Guest blogger Kathryn Prociv stands in while Kevin is away for a few days:
BRR this morning was cold! Saw multiple reports of temperatures dipping into the teens early this morning as well reports of heavy frost covering grassy surfaces and vehicles. With dry air and high pressure in place, we warm up nicely gaining nearly 20-30 degrees by this afternoon; expect highs in the upper 40s to low 50s across the area. Throughout the day as the winds turn east to southeast there will be an increase in cloud cover that will continue into the overnight hours. Thanks to this cloud cover our overnight lows won’t get as cold as last night so expect widespread low 30s (but less spots in the 20s). Tomorrow morning looks somewhat tricky with precipitation moving into areas south and southwest of Roanoke, near the NC border. The models differ on how far north this precipitation will advance, but the real kink in the armor is the Blacksburg National Weather Service office mentions the possibility of some isolated and light freezing rain in the early morning near sunrise. It won’t last long, but could pose a hazard for those isolated spots that see some. By mid-morning most of the precipitation has ended for the southern areas and we’ll move into a partly to mostly cloudy day with highs hovering right around 50 degrees.
So what’s in store for our holiday and travel week? There’s still some chatter about the possible nor’easter, and the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in the forecasted precipitation map shows a coastal low developing along the Carolinas. However, increasing model trends are swinging this low east out to sea as it moves up the coast. I shared the GFS model yesterday, so thought I’d share the EURO (ECMWF) model today showing a weak low off the coast of Virginia on Tuesday evening. The models continue to show it will be too warm for a snow event. If these model trends continue, coastal areas of Virginia could see some rain and wind, but impacts will be few and far between for us folks in southwest Virginia. We could see a cool and cloudy start to week, and even the return to some wedge-weather but the heaviest precipitation will stay well off to our east.
After this warm nor’easter (if it pans out) what comes next? There’s talk of another storm system in the fantasy-cast forming after Thanksgiving, but how strong will it be and will it be a big snow machine? (In an article Kevin shared with me, he discusses the influence the Siberian snowpack can have on the intrusions of cold air in our area and potential snow events.) When looking at other possible storm systems coming down the pipeline there are multiple factors we must take into account such as the Siberian snowpack, global teleconnections such as the NAO and AO (which Kevin addresses), storm tracks, and how they all line up. The key is whether cold air coexists and matches up with a moist storm system to produce the snow that everyone either loves or hates and forecasting that beyond next week is just too difficult.
I want to thank Kevin Myatt and the Roanoke Times for inviting me back to write for the Weather Journal blog and would also like to thank you all for the warm welcome and great discussion as always. Safe travels and a happy holiday season to all!