Archive for January, 2014

A SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE IN HAMPTON ROADS FROM TUESDAY THROUGH EARLY WEDNESDAY

First of all, a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Hampton Roads. If the current forecast models are correct, the Hampton Roads cities will receive a significant snowfall beginning Tuesday and ending Wednesday morning. How much snow falls depends on the exact set up of a band of snow along a stalled frontal boundary. A low pressure system will also be developing offshore which will enhance the snowfall. Complex upper-level winds and an influx of moisture are expected to create the lift in the atmosphere required to produce moderate to heavy snow. A slight deviation in the track of this system will cause the heaviest snowfall to occur over a different area than what is currently forecast. As it looks right now, Monday evening, the heaviest snow will be in NE NC and extreme SE VA. Significant snow accumulations are expected and we could see upwards of 6 to 10 inches in some spots. There is expected to be a sharp cut-off of the snowfall amounts as you go west.  Keep in mind that temperatures are going to be well below freezing so the snow will stick and accumulate right away. Winds will also be quite strong so there will be some blowing and drifting of the snow. It all ends on Wednesday. There is still some uncertainty with this winter storm event so please monitor the local media and the National Weather Service forecast updates. The area that receives the heaviest snowfall can shift so stay tuned! That’s it for now. Be safe out there!

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THE UPPER-LEVEL WIND PATTERN REMAINS BASICALLY UNCHANGED… ARCTIC AIR MASSES CONTINUE TO PLUNGE INTO THE UNITED STATES… A SYSTEM WILL HAVE TO BE WATCHED DURING THE MID-WEEK PERIOD

Are you ready for spring? I know I am! The Arctic air masses keep coming as the highly amplified upper-level wind pattern continues. A high pressure ridge near the West Coast is pushing the jet stream way up to the north. This ridge has been keeping California exceptionally dry for this time of year. The jet stream then dives southeastward into the middle of the nation bringing with it brutally cold air masses that are just making this winter miserable for many folks. In addition, Alberta Clippers or low pressure disturbances are diving into the nation from Canada. Most of them are moisture starved at first but once they near the Gulf and East Coasts, they quickly pick up moisture and dump it in the form of snow, which we saw earlier this week. Due to the continued cold temperatures, the snow has stayed around much longer than it usually does here in Hampton Roads. The pattern will continue for most if not all of the upcoming week. Another Arctic Blast is expected to move into the Mid-Atlantic States Tuesday and Wednesday. Meanwhile, meteorologists will be keeping an eye on the development of a low pressure system that is expected to form off shore. It is uncertain whether this system will bring accumulating snowfall to our region. The computer models do not agree and their solutions are changing with each model run. So, stay tuned and monitor the local media and National Weather Service for the latest forecast and advisories over the next few days. Backing up to this weekend, a cold front may bring a snow flurry or brief shower today (Saturday) but no significant precipitation is expected. Sunday should be cold and dry. On Monday, a brief warm up is expected as we may see normal temperatures. But then, the bottom drops out again. That’s it for now. Have a good weekend!

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CONCERN GROWS FOR POTENTIAL SNOWFALL ON TUESDAY… AN ARCTIC BLAST WILL FOLLOW THIS SYTEM ON WEDNESDAY

There is growing concern based on the latest model runs that SE VA may see some accumulating snowfall later Tuesday. Although a major snow event is not expected at this time, there is a chance that parts of Hampton Roads may see enough snow to cause some problems for commuters Tuesday afternoon and evening. A shortwave will be intensifying an Alberta Clipper like low pressure system just off our coastline. This will create enough lift in the atmosphere to create precipitation Tuesday afternoon, possibly starting as light rain or a rain/snow mix. Then, as temperatures fall Tuesday afternoon and evening, the precipitation should become all snow. At the current time (Sunday evening), there is a lot of uncertainty with this potential system. First of all, moisture is expected to be limited. Temperatures should start out in the 40’s on Tuesday but they will be dropping throughout the afternoon dropping to the freezing point during the late afternoon. The low pressure system will be intensifying as it moves northeast away from Hampton Roads, so whatever snow that does materialize, it will end Tuesday night. The further north and east you are, the higher chance for accumulating snow. The Eastern Shore will probably get the most out of this system, as it looks right now. Wednesday will be a very cold day with gusty winds. Before we get to Tuesday, we should have a great day on Monday with mild temperatures. So, you need to monitor the local media and the National Weather Service for the latest updates.

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SATURDAY WILL BE CHILLY BUT A WARMING TREND IS IN STORE FOR SUNDAY AND MONDAY… ANOTHER ARCTIC BLAST MAY IMPACT THE REGION BY MID-WEEK

The direction and speed of the upper-level winds determine what our overall weather pattern will be. A large upper-level trough over Eastern Canada is causing the winds to come straight out of the coldest regions of Canada near the Arctic Circle down into the Northern Plains. This pattern caused the extreme cold two weeks ago and it appears that another blast of arctic air is on the way later next week. Will it be as cold as it was then? Right now, forecasters are saying that it won’t be as cold but it still should be much below normal. The same pattern that is causing our cold weather is keeping California unusually dry this winter. This may be one of the driest Januarys ever for the state. January is one of the wettest months of the year for California on average. They get most of their rain during the winter months. Summers are normally dry. So, if things don’t change soon, their drought will worsen and wild fires will become a major concern… Back to our weather… A cold front moved through overnight Friday night producing a little light rain. Saturday will be a cold and dry day with plenty of sunshine. A weak system is expected to move through Sunday but it shouldn’t produce any significant precipitation. Temperatures will trend upwards through Monday. Then, a strong cold front will bring another round of very cold weather during the mid-week period. What about precipitation? Right now, computer models are indicating that it will remain relatively dry here during the next several days with only slight chances for precipitation. That’s it for now. Have a nice weekend!

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NEAR RECORD WARMTH IS LIKELY ON SATURDAY ALONG WITH ANOTHER ROUND OF HEAVY RAIN AND THUNDER… SUNDAY LOOKS MUCH BETTER BUT IT WILL BE COOLER

The extremes in temperatures this week are absolutely incredible. It was 12 degrees at my house Tuesday morning and today we have a chance to tie or even break the record of 75 degrees at ORF. Speaking of temperatures, during the mid-day hours yesterday (Friday), temperatures were in the 60’s in Virginia Beach but not far away in Norfolk, temperatures were in the low 40’s with a chilly and raw wind off the bay. So far, we had basically two periods of rainfall across Hampton Roads. Some of us saw a period of light rain Friday afternoon. In the pre-dawn hours Saturday morning, an area of moderate to heavy rain moved through with lightning and thunder. Over an inch of rain was recorded in Va. Beach. Another round of heavy rain is expected just ahead of a cold front that will be approaching later Saturday afternoon. Some localities may even see severe weather. Strong winds are the primary threat from any potential storms that develop later Saturday. Temperatures are expected to approach the mid 70’s, but that depends on whether we get some sunshine and the timing of the rainfall. On the plus side, your home heating units will get a needed break today and if you have dry skin from the low humidity earlier this week, the higher humidity on Saturday should bring some relief.  Sunday will be a relatively nice day with temperatures expected to be in the 50’s. That’s it for now. Enjoy your weekend!

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