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Finally some decent rain, and then comes the snow

UPDATE 12 noon:  Hmmmm….the morning runs for both the GFS and NAM models came in wetter and more aggressive with this coming storm.  Both models have been trending in this direction so that makes me pay more attention than normal.  Apparently the National Weather Service has also taken notice of this trend.  Check out their latest snow total map:

If things continue changing I will post again later today rather than editing this post again.

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Yes, I used the “S” word in the blog title…but more on that in a little bit.  As I mentioned in Monday’s post the cold front that passed through here Monday stalled out just to our south and several “wrinkles” of low pressure formed along it.  These successive systems dumped quite a bit of rain on the Old Dominion with flooding occurring in many places in the southern sections of the state.  Officially at the UMW weather station a total of 1.37 inches of rain had fallen by 9 a.m. this morning with more on the way through at least mid-afternoon today (Monday).  High temperatures today will top out in the mid-40′s (F) and lows tonight will only dip into the upper 30′s.

Then…it gets interesting, especially for snow lovers.  One last “wrinkle” is forecast to form along that old frontal boundary before the entire mess finally pushes off into the Atlantic.  And up until last evening the GFS model has been showing this last low pressure system staying far enough south to not affect the ‘Burg.  But for the past day or so the NAM model has consistently predicted this storm to push its precipitation shield far enough north to create some winter weather probabilities for the ‘Burg, and in last night’s model run the GFS finally agreed with the NAM.  The resulting surface map for Thursday evening looks like this:

The purple line bisecting Virginia indicates snow to the west of it and mainly rain to the east.  Now, check out this HPC forecast map:

This HPC graphic shows the probability of at least 2 inches of accumulating snow by dawn on Friday, and the dark green shade that overlies the ‘Burg represents at least a 30% chance of that much snow.  And even though the ground temperatures are fairly warm the air temperatures will begin cooling down toward the freezing mark late Thursday afternoon. All of this will begin as more rain early tomorrow morning and then starting after lunch we’ll see a mixture of rain and snow (“fuzzy raindrops”) before it converts to all snow by about dark.  At the risk of posting too many graphics at one time here is the official National Weather Service forecast graphic for snow accumulations:

Finally by Friday the entire complex will be pushed out to sea and the sun will return with highs only climbing into the upper 30′s atop a fresh snow pack.  The weekend – right now – looks nice with temperatures back into the 40′s, and next week the Arctic Express still seems to be on track with an estimated arrival of the really cold air sometime Tuesday and lasting a good part of next week.  Winter, anyone?

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