Friday, October 31, 2014

Current Thoughts on Storm

(Thursday 10/30)
The disturbance set to impact our area later tonight into Saturday is currently dropping nearly due south out of the Great Lakes.  This will arrive during the later part of the day.
Current Radar (WeatherBell)
My thoughts haven't really changed since my Wednesday blog.  Here is the summary:
-showers move in late Friday evening...get your trick or treating done early
-cold air wraps in and changes the higher elevations of West Virginia over to snow late Friday night into 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 Shenandoah Valley, but a few snowflakes may mix in at times
-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
-the best lift and coldest mid-level temperatures will track right below the upper level low, so the higher elevations of southern WV, southwest VA, eastern TN, and western NC will do best with this.  These areas currently have winter storm watches and advisories for anywhere from 3-6" of snow
-highs will only make it into the mid 40s 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 think the RGEM (Canadian) model from early this morning does a fine job showing what's going to happen...note how the steadier precipitation and best snow chances follow right below the track of the upper level low....the Shenandoah Valley actually doesn't even see an all day rain out of this...just on and off showers.  The main batch of precipitation will move out of western VA by evening but northwest winds will allow any leftover moisture to be wrung out as light snow showers across the usual western facing upslope areas.  

00z RGEM through Saturday 5pm
The map below matches my thoughts on where accumulations across our area will fall.  This includes the higher elevations of the Alleghenys including both Highland and Pendleton counties, possibly even stretching into far western Rockingham and Augusta.  It wouldn't surprise me if the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Shenandoah National Park also managed a dusting or so, but I think this is less likely.  Elsewhere, I think precipitation falls as mostly rain with snowflakes mixing in for a time Saturday morning.  Have a good weekend.

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