Snow Threat for Tuesday, March 25

Final Update: 6pm Monday, March 24.

The long advertised major storm still stays too far to our east.  Once it takes shape and races northeast, it has a good shot at bringing a genuine blizzard to coastal New England.

But before it forms, one of its component parts will race across our part of the state during the first several hours of Tuesday.

The result will be a few periods of snow, likely starting around 4-5am in the New River Valley and spreading eastward toward the piedmont of Virginia.

But by midday, most of the energy will be transferring to the new offshore storm, allowing some breaks of sun for our part of the state late in the afternoon, and sending highs into the 40s.

As a result, the window of accumulating snow is a small one, between about daybreak and midday Tuesday… again… a little earlier in the New River Valley.

Snow forecast map… ending 2pm Tuesday.

Daycast

Our station’s snowcover forecast map, valid 2pm Tuesday, March 25. Forecast produced at 4pm Monday, March 24.

However, with temperatures climbing into the 40s late in the afternoon, melting will take place quickly during the afternoon, so the peak amounts of snow on the ground will be around midday or early in the afternoon.

Then, wind and cold will be issues Tuesday night and Wednesday. Lows in the lower to middle 20s Tuesday night mean that any wet road surfaces will develop icy areas.  And while Wednesday will be sunny, highs will hold in the 40s.  Fortunately, with the higher March sun angle and the generous winds on Wednesday, all road surfaces should be dry by Wednesday afternoon.

While parts of Greater Richmond could conceivably get a coating, it would not be consistent across the area.  Essentially, Richmond is off the hook regarding any substantial snow threat.

Update: 6pm Friday, March 21

Most data indicate the core of this storm bypasses Lynchburg and Danville, well to the east. However, central and western Virginia still may be close enough to see some snow out of it. Earlier, we were tinkering with the idea of a couple or a few inches. And to emphasize, while it is still too too early to ignore this storm, we are feeling better about its most serious effects missing the western half of the state. We now downscale that to an inch or less (which also means there may be nothing at all).

Nonetheless, it is still important to follow the forecast over the weekend, as the storm has not yet formed.  The energy for the storm is still in the Canadian Arctic as of Friday evening.

Areas from Richmond to Hampton Roads should follow it most even more closely.

Update: 9am Thursday, March 20

Ironically, today is the first day of astronomical spring.  As we like to emphasize, that particular moment does not mean a lot in the real atmosphere.  Concern does continue to grow for some accumulating snow in Virginia on Tuesday.

The overnight (00z) simulations hold the core ideas from yesterday afternoon.  The Canadian and European simulations essentially hold yesterday’s ideas, while the American simulation (GFS) now looks like it is coming around to those solutions.  Additionally, an experimental American simulation (FIM, below) also goes with this idea.

Experimental FIM from the NOAA Earth System Research Lab. Note the area of low pressure (closed circle just east of NC). Precipitation is color-coded, and in liquid equivalent over the previous 6 hours. Simulation is valid 2pm this Tuesday.

Experimental FIM from the NOAA Earth System Research Lab. Note the area of low pressure (closed circle just east of NC). Precipitation is color-coded, and in liquid equivalent over the previous 6 hours. Simulation is valid 2pm this Tuesday.

At minimum, we must continue to follow this system closely.  All of the simulations discussed above take the center of the storm (area of low pressure) on a general northeast track from the above position.  Whether it is a sharper turn to the northeast or a gradual east-by-northeast track is up for discussion.

Even so, this would suggest accumulating snow for most of Virginia, with areas east of Interstate 81 and west of the Chesapeake Bay at greatest risk.  This includes Lynchburg and Richmond.  However, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia also should monitor the situation, especially this far in advance.

Regarding the amount of snow, it is still too early to lock in on specific numbers, but the scale of what we are discussing is a couple or a few inches, depending on start time and ground temperatures.

Again, follow the forecast at least 2 times a day through the weekend for updates. Modifications in the forecast are to be expected.

* * * *

Original post Wednesday evening

There is still concern about a storm system that is expected to take shape Tuesday of next week. While there is a legitimate threat of accumulating snow with this system, it is far, far from certain.

This afternoon’s data (especially those coming from the European and Canadian weather simulations/ensembles) do support and strengthen the possibility.

However, we caution that the system is just over 5 days away, its energy still over the North Pacific Ocean.

