January 21: More Snow? Wellllllllllllllllllllll…

Here we are again, on the razor-sharp dividing line between “wow, that’s a LOT of snow” and “hey, I thought it was supposed to snow”.  I make these points several times within today’s video, but let me put it in nice clear text (so I can copy and paste it as a reply to people who complain about the forecast later):

  • I don’t think Nashville will get much snow.  I’d bet heavily on less than an inch.  But there’s still just enough uncertainty to the storm track that I’ve left Metro in the 1″-2″ zone.
  • The heaviest snow will accumulate farther to the northwest.  I wouldn’t recommend traveling in northwestern Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky after midnight tonight…first freezing rain, then a lot of snow will make road conditions treacherous.
  • The “gradient” between minimal snow and LOTS of snow will be steep.  By Saturday morning, you’ll likely be able to drive 50-75 miles and go from a dusting to 10″+.  And pinpointing exactly where that gradient will set up is probably the toughest thing in forecasting.  (By comparison, severe thunderstorms are a piece of cake.)
  • Just because I don’t expect much snow in Nashville doesn’t mean it won’t be messy.  Lots of rain, a little bit of sleet and snow, and then sub-freezing temperatures…yuck.
  • There’s still the distinct potential for me to be fabulously, spectacularly wrong about the specific accumulations.  In fact, I will be wrong about some aspect of this system.  That much is guaranteed for every meteorologist when it comes to winter storms.

The following video represents my best interpretation of some conflicting and flat-out confusing forecast data.  Stay tuned for revisions — I’ll post some thoughts on social media throughout the day.

And I meant to mention this in the video (because when you’re talking extemporaneously for ten minutes, stuff tends to slip the brain): it’s going to be REALLY windy as this system moves through.  That means wind-driven rain, then blowing snow and reduced visibilities…and it raises my concern regarding potential power outages where the greatest ice accumulations occur in southern Kentucky.

Social media links

Twitter: @WSMVweather, @PaulHeggenWSMV, @WSMVLisaSpencer, @WSMVDanThomas, @WSMVNancyVanC, @NWSNashville

Facebook: 4WARN Weather, Paul Heggen WSMV, Lisa Spencer, Dan Thomas WSMV, Nancy Van Camp WSMV, NWS Nashville

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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7 Responses to January 21: More Snow? Wellllllllllllllllllllll…

  1. John says:

    Great update and enjoy the video and different look at the forecast models. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Brian Sutton says:

    Paul, I look forward to your posts. You really break it down for us, and skip the commercial fluff that so many meteorologists are plagued by….and you’re honest! You need a weather talk show foreal man. 🙂

  3. Lisa Fuller says:

    Paul, Where do you think Portland is going to fall in this? I work in Nashville, but I live in Portland, so I need to know if I need leave work when it starts falling or wait….. LOL

    • paulheggen33 says:

      You’ll get more than Nashville, but the transition might be messy. Just keep an eye on things as they unfold tomorrow — it’s one of those things you’ll have to evaluate hour-by-hour.

  4. Scott Varden says:

    How much total rain do you forcast?

  5. Thank you, Paul, for these blog posts. They’re where I prefer to get my weather from. I really appreciate your being candid and you have a gift for explaining these complicated things at a high level so the rest of us can understand what you’re thinking and why. Really appreciate you taking the time to make these. I have to admit I’m hoping you’re wrong on this one, though, but at least I have a good idea of why you’re thinking what you are. 😀

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