Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Morning: Taking a Closer Look at Tomorrow's Chance at Snow

Good morning everyone. Today I want to take a quick look at the system tomorrow that will cause flakes to fly in many areas. Overall, I do not expect big impacts with this system due to:

  • Intensity of precip rates not too impressive
  • Peak of the unsettled weather looks to come during the day with a strong April Sun
  • Only higher elevations should see any snow that can accumulate
    • In PA 1-3 in NW NJ maybe 1" above 1000ft 
    • Other areas just expect to see the chance at snow in the air Saturday

Most models agree that after the surge of cold air that comes in tonight, tomorrow afternoon looks something like this..

At this time I like the idea of 1-3 inches of snow in central and northern pa up in the higher elevations. The million dollar question is what happens as this storm moves further east. I do think most areas will see flakes fly but I do not think it accumulates much anywhere east of NW NJ at higher elevations. The intensity of the precipitation looks to diminish and the thermals look too warm. It may be very cold at 5k feet which is the winter is a recipe for snow, but with the strong April sun the boundary layer is too warm. The boundary layer represents the surface and just above the surface and the strong sun has a big effect on keeping this air warm. Snow may be falling at 5k feet but it melts once it gets past say 800ft.

Here is the NAM models projection of freezing levels for the peak of this storm Saturday..

Now snow still falls when its above freezing but the point is it will not stick to surfaces above freezing. Notice that the freezing level is between 1 to 2k feet extending into NJ. This tells me that only higher elevations over 1k feet have the shot at any accumulations Saturday.

The GFS model is very aggressive with snowfall but I think this is way overdone...

So it will be neat to see flakes fly but do not expect much anywhere in NJ expect Northwest. The bigger story is the cold. Check out low temps for Sunday morning!

Thats all for now, I will update as this storm evolves tomorrow. 

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