And although the general pattern (temperature, upper atmosphere steering winds) also supports the possibility, we feel the data need to be more consistent over the next 36-48 hours before ratcheting up the threat.

So for our part of Virginia (all areas), we would put the chance of seeing any snow on Tuesday at about 30%. We would put the chance of seeing plowable snow at about 15%.  Not enough to incite panic, but certainly not too little to ignore.

After all, if someone told you there was a 15% chance your dinner would give you food poisoning, would you pay attention?  :)

Our suggestion is to be sure to check the forecast at least once a day through this weekend, then again Monday morning and Monday afternoon.

And enjoy the nicer stretch Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Astronomical spring starts Thursday at 12:57pm (EDT).

Posted in Forecast Discussions, Weather Communications

St. Patrick’s Eve Storm

Brief update… 9pm Saturday

All available data point to plowable snow for Central Virginia.  This is true if you consider Central Virginia to be Charlottesville, Lynchburg, or Richmond.

Timing:

Sunday morning is just cloudy, then late in the afternoon, light rain develops… quickly transitioning to frozen precipitation around dusk… even an hour or so before that in some places.

The transition will be to sleet and snow, with areas in Southside Virginia getting more sleet than snow.  Snow will be heaviest during the night, which is why we expect the snow and sleet to accumulate.

Most of the accumulating will be finished around daybreak.  Although nuisance flurries, pockets of sleet, and even drizzle are expected during the daylight hours of Monday, we do not expect further significant accumulation after sunrise.  That is, most of the damage (so to speak) comes Sunday evening and Sunday night.

Confidence: Medium

Results this winter have been mixed regarding our QFP (quantitative precipitation forecasts).  That is, we have had some direct hits and spectacular misses when it has come to final amounts on the ground.

At this time, we feel strongly that there will be, at minumum, plowable snow for areas north of a line from Pulaski… to Rocky Mount… to Farmville… to Petersburg… to the Middle Peninsula. Southward, it gets more tricky, as there will be more sleet to contend with.

To reiterate, small changes in north/south location will yield large differences in amount of snow on the ground, and heavier bursts (or banding) of snow could yield an additional 1-3 inches over the current forecast (below) at the local level.

The amounts

Our station's going forecast. Issued at 6pm Saturday.

Our station’s going forecast. Issued at 6pm Saturday.

For Greater Lynchburg eastward to Greater Richmond, 3-6″ is a conservative estimate. If a couple of those narrow, heavier bands line up in this region, 8″ can easily fall.  Higher end of that range to be expected north of that line… so Lovingston, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Hanover, Fredericksburg have the best shot of nudging into the 8-inch area (and yes… perhaps even 10).

Amounts drop quickly farther south, as more sleet will mix in, cutting down on the amount on the ground.  Southern Richmond and Tri-Cities, to Dinwiddie, Brookneal, Smith Mountain Lake, and much of the Roanoke and New River Valley are looking at about 2-5 inches.

From Sussex and Lunenburg, west toward Volens and Gretna, and continuing into Franklin County and the western New River Valley, about 1-3 inches.

Along the North Carolina state line, lots of sleet, so about an inch or so of a messy, slushy accumulation from Emporia westward across Buggs Island Lake, to South Boston, Danville, Martinsville, and Galax.

Need help finding where you are? Reference map:

virginia-county-map

In the wake

Even Tuesday looks cloudy, and there are some suggestions in the data that additional nuisance snow is possible, but right now we expect it to be just cloudy with afternoon temperatures in the lower 40s.

A weaker system may touch off some rain showers Wednesday or Thursday, but plenty warm by then, with highs in the 50s, perhaps 60s.  Higher temperatures and stronger March sun will keep the snow from sitting around until the weekend.

Traveling

Travel will be worst late Sunday night and Monday morning.  I am optimistic that melting will begin as early as Monday afternoon, and the temperatures will only drop a few degrees below freezing Monday night.  I would not expect all roads to be clear by Monday evening, but I think most major roads will be passable with caution by then (although perhaps at about 80% of normal speed).

VDOT maintains a road conditions page. Click on the Road Conditions Layer on the left side of their page for their updates.

Posted in Forecast Discussions, Weather Communications | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The New Pollution

It is not going away.

Social media and weather forecasting. There is good. There is bad. There is ugly.

