Heads Up Snow Lovers

Change happens quickly, and we may be seeing that play out before the end of this week.

The Thursday evening/Friday system I discussed in the blog Monday is showing more signs of the northward track.

That suggests a rain changing to snow scenario for most of the viewing area between midday Thursday and wee hours of Friday morning.

Not buying it all the way yet, need to see some of the other simulations (ECMWF) before being convinced.  The NAM (below) has been suggesting the system would effect us directly for the last couple of days.

NAM Snow

NAM Simulated Snow Depth for the entire forecast period ending 10pm, Thursday, January 17.

But the NAM is notoriously poor at predicting precipitation patterns beyond 60 hours in advance.  That is has not changed dramatically in the last few runs is surprising.

The GFS (below), which has been much closer to the ECMWF in keeping the system to our south through these last few days, has made a substantial shift northward in the track… much closer to the NAM.


GFS Simulated Snow Depth for the entire forecast period ending 1am, Friday, January 18.

If the ECMWF jumps toward the GFS solution, which we will find out overnight, a plowable snow goes from a middling chance to likely.

How much? Again, still very speculative, but both of these above simulations suggest a general 3-6 inches of snow accumulating from around 2pm Thursday to 2am Friday.

To reiterate, more data needs to come in overnight, so follow it closely with us in the next 24 hours, as the forecast may get a big swing.


Update. 8:30am Wednesday

The overnight ECMWF has broken toward the other two solutions.  Not exactly in line with the NAM and GFS, but a move in that direction.  New suite of computer simulations comes in between 9am and 2pm (first the NAM, then the GFS, then the ECMWF).  Once those come in, we will have to make some type of call.

But colleagues at the National Weather Service in Blacksburg have already put up a Winter Storm Watch for areas immediately north and west of Lynchburg City.

About seansublette

Meteorologist at Climate Central. Broadcast meteorologist in Virginia from 1995 to 2015. Born and raised in Richmond, VA. Penn State alumnus. Loves baseball and the rock band Rush. Views are independent of my employer. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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One Response to Heads Up Snow Lovers

  1. Cara says:

    Sounds good to me! Perfect way to spend a 4-day weekend with the kids. 🙂 Thanks for always keeping us updated!

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