Snow Update

December 2, 2009

What a day!  It’s been super busy in Mikulas land.  Lots of shirts made and delivered, lots more to go.  But we’re here for something more important…………..  the threat of snow.  Things still look on track for most of us to at least see some flakes from around 3:00 – 11:00 P.M Friday.  Many of you may think back to last December’s snow and wonder if this is a similar set up.  Actually it’s not, and that is kind of odd.  I’d figure we’d need a system with tons of cold air aloft to produce heavy enough precipitation to effectively drag that cold air down to the surface and help change things to snow this time of year.  This system will actually have a large reservoir of cold air at the surface and aloft to tap into from up north.  Should this happen as planned we could see a brief period of rain that will mix with and change over to snow sometime Friday afternoon.  Now if this system were to hold back 6 more hours and all precipitation would fall after dark, there would be a better prospect for accumulating snow.

The models are resolving the large scale features in fairly similar fashion.  The big question is, will the disturbance on the back side of this trough be strong enough to pull deeper gulf moisture in to create heavier snow for the deep south.  At this point I’m thinking a compromise of the two extremes is the way to go. 

Here’s how I think it will go down………..

**Nick’s disclaimer**  I would NOT be forecasting this liberally if I were on TV.  There are certain luxuries you have when you are just some random dude sitting on a couch forecasting for some friends.  When I was on TV, there were many thousands of people depending on an accurate forecast.  That meant I had to keep some of the extreme possibilities to myself as to not incite a bread buying riot at Kroger.  Plus if I said there would be snow everytime a model indicated it, I’d have done it ten times a year. 

**Disclaimer Over**

Now here’s how I think it will go down.  There will be a period of light rain that may last an hour or two by mid-afternoon Friday.  Temperatures will fall to the lower to middle 30s late in the afternoon and some big wet flakes will mix in.  By 5:00-6:00 P.M things should change over to a light to moderate snow and last through a good part of the evening.  The ground is insanely warm, and any accumulation should be confined to elevated surfaces and grass.  I wouldn’t be stunned if someone had an inch or two in their front yard by the time this is over.  That will melt very quickly once the snow is done falling.

Another sidebar.  This is based on model guidance available now.  This could change completely tomorrow.  This isn’t necessarily a “forecast”, but a potential scenario based on model trends I’ve seen so far.  Let’s get us some snow!

I should add that I think there is about a 30-40% of this scenario unfolding.  I’d put the chance of flakes in Alexandria around that traditional weatherman’s 50/50.  Remember, a typical day in December has about a 1% chance of snow in these parts.  That means we are 50 times as likely to see snow on Friday as we would on a typical December day.

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