LATE MORNING UPATE FOR JAN 15–16 TENN VALLEY / EAST COAST WINTER STORM
LATE MORNING UPDATE GOT PLANS FOR WEEKEND TRAVEL? … GO SATURDAY NOT SUNDAY
Apologize for the lateness of this update but the SNOW REMOVAL clients and WEATHER NOTIFICATION clients get the info on the website get the information first and more comprehensively.
I know many of you have travel plans — taking people back to college or work or what have you and you have to travel across North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia this weekend. Whatever your plans are, either driving or flying, do it Saturday.
Keep this basic concept in mind: the further inland you are going, the worst it is going to be. And this will not be a gradual increase in snow/ ice conditions as you go West. It will rapidly increase with every mile west you go. For example, Charlottesville is going to see dramatically more snow/ice than Richmond. Winchester and Leesburg will get hit much worse than DC and Baltimore. Greensboro and Hickory are going to see much worse conditions than Raleigh.
I am not playing games here boys and girls. This is going to be a mean motor scooter and a bad go getter for the interior portions of Virginia, western North Carolina, eastern West Virginia, western Maryland and central Pennsylvania.
Most of the bigger well-known weather models are issued 4 times a day because all the different weather computing centers around the world now have the computing power to do that. So, when we say the “6z model” or the “12z model” we are referring to a model cycle that comes out at specific times based upon Zulu or Greenwich Mean Time which is located in England.
The 6z models come out around 5–6 am. The 12z Models come out 11a-2p. The 18z model come out at 6–8pm and the 0z models 1030p-130am
1 The 6z operational GFS, GFS ensemble and the 6z European ensemble have come back a little to the right from early on Wednesday morning. BUT the problem is that the early-morning European and GFS from 1 am. were so far inland that even a slight shift back to the right doesn’t really change anything.
2. Many of the TV stations in and around central Virginia are unfortunately calling for rain — either “all rain” or “mostly rain” in the Thursday morning TV shows. They do this because NWS said so (monkey see monkey do). Based upon all the data I am saying at 6z and 12z for the Richmond Metro area as well as Fredericksburg and Washington DC, this is not going to be a pure rain event. There will be significant snowfall during Sunday morning, midday, and the afternoon along the interstate 95 corridor with snow amounts ranging anywhere from 2 inches to the east of I-95 (east of Richmond Fredericksburg and DC ) to as much as 7–8 inch amounts about 25 miles west of Interstate 95.
3. Again the snow grading is going to be very tight along Interstate 95.
4 If there was going to be a shift of the coastal LOW further to the east it will have to start showing up in the models in the next 24 to 36 hours. The problem is that the main LOW pressure area comes inland. The classic BIG snowstorm track is when the coastal LOW tracks from the North Carolina coast, passes EAST of Salisbury MD, and moves to Cape Cod. That track would bring a classic big snowstorm track for everybody from central and western North Carolina to Boston. But that is NOT what we are seeing with this LOW’s track. This track comes inland from central North Carolina and passes over Richmond to Washington DC. That pulls in the mild air from the ocean and forces everybody to go over to rain. It pulls in so much mild that New Jersey, the Delmarva, New York City and southern New England may not even start as snow but begin as a pure ring event.
5 in order for the big cities of I-95 from RIC to BOS to see all either a snow event or perhaps snow mixed with sleet, then back to snow with little rain, the LOW pressure area ***MUST ***track to the east of Norfolk Virginia. The further east the LOW tracks east of the coast, the more snow and ice and less rain the I-95 cities will see. But if the current model data is correct and the coastal LOW does track from Raleigh to Richmond to DC to Allentown Pennsylvania, everybody from Interstate 95 to the coast WILL go over to rain.
7 The western third of North Carolina which includes areas such as Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Hickory, and Asheville will stay all frozen. There will be significant snow in those areas that will change to ice but the precipitation will not go over to all rain in these areas.
8 For the interior and western portions of Virginia, the boundary is going to be Highway 15 which runs from Durham North Carolina, to South Boston and Clarksville, to Farmville, Zions Crossroad, Gordonsville, Culpepper and Warrenton, to Leesburg Virginia. From that line WEST, all the precipitation will stay frozen. There will be heavy significant snow accumulations in the Virginia Piedmont, east of the Blue Ridge, and there will be some ice mixed in for part of the storm. This may keep the snow accumulations below 10 or 12 inches but it will put a coating of ice on top of everything.
9 Southwest Virginia, WEST of a line from Lexington to Lynchburg to Danville, will see a major snowstorm out of this. There might be some ice near the North Carolina Virginia border in southwest Virginia but 95% of this event will be snow and the snow amounts will likely break a foot in most of these areas.
10. In the Shenandoah Valley from Lexington to Winchester, this will be primarily a snow event and the snow accumulations will HUGE, well over 12 inches in many areas, and some 16”+ amounts are possible. In central and western Maryland as well as the eastern West Virginia panhandle (Martinsburg and Charlestown ) and the eastern half of West Virginia significant snow accumulation is greater than 8 inches seem very likely.
SATURDAY NIGHT in Tennessee and western North Carolina
SUNDAY 7 am. It will be snowing like hell in western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia and in most of Tennessee, far southeast Kentucky and there will be heavy ice in Charlotte and Raleigh.
SUNDAY AFTER 7AM During the day, the snow will spread steadily north and northeast into Virginia and west Virginia reaching Richmond and Charlottesville by 9–10A, Front Royal, Tappahannock. Fredericksburg by 1 p.m. and Washington D.C Baltimore, Frederick and Martinsburg by 2 p.m.