Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday Evening (2/12) Weather Discussion

(posted 4:45pm)

Sunny skies one minute and heavy snow the next was the best way to characterize today.  Squalls pushed across the mountains and made it as far east as I-95.  Most of this activity only lasted several minutes and was quite variable over the course of a few miles.  Colder air working in aloft over relatively warmer air at the surface provided enough instability for this convective banding.  If you managed to miss out on the action today, it looks like we'll have another similar chance with the next arctic front Saturday.  

Stepping aside from Saturday's snow flurry/shower potential...the bigger story across western Virginia will be the arctic cold through the weekend.  The brunt of the blast will follow Saturday's arctic front allowing temperatures to plummet into the single digits Saturday night.  Highs Sunday will be stuck in the teens and may near the zero degree mark Sunday night.  Gusty winds throughout the entire period will allow wind chill values to at times drop well below zero (possibly as low as -10 to -20 degrees).  

Attention then turns towards the potential for a larger weather system to impact the area Tuesday into Wednesday of next week.  This system will ride up out of the Gulf and have a good amount of moisture to work with.  Although our weekend arctic blast will be on the will be awfully hard to completely scour out a cold air mass of this magnitude.  With that said, there will be a chance for snow, sleet, freezing rain, and even plain rain across the state during this period.  Since this is still 5 days away, there's no point going into specifics...especially since the Tuesday/Wednesday storm track and evolution is rather dependent on where this weekend's system ends up.  

Image: snow squall moving into blacksburg this afternoon

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