Weather forecasting blogs and Facebook pages continue to grow. And as I have alluded to in a previous post, they have radically changed the game for those in my profession – broadcast meteorology.  We continue to lose control of the weather message. As the old SportsCenter cliché goes, we can’t stop it, we can only hope to contain it.

The underground fight is heating up and starting to become more visible between professional meteorologists, hobbyists, and quacks.  Many of my colleagues, like Don Paul, Chief Meteorologist at WIVB in Buffalo, have shared…

When you see sensational storm predictions on Facebook or other social media, and you don’t know the source…BEWARE. There are many unschooled, uncredentialed phony weather peddlers out there trying to stir up fear (some actually make money at it, and one literally threatens other legit meteorologists who call him out for his “false prophecies” and absolutely crazed and unauthorized tornado watches). if you don’t recognize the source, take it with a barrel of salt…if you can find any. Weather Frauds abound on social media.

Dave Williams at WCIV in Charleston, South Carolina…

There is an epidemic of fear-mongering, baseless forecasts on social media. Those of us in the private sector, especially broadcast meteorology, are trying to fight back against these inflammatory keyboard sociopaths. The National Weather Service can’t comment on these controversies (although their HQ did send out an advisory about one of the worst abusers, who has been issuing phony tornado and blizzard warnings, distancing themselves from his fraud), but we in the private sector can. 

Then I thought, why has this become a problem?

It would seem obvious to many of us that local broadcast meteorologists, other private-sector meteorologists, and the National Weather Service would all have the best handle on the weather story, and over time, be the most reliable and dependable forecasters.  Yet it is not the case.  I’m guessing two reasons:

We are The Establishment

And there is an intrinsic public mistrust of The Establishment.  As broadcast meteorologists, we had been fortunate enough to have control of the public weather message since the middle 20th Century. No more. Social media has taken a wrecking ball to that idea.

Worse, we have seen how public trust in the media has tanked in the last 30 years. No matter how hard we (most of us, anyway) attempt to present a coherent, professional, and levelheaded message, we are still part of the (gasp!) mainstream media.

Consequently, I am not surprised when the public takes swipes at us on social media. It has happened to all of us.  Unfortunately, I do not expect the public’s opinion of our profession to change any time soon.  While I will leave the deeper reasons for that to social scientists, know that it leads to frustrations like this, from my Penn State meteorology classmate Joe Murgo (WTAJ in Altoona, PA)…

You know I love the way people twist my words and make themselves feel better about themselves by saying cruel things on their own pages. The previous post was not a forecast for your location and was not a hedge. It was a statement of honesty about the complexity of this storm for our state. I would say you should be ashamed of yourselves but then again, I can tell the person you are already by the way you read and act. Why read the posts and subscribe here if you won’t actually pay attention and don’t like the information?

Bad history

Fourteen years after a poor forecast by a predecessor, I still hear about the “dusting” of snow forecast which ended up being several inches here in Lynchburg.  As most veterans of this business realize, our reputations are built on how we perform in the high-impact weather events: hurricanes, squall lines, tornadoes, ice storms, snowstorms.

And despite the remarkable progress that the science has made in the last decade, we still find ourselves the butt of jokes about our accuracy.  We have all heard, “It must be nice to have a job where you can be wrong all the time.”

* * *

Going elsewhere

Given those two ideas, it follows that the public will seek out further information. The public craves information about weather that will affect them.  There are millions of individuals wanting a forecast just for them… for free (see also: James Spann’s fabulous crap app blog).

I would also guess that many believe we are holding back information.  

To some extent, they are correct.  Each one of us in this line of work has to make a decision about what to say and what not to say about the weather situation.  The point is not to hide information, but to communicate expectations and risks about the upcoming weather situation without inciting unnecessary panic.

But, because thousands of individuals are each interpreting what we say through his/her own filter, the message gets skewed. Every meteorologist who has done this job has had his/her words twisted, spun, or taken out of context.  Bizarre falsehoods about what I have forecast have been fired at me more times than I can count.

The data spill

If someone else promises to give the public information it wants, even if it isn’t necessarily good information, the public will consume. The internet is underground. It is edgy. It promises the real story or what they’re not telling you.  Don’t even get me started with the whole chemtrails nonsense.

There are many parts of the forecast that I do not discuss because we are focused on delivering a weather message upon which the public can make decisions. Most of the time, the public is not interested in the process of creating the message.  Similarly, I’m sure many people enjoy a good pork barbecue, but they don’t have a lot of interest in raising and slaughtering a pig.

