March 10: Snow This Weekend?


Last night storms are out of here, but they made quite an impression…check out all of the hail and wind reports from last night:

The National Weather Service will be out doing damage assessments in Williamson, Marshall and Bedford counties to determine if some of those wind damage reports were actually associated with a tornado:

We’re seeing clearing skies as I’m typing this, but cooler temperatures will prevail today.  Highs will only reach the low to mid 50s this afternoon, with a strong breeze from the north throughout the day as well:

Temperatures drop to around 30° overnight:

We’ll see increasing clouds most of the day Saturday, with highs barely above 40°:

Most of the day looks dry on Saturday, before a mix of rain and snow heads in by late afternoon and early evening.  Before we get into details, a disclaimer: winter weather forecasting is incredibly complicated and frustrating.  By the time Saturday evening rolls around, we’re all going to be like this:

The mix of rain and snow will transition to all snow later Saturday evening and overnight, as shown by the RPM model’s radar simulation:

That looks like a LOT of snow, but the warm and wet ground will help to limit total accumulations.  That particular forecast model shows that up to an inch could add up, especially on lawns and rooftops:

The RPM is just one model out of a dozen we can choose from, but many of the others are showing a very similar scenario — among those, the high-resolution North American model just has a slightly earlier arrival of the precipitation:

But again, despite all of that snow on the radar simulation, accumulations are meager:

One more model to confirm that thinking…the short-range ensemble model is actually a combination of 26 different models, and it’s coming up with 1″ or less as well once you average out the various possibilities:

That said, the individual members of the SREF model are still all over the place:

That’s almost 10″ of snow that one model is depicting, which…no.  Not gonna happen.

However, with any winter weather scenario, it’s still wise to look at any dissenting opinions in the data.  For instance, the European forecast model is still showing a wide swath of significant snow across the Midstate:

I think that model is having a hard time separating the rain/snow mix (which doesn’t accumulate) from the plain ol’ snow…that leads it to over-estimate what will add up.  OR…it’s right, I’m wrong, and I’ll look and feel like an idiot while I’m shoveling my in-laws’ driveway Sunday morning.

So, the bottom line is this: stay plugged-into the forecast later today and throughout the day tomorrow.  Daphne and Lisa will have more data to analyze for forecast changes this evening, Dan will have even more data by tomorrow morning.  There WILL be changes, so be ready to roll with the punches.

Whatever does accumulate is likely to melt on Sunday, as the sun emerges and temperatures climb to the mid 40s:

Another mostly-rain system heads our way Monday into Tuesday…we’ll be able to get a closer look at that once this weekend’s storm system stops blocking our view:



Just one link today, since I’m doing double-duty in weather and traffic.  The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said something spectacularly stupid yesterday…really, one of most asinine statements I’ve heard from a public figure.  (Considering the long and glorious history of humans of all political affiliations and all nationalities saying idiotic things, that’s saying something.)  I was going to do a whole write-up about it, but Alex Knapp at Forbes took care of that.  Enjoy.  The rest of the nerdiness will be back on Monday.

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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