Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Look at the Weekend Storm; Snow Looking More Likely Across Higher Elevations

2 of the past 3 years we've had significant storms bring snow to parts of the mid-Atlantic towards the end of October.  In 2011 it was from the Halloween Nor'Easter, while Hurricane Sandy was the culprit in 2012.  This year, the player is a piece of upper level energy that will dive southeast out of the Northwest Territories of Canada, through the Great Lakes, and into the mid-Atlantic before rounding the base of the trough and rocketing up the east coast.
500 MB Vorticity Map Through Saturday
This past weekend I posted that I didn't see such a sharp, cutoff low tracking this far south this time of year.  Well this will likely end up being part-right and part-wrong.  Models have come into better agreement that a closed-upper level low will in fact dig into the Carolinas, but it won't pack the punch of the sub-5340 meter 500 mb heights we saw models spitting out over the weekend.  This will make for a miserable Saturday with cold temperatures, gusty winds, and a mix of rain and snow showers across the Shenandoah Valley.

12z Canadian Model. Saturday 7 am
How I see things playing out:
-showers move in late Friday evening
-cold air wraps in and changes the higher elevations of West Virginia over to snow during the early morning hours Saturday
-precipitation will end sometime Saturday evening....although western facing slopes will see upslope continue into the overnight
-expecting the majority of the precipitation to fall as rain in the Valley, but a few snowflakes may mix in
-higher elevations, thinking ridges above 3,000 feet, may receive their first accumulations. Anywhere from Warm Springs to Monterey to Franklin, WV may squeeze a dusting to a few inches out of this.
-The typically more favored upslope areas west of there (Snowshoe to Spruce Knob to Elkins)  could see several inches
-highs will only make it into the mid 40s Saturday with north-west winds gusting up to 20 it'll by far be our coldest day of the season thus far
-the trough will lift out and southwest flow will return warmer temperatures again by the early part of next week

I'll be riding into the mountains Saturday morning to see my first flakes.
Who Sees Accumulating Snow

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