Happy Thursday everyone, we’ve got quite a few things to talk about in regards to weather in the Mountain State in the coming days, including much colder weather that is right on our doorstep, as well as the possibility of snow.
First off, checking out the weather right out the doorstep, the sky is filled with a mixture of stratus and stratocumulus clouds. It looks like at least for the majority of the remainder to our Thursday, our area is going to be mostly covered with stratocumulus clouds, so expect a few more cloud breaks in the afternoon, especially west.
Let’s also take a look at the latest surface analysis, shown below. We currently have a decaying cold front just to our west. There’s not much in the way of precipitation along this cold front (I use the color green to indicate likely areas of thick clouds, because grey is hard to see against white). However, by checking out temperatures behind the front being in the 20s compared to the mid 30s in our region at 11 a.m. it can easily be determined that there’s still yet some much colder weather right on our doorstep, as we will pick up a west/northwesterly breeze with the passage of this decaying front tonight.
Again, with the passage of this cold front, we’re really not expecting much in the way of precipitation today, other than perhaps a brief sprinkle (temperatures will remain above freezing until tonight). Looking at the current visible satellite, there appears to be quite a shield of stratus clouds hanging behind that front. If that shield of clouds can get past our are before midnight tonight, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see temperatures drop into the upper teens tonight with how dry this air mass is. However, I think the stratus clouds behind the front will help blanket our temperatures at least for tonight, and so I’m going with low 20s for our region for Thursday night.
For Friday, things are looking pretty quiet for our area, albeit cold. We have a system down to our south that is dropping some rainfall to portions of the southeast. That system will lift north on Friday, and could drop at least a couple of inches of snow in the mountains of North Carolina and southern Virginia. However, our area will remain dry. In fact, I think we’ll see a good bit of sunshine, but high temperatures will only make it around freezing with this cold air mass.
Saturday will also be mostly quiet, with temperatures moderating slightly into the upper 30s for high temperatures. However, as we head into the afternoon, we’ll see clouds begin to increase from the northwest, as our first wintertime Alberta clipper system appears primed to strike the region. Alberta clipper systems are known for quickly dropping a quick couple of inches when they drop in our area. However, though we almost certainly will see snow, accumulations looks pretty minimal with this system.
The best chance of snow will certainly be Saturday night into the early morning hours of Sunday. The bulk of snow associated with the system will strike Saturday night, and we’ll be left with an upslope snow through the morning hours of Sunday. Aside from a quick dusting from a heavier line of snow moving through, I expect the lowlands to not see much in the way of an accumulation. Even accumulations in the mountains won’t be superb. Areas east of US-19 can expect 1-2″ of snow at this point, and the higher peaks of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia can expect a general 3-5″ of snow. I’ll make a snowfall map with adjusted snowfall forecasts if the forecast changes at all between now and tomorrow.
Moving ahead, things look to remain pretty cold and active in our area. We’ll be talking about both in upcoming posts tomorrow and this weekend.