1630 EST JAN 10
FINAL WORD ON THIS EVENT….
The periods of the sun this afternoon over South Central Virginia when skies were supposed to be clouding up is a pretty troubling sign if you want significant winter precipitation in Central Virginia.
Once again the medium range models have done a fabulous job in showing the threat for major winter storm for the East coast . Yet for some reason which is really hard to explain…. everybody from Arkansas to Boston is going to have seen a significant winter storm except for Central Virginia. That is why all the TV stations last Friday and last Thursday talked about the threat for significant winter weather and snowfall for sept Virginia. That is what I did was talk about this event since December 29.
There are two ways to look at this. One is the unsophisticated self absorbed way which is based on the your backyard. If the only thing that determines whether not the forecast from 10 days ago has turned out to be correct is the amount of snow in your own backyard … well then THIS forecast has busted … and that is true if and only if you live in central Virginia. It does not matter if it has snowed 20 feet of snow from Atlanta to Boston. If you have this perspective and YOU don’t get the snow then nothing happened.
Or you can take the more sophisticated point of view and realize that for a long range forecast like this… this has been an almost perfect forecast track … except for a small portion of the Middle Atlantic states known as Virginia.
As I said on the web site in the discussion on Thursday or Friday from last week that in order to get the big snow in Central Virginia we had to keep the southern piece of energy strong. This is the piece of energy which bought the 14″ snow to Huntsville Alabama… Heavy snow and ice to Northern Mississippi and Atlanta … to northwest portions of South Carolina and a ice storm into Western and central North Carolina.
Instead what has happened is that this 1st piece of energy has collapsed completely… But only just in time so that Central Virginia doesn’t get decent snow.
This sort of bizarre snowfall pattern which always manages to screw things up over Central Virginia has gone on for more than a decade. The top 10 LEAST snowiest winter at Richmond… going back to 1887… feature 3 of them in the decade from 2000-2009 and two more at in the top 20. Even last winter which many think was a fabulous winter in terms of snow in Richmond and Central Virginia… was actually a series of snowfall that in every case was the lowest snow total in the state.
This time around what is killing this event for Central Virginia is the fact that the precipitation reaches the North Carolina Virginia State line around 7:00 PM this evening. And then it sits there for next 12 hours taking all that time to move 70 miles to the north. During that period a lot of the cold air currently over Central Virginia begins to fall apart so that once we begin snowing temperatures are are already close to freezing in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
By 1:00 PM the northern edge of the snow line will be very close to Fredericksburg Virginia. Interestingly enough in the next 6 hours the snow line shifts and north from Fredericksburg to Philadelphia a distance of 225 miles in 6 hours.
The question then becomes why does it take 12 hours for the snow band to advance 70 miles… to move from the Virginia North Carolina State line to Richmond…. But it only takes SIX hours to move from Fredericksburg to Philly.?
Part of it has to do with the dry air but if that was all there was to this then the snow certainly would not advance into Philly in 6 hours from Fredericksburg. Clearly the development of the coastal Low speeeds the snow band growth over MD and DEL. The best case scenario for Central Virginia would be for 3 or 4 inches of snow and that is assuming that the snow comes in by 1:00 AM and that the sleet changeover is delayed a few hours.
Barring that from happening the most amount of snow we can expect is 1-2 inches. It is also quite possible that very little snow were sleet or any precipitation of any kind falls on Tuesday as there is a bunch of model data which shows a very dry air mass and no significant precipitation of any kind falling over the Piedmont or Central Virginia all day on Tuesday.
Some will make the argument– and some meteorologist in fact did make this argument on the facebook page back on JAN 8– that it is the dual low structure… which often means much less snow than what the Models Originally are depicting for Virginia.
True…. up to a certain point. Dual Low pressure systems do NOT bring 14″ of snow to Huntsville AL and 8″ + to the Northern GA… and 8″ over northwest SC and snow and ice to Raleigh. Ergo if the 1sy piece of energy in the southern Jet stream did NOT die the snow would be faitly decent in central VA.
There are no more snows or winter weather events on the Horizon for the next 7 days.
1130 am 9 JAN
CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO SEE FULL SIZE
As you can see the Bottom has fallen out with regards to central VA and especially the Richmond area. AGAIN.
1500 EST JAN 8
I am clearly going with the last few runs of the euro and euro ensembles which have really been on a steady TREND of showing a BIGGER Low as we get closer to the event and with MORE precip. I do not know what to do with the GGEM ( canadian) and GFS models since every other run those models flip flop. In addition the GFS ensembles are clearly showing BIGGER low with more precip than the operational runs and looks more like the European model .