The complexity of this weekend’s forecast warrants continued observation and accuracy should increase with time, so stay tuned for updates and inevitable winter weather warnings and advisories!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Six More Weeks of This

Look for a low tonight in the Morgantown area of 28 degrees as wintry mix of rain, snow and a little freezing drizzle from weak low pressure looms on the horizon this evening through tonight and Wednesday. This will produce less than an inch of accumulation here in the lowlands. Further east our mountain counties could see up to three inches of snow Wednesday morning. Despite low snow totals, tonight's messy weather could make driving conditions hazardous, especially on bridges and overpasses. Otherwise Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with temps peaking in the upper 30s. Thursday will provide a warm and mostly sunny break from the winter weather as strong high pressure builds over the area. Look for temps Thursday to crest in the mid 40s. Friday will start out cool and dry, but by evening a robust low pressure system will begin to dump rain, snow and freezing rain on the area. Precip will gradually change to all snow Friday night continuing through Saturday as arctic air mixes in with warmer air from the southwest. Morgantown and surrounding lowlands can expect to see 4-6 inches through Saturday. Folks east and southeast can expect upwards of 7-9 inches. Daytime temps this weekend will barely have a chance to rise above freezing, while Friday and Saturday night will be breezy with lows in the mid to upper teens. Sunday look for variable cloudy skies becoming clearer by afternoon. 30% chance of rain/snow mix Monday night and Tuesday of next week. Stay tuned for more updates!