Friday, January 13, 2012

report card time for 1/12-1/13 storm

It finally feels a lot more like winter today after the arctic front pushed through the region last night.  Temperatures should remain frigid all weekend before moderating a good bit early next week.  As for the storm last night into early this morning, one of the problems that I said may occur in my forecast did in fact cut back on snow totals.  Yesterday afternoon when I was on my way from work to school and noticed the high temperature had reached 60 degrees, I had a feeling that the arctic front was going to really sprint to catch up with the precipitation before it moved out.  Just like in my initial forecast, temperatures did plummet rapidly as the front came through.  The one problem was that I had not expected temperatures to reach the upper 50s and low 60s over all of VA during the day.  Those few extra degrees were critical later as it took a few hours longer for temperatures to drop low enough for snow, especially in the area I had forecasted anywhere from a dusting to a coating.

The area highlighted in red is where my forecast did not quite pan out (although there were reports of trace amounts of accumulation in both Madison and Loudon counties in northern VA).  Most of this area did in fact change to snow overnight, but it was not until between 1-2am as precipitation was moving out of the area.  Temperatures also only fell into the mid to upper 30s as the snow fell, the result of temperatures rising way too high during the day.  This prevented the dusting I was expecting.  As for southwestern and far western portions of the state, my forecast held pretty well.  Below is a map from the NWS with scaled precipitation/as snow totals.

Expect our next storm to not come in until this arctic air has retreated back into Canada.  Everyone enjoy the rain! -HV

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