For the second time this week, we’re under the threat of impactful winter weather. A complex system will make for a difficult forecast over the next 24-48 hours, without question. Let’s get right to it. Are we getting ice and snow?
To begin, cloudy skies will hang around tonight, and well into Saturday. By sunrise Saturday, temperatures will be in the low 30s, with afternoon highs making it to the upper 30s. If you’re heading out this evening, don’t forget your coat.
What Is Happening?
A low pressure system will move east across the Deep South, while an area of high pressure maintains control over the northern Ohio Valley.
The low will be trying to pull moisture into our region from the south, however, it’ll have to win a fight high pressure to our north to make that happen. Exhibit A, valid 3pm Saturday:
This high pressure system will be filtering in very dry air. This is expected to hold off any impactful precipitation until Saturday evening/night, and will make the forecast very difficult Saturday night into Sunday. With that being said, we can’t rule out a few rain showers by late Saturday afternoon.
The latest model trends have shifted frozen precipitation chances to the south and east, which has lowered our chance for any significant accumulations.
I understand I sound like a broken record when I say this, but amounts aren’t that important (other than sledding and snowman building, obviously), we need to focus on impacts.
Minor Accumulations, Big Impacts
If you need any proof, this past Wednesday morning serves as a prime example. Nothing more than a dusting of snow on the ground, and numerous accidents were reported across the entire region. In case you need a reminder:
— wxo☈notBG (@wxornotBG) December 5, 2018
Our latest thoughts are that minor accumulations will be possible again, with two separate time frames we’re focusing on.
Attention will need to be on Saturday night into Sunday morning first. This is when we anticipate the heaviest of the precipitation will occur.
Temperatures during this time will steadily fall to just below freezing, with a mix of sleet and snow occurring.
The latest NAM 3km, valid 6am Saturday to 6am Sunday, illustrates:
This will be followed by a rise in temperatures Sunday morning. A result of this would be a changeover to a rain/wintry mix by mid morning, with improved travel.
Our second time period to closely monitor will be Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. Temperatures will fall to around freezing again, allowing any additional, light snow/ice, along with previously melted spots, to refreeze.
Simply put, overall, guidance suggests to us that we’ll either get minor accumulations, or nothing at all. I expect to see “all of the above” reported across our seven county coverage area by Sunday afternoon.
For what it’s worth, here’s the latest from our National Weather Service office:
So…how will you survive this one? Milk sandwiches, or french toast?
Impacts and Concerns
Our primary concern will be the possibility of slick travel, especially on secondary roads, bridges & overpasses, during the two time frames previously mentioned. Don’t forget, those sidewalks may be slick, too.
If there’s any good news, we’re not concerned with icing on trees or power lines, as trends have steered toward a sleet/snow mix, rather than freezing rain. Thankfully, we shouldn’t have to relive what we dealt with a few weeks ago.
Keep in mind, forecasting ain’t easy, folks…
The weather is extremely complicated. Numerous, constantly evolving variables & parameters related to wind, temperature, precipitation & beyond…all measured from Earth’s surface we walk around on to 30,000 feet above our heads. Science, y’all… pic.twitter.com/v8H2JK2Xco
— wxo☈notBG (@wxornotBG) December 7, 2018
Have a great rest of the night, and we’ll be back with a fresh update early Saturday morning. Don’t forget, you can get more frequent updates on our real-time weather feed. Stay safe!