Before we get into the details, let me say this right up top: this is NOT going to be a major snow event for the Midstate. Almost all of us will see less than one inch of snow…and you’re much more likely to get ZERO than you are to pick up 1″. That said, we live in the South, and just one layer of flakes between your tires and the road is enough to cause some problems.
The tricky part of snow forecasting stems from the fact that it takes so little water to produce snow. In the spring, summer and fall, you really don’t care if you get 0.05″ of rain instead of 0.15″ — but with temperatures in the 20s, that the difference between a half-inch of snow and almost two inches! So as I get into the outline of what I think is the most-likely scenario, keep in mind that our forecast confidence when it comes to low-moisture winter weather events is best described as:
Light snow showers will be moving in from the west by midday and through the evening. The forecast models aren’t handling this well…plenty of discrepancies between the various models, and plenty of changes within the same models from run-to-run. Our RPM model shows this scenario throughout the day:
I think that model has a good handle on the pattern, but it’s probably underestimating the effect of dry air near the ground eating away at the falling snow. The dry air shows up very clearly on this morning’s weather balloon data from Nashville (in the oval):
That’s why I lean toward the HRRR model, which isn’t as impressed overall:
Accumulations will be light, but could be enough to produce slick spots on the roads. The RPM model thinks the snow pattern shapes up like this:
The latest version of the HRRR (which updates every single hour) shows this:
That’s a big ol’ nothing-burger for most of us. (Very similar patterns shown by those two models, finally!) Factoring in the data from those two models (plus data from the SREF model and other acronyms you really don’t care about), here my estimate:
Let me shout this at you: YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO GET THE “BUST” AMOUNTS AS OPPOSED TO THE “BOOM” NUMBERS. In Nashville, I’m betting on flurries, but it’s a close enough call to include Metro in the “minor accumulations” possibility…plus, it’s winter, and weird stuff can happen. The best chance of more than 1″ of snow will be in the higher terrain of eastern Middle Tennessee.
Another chance of snow showers for southern Middle Tennessee arrives early Friday…once again it will be very brief and very light:
I’d expect a half-inch or less out of those snow showers — we’ll keep you updated if that changes.
I’m back from vacation, and so are the nerd-links!
- Deadly floods, drought and wildfires — one map explains the weather we had in 2016.
- The United States had more floods in 2016 than in any other year on record. (I’ll do a wrap-up of the Midstate’s 2016 weather early next week.)
- 2016 weather claimed thousands of lives and cost billions of dollars in damage across the globe. Here are the top 10 extreme weather events from last year.
- The ratio of record highs to record lows in the United States was 5.7-to-1 in 2016. That’s the biggest differential in at least 95 years.
- 2017 will likely still be hot on a global scale, just not quite as hot as 2016.
- An “atmospheric river” is bringing California tons of rain and snow (trillions of gallons!). Here’s what it means for the drought.
- A new study has confirmed an earlier NOAA finding of faster global warming — and no “pause” in that warming trend.
- More-active hurricane seasons may not necessarily correlate to stronger hurricanes.
- NASA has found evidence of snow and ice features on Pluto that, until now, had only been seen on Earth.
- Two new missions for NASA: Lucy will explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, Psyche will investigate a metallic asteroid.
- Another new mission is set to explore the details of black holes and other cosmic x-ray mysteries beyond our solar system.
- How long will Earth be able to sustain life? (ALL life, not just humans.)
- My college organic chemistry textbook (now 20+ years old, sadly) says a carbon atom can form at most four bonds. That textbook is apparently wrong.
- Many people claim the ability, but only 2 percent of people can multitask well. Are you a “supertasker”?
- Lack of sleep could be costing Americans $411 billion per year.
- Why your brain makes New Year’s resolutions impossible to keep.
- File this under “I already knew that, but here’s proof”: Dogs are the best therapists.