Monday, February 3, 2014

2/3 Storm Recap/ Tuesday Night-Wednesday Storm

Here's a look at my final call vs actual actual accumulations with the Sunday night-Monday system (2/1-2/2).

Final Call:

Actual Accumulations:

Some notable totals:
   WINCHESTER             3.5  1156 AM  2/03  TRAINED SPOTTER 

   GORE                   4.0   806 AM  2/03  NWS EMPLOYEE 
   3 S STEPHENSON         2.5  1004 AM  2/03  TRAINED SPOTTER

   4 N STRASBURG          0.6   700 AM  2/03  COCORAHS

   1 NNW RIVERSIDE        2.2  1130 AM  2/03  PUBLIC 

   HARRISONBURG            T   1130 AM  2/03  PUBLIC

Late last night as I was watching current observations and tracking the cold front as it tracked through, I started to get the feeling this was going to bust for southern portions of my forecast; which it did.  Below is the map I posted around 1am showing the cold front finally pushing through and switching winds to out of the north across the central and southern Shenandoah Valley.  It had moved through Winchester much earlier, hence why they are already down to 37 degrees at 1am vs 44 at the regional airport in Augusta County and 50 in Charlottesville.  It was this slight delay in timing that through my forecast off a bit.  It turned out okay for the northern Shenandoah Valley and parts of NOVA.  For anyone in the central and southern Valley, from say Shenandoah County points south...including Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Waynesboro..I know my forecast busted.  I actually went back to Virginia Tech a day late just to see my 1-3" that ended up being 1-3 minutes of flurries.  Oh well lol.

 When a 1-3" call ends up being flurries (especially when you're talking about backend snows behind a passing cold front), you simply move on to the next one.  Fortunately for winter weather lovers like myself, the pattern is going to remain active through the next 7-10 days.  I know there is still lots of talk about the weekend system, but like I mentioned a few blogs ago, we have to get through the weather that's right in front of us (and more certain) before dealing with a possible threat thats still 5+ days away (with lots of uncertainties).  Any forecast/forecast map you may see for that far out is purely speculation. 

2/4-2/5 Ice Event
Back on January 30th I posted a blog that included this picture below showing the setup for this upcoming midweek wintry storm.  4 days later and believe it or not, the overall setup hasn't really wavered.  We will be dealing with one of those cold air damming events with a high pressure located over eastern Canada.  The extent of the wintry mix might not be quite as large as I showed here, but anywhere along and north of Charlottesville (especially in the northern Shenandoah Valley) will be game for another round of snow, sleet, and (mostly) freezing rain.
I used the NAM to illustrate what we have going on.  There may be a brief period of sleet/snow across the far northern part of the VA late Tuesday evening, but warm air circulating in aloft around counterclockwise flow from the low passing to our west will quickly push the rain/snow line to our north.  A high pressure over eastern Canada will lock in cold air at the surface, especially along and east of the mountains.  While I'm not expecting this to be a block buster ice storm, any ice is always bad ice.  There are currently winter storm watches (shown at the bottom of this blog) posted across the northern tier of the state where up to 0.25" of ice may fall.  I would not be surprised to at east see winter weather advisories/freezing rain advisories issued farther south of here throughout the overnight and into tomorrw for up to 0.10" of ice.

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