Pay no attention to the man (or woman) behind the curtain

With the 21st Century democratization of weather data, it is now easy for anyone with rudimentary computer skills and access to weather simulations (most are free) to start a weather page.

As a result, numerous sites and pages are popping up. I cannot follow them all, much less vouch for their credibility. But there are good ones out there.  There are strong weather hobbyists and private meteorologists running pages.  I’m just not sure if the general public knows the difference, or for that matter, if they even care… given the performance of operational meteorology in the past.

Personally, I try to be conservative in my forecasting, batting for average rather than swinging for the fences.  I look at the same data as everyone else, but invariably, I am bombarded with questions about a possible storm that is 8-10 days down the road.  Pick your favorite catastrophic event: blizzard, derecho, tornado outbreak, ice storm.  Lots of weather fear out there.

While we can often glean useful information and probabilities about these events from computer simulations (especially ensembles) from that distance, the specifics and precision most people are looking for are not available that many days in advance.

Misunderstanding

But does the public know that?  This is the same public that badmouths a 24-hour forecast, but moments later wants to know if some computer simulation 192 hours in the future “is true.”

These exchanges have exposed something that meteorologists have known and dealt with for a long time. Most of the public has no idea how the country’s weather infrastructure is organized. Thanks to a corporate decision in Atlanta, I routinely get asked, “When did we start naming winter storms?”

Short answer: We haven’t.

Spotting the difference

Getting different opinions on the forecast is a good idea.  My analysis may be different than that of a colleague.  As a general rule, if there are wildly differing opinions about a forecast, the data is not conclusive.  Look at what many have to say and take an average, or blend it together to give yourself an idea of what is going to happen.  Consensus is normally the best forecast.

If you go that route and play internet weather roulette, find out who is really writing the analysis.  If the author is not willing to provide his/her name or background, you are probably better off going somewhere else.

* * *

I can vouch for a few pages, as I personally know the authors.

The Weather CoreCast is run by Corey Lefkof, a professional meteorologist who works in Oklahoma and Texas.  Corey and I shared an apartment for a couple of years as undergraduates at Penn State.  If I were away from weather data for a few days, I would trust his assessments without question.

State of Occlusion is run by Matt Lanza, a Rutgers meteorology alumnus.  He reminds me of a slightly younger version of myself.  If you have interests in the Northeast, you might find his information especially useful.

Nationally, another Penn State colleague, Bernie Rayno, offers excellent video outlooks, which are frequently posted at his employer’s website, AccuWeather.

Locally, my friend Keith Huffman runs a weather blog called Lynchburg Weather. He is a hobbyist, but he has done enough weather forecasting and investigation on his own to earn my respect.

***

Revised 11am, March 11.

Posted in Sociology, Weather Communications | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Underperforming

No one likes it when a forecast does not work out well.  The public feels misled. The meteorologists feel frustrated.  Only misanthropes are happy when this type of thing happens.

I take only two comforts from this particular storm.

First, my forecast totals were generally lower than many other outlets.  Not all… but many. I carried 3-6″ in Lynchburg. We got two.

Second, most of the meteorological community figured the heaviest amounts would be a short drive north of Lynchburg, and that was the case… with much of Amherst, Bath, Nelson, and Rockbridge Counties getting 3-6 inches.  Unfortunately, I was going with a 4-8″ idea in those places (with a few areas approaching 10″).

The late afternoon burst of snow got much of Southside into the 1″ territory, only edging into the 1-3″ range that was forecast.

Roanoke was probably the biggest bust.  Only an inch there, where I was carrying 2-5 inches.

A colleague in Richmond, Dave Tolleris, runs a weather site called wxrisk.com.  Dave has built quite an internet reputation for himself.  While his communication style may not fit everyone, he knows what he is doing.  Dave has an excellent post-mortem, which he has given me permission to repost below.  Enjoy… while I go compile snow reports.  -ss

* * *

Over central and southern portions of the Piedmont… as well as southwest Virginia and in Central Virginia in and around the Richmond metro area… the snow accumulations were killed by the appearance of the dry slot. For those of you who are not familiar with what this is, large areas of LOW pressure will pull in dry air from a nearby location which gets pulled into the center of the low. In doing so, this dry air can break apart clouds (and moderate or heavy precipitation), so that a dry area (or one of little precipitation) develops.

