Meteorologist Brent Watts
December 5, 2011
December is notorious for bringing quick-moving storms and mediocre opportunities for snowfall. This week, we'll see one such chance as a low pressure system races through the mid-Atlantic states.
Typically, this would be a good scenerio for getting a decent snow event for the region. However, we've been so warm lately, even if the cold air gets pulled in to meet up with the moisture, it may not be thick enough to deliver the snow totals some of you would like to see.
We look at a variety of forecast models, and even show you some of them on TV. They all have their "opinion" as to what may occur Wednesday night into Thursday. All agree the highest snow amounts would be remain in the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge mountains (above 2,500ft), where the cold air will be in place.
It will be a race for the lower elevations to see how fast that cold air can thicken, transitioning the rain to snow, before all the moisture exits early Thursday morning.
We'll do this update in sections, since it's often easy to get wrapped up in the hype that goes around when you mention the word S-N-O-W.
EARLY AMOUNT PROJECTIONS:
Our region is in the area of 10% probability (or slight risk) for snowfall of 4" or more. In our case, NOAA is pointing out the areas in the higher elevations along the mountains.
Below is the European model, which shows the heavy snow amounts to the west of the region, into West Virginia. There, amounts could top 5" or more. Locally, we'd be looking at a couple inches of wet snow. Mainly on grassy areas.
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