January 10, 2011
This past Friday and Saturday gave most of the region its first taste of winter this season. A little coating of snow each morning made getting around difficult, but provided a pretty landscape and proved nothing more than a minor nuisance. Tomorrow night's storm looks to do pretty much the same thing. The timing is slightly better in that most of the snow should fall during the overnight Tuesday while most people are sleeping. By Wednesday morning's commute, the snow will have ended, but obviously getting around early Wednesday could still be treacherous. Let's break everything down...
First and foremost, let's talk about the timing of this storm. Most of tomorrow will simply be cloudy and dry. The snow will probably not start until after the evening commute. Some western parts of the viewing area could see some flakes during the evening commute, but certainly nothing will have accumulated by that point. Here is PrecisionCast depicting Tuesday evening:
As it looks now, onset time should be right around 8:00PM tomorrow evening. For the region as a whole, expect the snow to begin sometime between 5:00PM and 9:00PM. The precipitation should develop from west to east tomorrow evening.
The good news is that is should not be snowing during Wednesday morning's commute. The storm will be history by that point. PrecisionCast for Wednesday morning is below:
By 5:00AM Wednesday, the accumulating snow will be over and only snow showers and flurries will be flying around by that point. Expect a cold and blustery day Wednesday with secondary roads an issue early in the morning.
How much snow will fall from this system? At this point, this looks to be nothing more than a nuisance snow. The "big one" is still looming at some point this winter, but this just isn't it. ABC27's in house RPM model is below, along with the GFS model output. I'll give my interpretation following.
PrecisionCast, or the RPM model, believes a little over 2 inches of snow will fall between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning. This is certainly acceptable considering this system will not have much moisture available. The coastal low, which will have the moisture, will be just that -- coastal. New York, New Jersey, and New England could see a significant storm, but not here. The GFS also paints relatively little snow for this storm. The NAM, which is not shown here, gives us a little over 4 inches. Keep in mind that this is all liquid equivalent, meaning that we are using the amount of liquid projected to fall and then calculating the water and snow ratio to determine how many inches of snow will fall. Generally, most model seem to think the liquid from this system will be between .2 and .4 inches -- hence my current thinking of 2-4 inches of snow. This is, of course, assuming a 10:1 ratio. However, this will be a light, puffy, and powdery snowfall -- a "dry" snow if you will. This means that the ratio could be closer to 15:1 and we might end up with 3-6 inches of snow instead. Don't get bogged down by the details. Either way, moisture will be limited, and I just can't see many places seeing more than about 4 inches of snow from this storm.
All the details are listed below. Stay tuned to abc27 and abc27.com for updates throughout the day and tomorrow as well. Eric is in tonight and I will be off tomorrow. Rob Dixon will be here with the final fine-tuned forecast before the storm hits. Enjoy your Monday -- don't panic -- this will not be a big storm! Peace out!