Continued best wishes for recovery to WSET (Channel 13) web producer/meteorologist Jamey Singleton and two others injured in a traffic accident Tuesday in Bedford County.
We’re getting something of a booster shot of Arctic air, with highs Wednesday in the 30s to low 40s after lows mostly in the 20s amid breezy northwest winds that have prompted wind advisories. It will warm up just a bit — mostly 40s, maybe a few low 50s — during the day Thursday, before another head-scratching winter weather situation develops Thursday night.
One rule of weather is that if back-to-back weather situations seem almost alike, they usually won’t be. In other words, don’t be fighting the last battle with the new storm system. Once again, we have a low approaching that will track somewhere northwest of us, spreading Gulf of Mexico moisture into and over colder, drier air at the surface,sort of like Tuesday morning’s system that left some slushy snow in areas west of Roanoke but didn’t really live up to even a rather understated billing as a winter weather maker. At first look, though, the storm approaching late Thursday and early Friday appears to have more cold air wedging in to work with and at least somewhat more moisture. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center — skeptical, to its credit, of our chances of widespread significant snow or ice on Tuesday morning — has already painted our region with 50+ percent chances for getting at least .01 inch of ice (even spreading into much of western North Carolina) AND a 20-30 percent chances of getting an inch of snow (or snow and sleet, as this would more likely be) in the 24 hours ending Friday evening. There is a also a sliver of slight risk for heavy ice — .25 inch or more — in part of the New River Valley and along the I-77 corridor. Eventually, just like on Tuesday morning, most areas will likely go over to plain rain on Friday — though cold air may be stubborn enough to hang on in some colder valleys longer in the day this time around.
While no prolonged Arctic air appears to be in the offing, there is some interest in the Feb. 28-March 2 period, when there are indications that northern and southern branches of the jet stream may phase somewhere east of the Mississippi River for a possible deep low-pressure system and large-scale winter storm. Something to keep an eye on in the long run as this odd winter 2012-13 slides into March.