Well if that’s not the definition of a catchy title to make you read this blog then I really don’t know what is. Still even with the catchy title if you’ve paid any attention to social media or Maggie and my forecasts the last several days, you know exactly which “S” word I’m talking about. That is the topic of today’s blog.
Mostly zonal flow in the upper levels will take hold while our next system is still getting its act together out west. Through the day tomorrow it’ll begin to push east more in the form of an upper level trough and an associated area of low pressure. As that area of low pressure draws closer we’ll see an increase in cloud cover that will really begin this afternoon and evening, but more importantly we’ll see an increase in the amount of moisture over our heads.
A few scattered showers are possible Friday afternoon with the low drawing closer, but with no real forcing mechanism, I am confident many of us could remain dry. The shower chances increase 10 fold Friday evening, through the overnight, and then through the entire day Saturday, and frankly most of Sunday as well. Thanks to the rotation around that low southerly flow will be a big player in the forecast through the weekend, as it will drive in plenty of moisture on Saturday, but then switch on Sunday and be responsible for some cooler air across the Tennessee Valley which could lead to a little snow or mixed precipitation.
Now here’s where things get tricky and the best chance for widespread panic attacks occur and the demand for bread and milk goes up. On a tangent, I will never understand why everyone buys tons of bread. You can’t possibly enjoy living off grilled cheese and PB&J sandwiches.
Maggie and I are not talking about widespread snow. What it looks like is more in the way of scattered precipitation. The reason this isn’t a widespread event is the location of the aforementioned area of low pressure. By the end of the day Sunday and even into Monday the low will be over the east coast and heading into the Atlantic. This will result in return flow around that low which means the precipitation is more residual for lack of a better word. At the same time the rotation around that low will result in winds from the north as opposed to winds from the south. This means we’ll see some cooler air ushered in which could lead to a change from rain to mixed precipitation or even snow.
Answering the first question right away: No we are not talking about an accumulation of ice, models have been incredibly consistent in that department. The difficult part is the snow accumulation if any. As I type this I am literally staring at a list of model runs that start Monday and end with the most recent. Until very recently(the last 24 hours) there hasn’t been much consistency from run to run.
History has it that the EURO handles winter events better than the GFS so I tend to hold it to a higher standard in the first place. It has consistently been showing low amounts from the start. The GFS has shown as much as 2 inches of snow in cretin runs. Recently, the GFS has been mildly more consistent bringing down snow totals drastically.
The other thing to think about is temperatures. It is likely the air above our heads will be well below freezing, but the air at the surface will be just at or a couple degrees above freezing depending on location. If that’s the case, it would be harder to get accumulating snow because the surface would be to warm.
So, to sum up the amounts. Ice accumulation is not likely. As it stands now the most accumulation of snow we could see is a light dusting to maybe 0.2” inches in the higher elevations.
Timing would be Sunday and Monday nights when temperatures are at the coldest.
The rest of the weekend will be cold with temperatures in the low 40s and very wet with widespread rain all day Saturday. Accumulation there will be 2-3 inches with minor localized flooding possible.
As always continue to follow Maggie and my Facebook and be sure download the WZDX weather app for the latest forecast and notifications for your town.