Anytime you have a winter storm… or even a regular low pressure area coming from Tennessee and Kentucky and southwest Virginia… you always have to be very conscious of the dry slot appearing… and coming up from western and Central North Carolina into Central Virginia. The dry slot effect can also be enhanced by the mountains over Tennessee, West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia which can break apart precipitation whether it’s rain, thunderstorms, or even snow. The point here is that I, along with many other forecasters, were looking to see if there was going to be a dry slot with the system… because we all know that this can happen when you have LOW pressure areas coming in from Tennessee and tracking into North Carolina / Southern Virginia.

The short-range RAP model snow forecast from the from 8 am MONDAY RUN for the next 12 hrs showed not even the slightest hint of the dry slot. There was a weakness in the heavy snow shields over Lynchburg and the southern Piedmont area, but certainly nothing like a massive dry slot which appeared at midday over the Piedmont and Central Virginia. The RAP is specifically designed for a very short-range mesoscale features, and it should have been for more accurate. Another one of these short-term high-resolution small-scale weather models… known as the HRRR… at 7am had 7-8″ over RICHMOND.

The truth is that this was an extremely difficult system to forecast at all levels. From several days out when this Low / system appeared to a Pennsylvania New England snow… then a Maryland Pennsylvania NYC snow… then a good Virginia Maryland snow… and now it has turned out to be a very ordinary system. In some ways this is symptomatic of the seasonal pattern which has seen weather systems several days out come across as a big East Coast winter storms only to end up as a more moderate system when the low pressure area finally develops bring in the precipitation.

So, from the extended range… through the medium range… and to the past weekend up until early Monday morning all the models at every single stage really failed quite badly at handling the system. This is also true with the European model which also over-forecast the snow amounts in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as Central West Virginia.

I suppose one could make the argument that given how badly the models have handled this particular system… how they were always playing catch-up to reality… how the cold air kept coming in faster and faster forcing the system to shift farther and farther south…. that this should have been a warning sign that something else was going on. On the other hand, weather models should be able to detect the dry slot within 24 hours before the event begins. It’s not 1964…. it’s 2014 and it really should not be that much of an unreasonable demand.

One can make the case that because the system was crossing the mountains of eastern TN eastern KY, WVA that there would this gaps in the snow shield. But again, the other side of the coin is that because this system was moving so fast one could make the argument that the impact of the mountains on this sort of low and its precipitation would be significantly less.

A difficult, challenging, and sobering forecast.

Posted in Forecast Discussions, Weather Communications | Tagged , , , , , ,

Snow and Ice ahead Monday

6pm Sunday

In spite of light rain and temperatures in the 60s Sunday, sleet and snow follow Monday.

The cold air is not that far… notice the temperatures in Northern Virginia early this evening.

6pm Sunday temperatures, sky conditions, and wind directions from across Virginia (from National Center for Atmospheric Research)

6pm Sunday temperatures, sky conditions, and wind directions from across Virginia (from National Center for Atmospheric Research)

While there have been shades of a system of this magnitude in the computer simulations for several days, it has only been in the last 48 hours that the shorter range simulations have locked on the precise timing of the precipitation and its interaction with sub-freezing air.  Most of the 3+ day simulations had been inconsistent in placement of the heavy precipitation shield and the timing of the cold air arrival.

Arguably, there had been a trend in some of those simulations southward with the precipitation, but I was still quite skeptical, especially because the center of the storm did not reach the California coast until Friday.

Expectations

Overnight, there will be occasional rain across the southern piedmont of Virginia and the adjacent mountains to the west.

A few hours before daybreak, winds will turn from the northeast, and sub-freezing air will begin to drain into these locations.  The result will be a changeover to sleet and then snow before all precipitation ends by around dusk.  Most accumulating precipitation should be over by around 4pm Monday.

For Greater Lynchburg (including Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell Counties)… expect the rain to change over sleet an hour or so before daybreak.  There will be the distinct pinging sound of the sleet for 2-3 hours before a change to snow.  Snow will continue for about another 4-6 hours, and it will come down heavily for at least a couple of those hours.

As much as an inch of sleet before the changeover, with 3-6 inches of snow on top of it.  If the cold air can get in a little faster, 4-8 inches of snow will be more common.  But it is difficult to imagine less than 3 inches of a sleet/snow mess on the ground before the day ends.

