Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tracking the Cold & Chances for Snow

I awoke this morning to the rumbling of an idling oil truck in the alley behind my home, perhaps a sign that the word has spread that colder days are ahead and it's time to fill up. The deep trough that will dig into the eastern U.S early next week will bring an air mass with a real bite into the region. It's likely that much of central and northern Virginia will see highs remaining in the upper 30s, which isn't at all unusual for the first week of January, but an abrupt change from the relatively mild fall and winter we have seen to this point. The overnight lows during this period will fall into the upper teens and low 20s. As I mentioned in my post from yesterday, the chance for snow with this pattern change appears slim to none, with only a slight chance of seeing a quick burst of light snow early Monday. If you're scheduled to be at work that day, you'll be working. We'll have another possibility for snow later in the week that looks pretty interesting. Both the GFS and Euro operational models are indicating the presence of an upper-level wave that will dive south out of the upper Midwest and move just south of Virginia on Thursday. This isn't an ideal setup by any stretch for snow, but it's the type of scenario that can become more favorable with time. You'll note my confidence in seeing anything isn't very high by the 20% chance I have in my 7-day forecast. I'll peruse the model suites again this evening and track the movements of birds and small rodents in the morning. Check back for another update tomorrow, and if you haven't already done so, click here to drop by my facebook page and click the "like" button. Have a great Friday. -Zach

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