Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Season 2010-2011 Update

If you feel like it's been a "snowier" Winter so far this season as compared to this time last season, you may be right--by one definition. It's not from snow accumulation, but by the number of days we've received at least some snow. By this time last Winter, we'd had 10 days where it snowed at least a trace or more. Our accumulated snowfall at Richmond International Airport was 17.8" from December 2009 and January 2010. That definitely surpasses our total snowfall so far this Winter season (10.7" through 1/27/11), but we've already had 13 days (before Friday) with at least a trace of snow. Here's a comparison of last Winter to this Winter so far, including what an average Winter snowfall season is like in Richmond:

But this morning we added another snow day with this light snow that passed through Richmond mid-morning. It will probably only register as a trace officially at the airport, but I'm counting that as a "snow day" in my tally of "Days it Snowed." So our total today for the season is now up to 14 from 13. Even though we've missed the bigger snow dumps just to our north and west (as evidenced by the snow depth maps pictured below, indicative of multiple snowstorms reinforcing snowcover), we've still had more snow days so far this Winter than we had at this time last Winter. And we're closing in quickly on the 19 day tally from last Winter, especially with another potential winter weather event coming next week in the Tuesday-Wednesday time-frame. Not to mention, February is typically Richmond's "snowiest" month out of an average Winter season. January is 2nd snowiest, December: 3rd, March: 4th, November: 5th, and April: 6th snowiest.

We'll provide updates on that next potential winter weather maker as the track, timing, and expected impacts become clearer. Right now, it looks like central Virginia could initially receive snow and sleet beginning Tuesday morning, then eventually change over to all rain for Wednesday. However, some of that rain may be freezing rain with surface temperatures expected to dip below freezing Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. That would create ice at the ground and on elevated objects (like trees, powerlines). The potential impacts from this system could be disruptive, so we are tracking it and will provide updates!

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