Thursday, January 27, 2011

Light Snow Possible Friday

A strong disturbance will move through the area Friday, bringing most of central VA a good chance for light snow. The surface temperatures will range from 34 to 42 degrees as the snow falls, so aside from a light accumulation on grassy surfaces, the snow should melt on contact. The precip rates will be lower than last evening's snowfall, and the flakes will be smaller. The image above shows the upper-level pattern at 1 PM Friday. If you look closely, you'll see the state borders in white, and you'll notice a blob of yellow and orange in southwest Virginia. That "blob" is the upper-level vorticity maximum, and it creates strong atmospheric lift just ahead of it. This "vort max" will move through the upper-level long-wave trough, and will give central VA a period of strong lift and resultant periods of light snow, between 10 AM and 4 PM Friday. You can't always assume that a vort max such as this one will produce snow, but in tomorrow's case, the lift/moisture should be more than sufficient. -ZD

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