For Southside Virgnia (including Danville and Martinsville… plus Charlotte, Halifax, Henry, and Pittsylvania Counties), probably still raining at daybreak, but the transition to sleet occurs an hour or so afterwards.  Sleet lasts through late morning, with an inch likely before a transition to snow, as a result, the snow amounts will be decidedly lower.  I like the idea of 1-3″ of a sleet/snow mix on the ground by the time it all ends, but there is an outside chance at squeezing out 2-5″.

For areas Northward (including Albermarle, Bath, Botetourt, Nelson, Rockbridge Counties), the changeover to snow is earlier, and it appears that the ribbon of highest precipitation will lie in these areas as well.  Conservatively, 4-8″ of snow will be common here, with some areas getting into the neighborhood of 10″ in this zone… probably somewhere in Albermarle or Nelson County… and there very well may be a sweet spot that can get 12-14″ in this area.  At that point, it is about snowfall rates.

Southwestern areas (including the Roanoke and New River Valley), the amount of precipitation will be a little lower and the colder air will be a little slower in arriving (the sub-freezing air at the surface is coming from the northeast).  Rain transitions to sleet shortly after daybreak, then to all snow (north to south) during the morning.  A wider range of accumulations here, with amounts running 2-5″ toward the Roanoke Valley, westward into Giles County, but dropping to 1-3″ farther south toward Carroll County. More specifically, for Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford, I like 2-4 inches.

Not to be lost will be the dramatic temperature drop from Sunday afternoon. Temperatures by daybreak Tuesday will be 8-14 degrees.

There are also large-scale systems upstream that will be nearby this Friday (March 7) and later next week (March 11-12). Still time to monitor, as all options are still on the table for these two storms.

Posted in Forecast Discussions, Weather Communications | Tagged , ,

Winter storm update – Saturday afternoon

ALL DATA TODAY (Saturday) suggests a colder and wetter system throughout our part of Virginia to start next week. Timing is Monday… from a couple of hours before dawn to late Monday afternoon. Plowable accumulations of sleet and snow are now VERY LIKELY. Conservatively, most locations are looking at 2-4 inches of a sleet/snow mix on the ground by dusk Monday. If current trends continue, those numbers will need to be bumped up tomorrow.  Be sure and follow the forecast Sunday for further refinements to the forecast.

Posted in Forecast Discussions, Weather Communications

Monday mix potential

Locally, although temperatures will spike into the 60s on Sunday, a dramatic change follows on Monday.

The storm that is coming on to the California coast late Friday will cross the country this weekend, and begin to affect most of the Middle Atlantic and the Northeast Sunday night through Monday night.

For Greater Lynchburg, the precipitation is expected to start as rain a few hours before daybreak Monday.  After the warm afternoon on Sunday, temperatures most of Sunday night will hold in the 50s.

But after sunrise Monday, winds will turn sharply from the north, and there will be a dramatic temperature drop into the lower 30s by early afternoon.  Most of the precipitation will have edged to the east by then, but there will likely be a brief (1-2 hour) spell of ice or snow before everything ends by dusk Monday.  At this time, accumulations are not expected, so travel is not expected to be substantially impacted.

However, the change in amounts of precipitation and the type of precipitation will be dramatic a few hundred miles to the north.

Closer by, just north of Lynchburg, into Amherst, Nelson, and Rockbridge Counties, there may be a modest accumulation of ice… or perhaps snow… but less than an inch of any slushy accumulation.

In the area from I-64 northward toward Madison and Culpeper… eastward toward Fredericksburg, accumulating ice is more of a concern.  With scattered downed trees and powerlines to follow.

Northward along I-66, ice transitions to snow very quickly, with accumulating snow and sleet expected of at least a few inches.

Northward further into Maryland and Pennsylvania, and westward into Ohio and northern West Virginia, heavy snow is expected, with 6″+ very common in those locations.

South of Lynchburg and US460, nearly all precipitation will be in the form of rain.

To repeat, this is only an outlook.  As of Friday evening, the storm is coming onto the California coastline. Expect modifications in the forecast in the coming 48 hours from all weather forecasting outlets, as small changes in track and temperature forecasts play large roles in the intensity and type of precipitation that falls between Sunday night and Monday night.

Posted in Forecast Discussions, Weather Communications