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Archive for December, 2010

Storm Recap

Posted by wxgeek on December 17, 2010

Turns out that between 6-8 inches of heavy snow fell across much of the area! The heavy, wet snow all came down within a 12 hour period. That is a lot of snow for a relatively short period of time. Beckley had 6 inches, Lewisburg had 7, and Hinton had 8, just to name a few. It was a hyper-local major storm that caused significant travel hazards and accidents for a short time. The next one is supposed to arrive late Monday. Stay tuned…

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12.15-16 2010 Storm

Posted by wxgeek on December 16, 2010

Good Evening,

Above you will see my forecast for the winter storm that is on our doorstep. I went out on a limb with this storm and forecasted higher totals than what most forecasters are calling for. Why? Let me explain…The computer models are just a guide. If you follow them too closely or copy them word for word then disasters happen, like the major storm back in December of last year. With that storm it was supposed to rain for 6 hours and then change to heavy snow. What actually happened? It snowed the entire time and never changed to rain. We had over 2 1/2 feet when it was over. I have never felt worse as a meteorologist in my career. Not because I obviously got the forecast wrong. I felt horrible because people weren’t prepared.

I have learned from my mistake last year. If there is potential for a foot of snow, I am going to say so. That doesn’t mean I am going to “over-forecast” my snowfall totals whenever we have a chance for a foot of snow. I will use my judgement and experience to decide when to forecast more snow than most people believe. I can promise you one thing though…. I feel that the chances of being unprepared for a major storm are a lot smaller now that I have learned from the past. Remember, if you do not learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat it.

As for this storm coming tonight….a few thoughts…

1. Heavy snow will happen in waves tonight from southwest to northeast. 1-2″ per hour snow burts will occur. I am very confident about that.

2. A mix or changeover to sleet/frz. rain is possible for southern counties. If that happens then the snowfall totals will come down but the conditions will be far worse. That is why i am calling this a “major localized event.” We dont need to see 2 1/2 feet of snow to have a major storm. even 4-8 inches of heavy snow with .25″ of ice can be major, especially if it falls right at morning rush hour.

3. the models are trying to develop a weak secondary storm in the wake of the first main storm. If that happens a few more inches of snow will be added at the end.

4. This storm is not like anything we have seen yet this season. It will be relatively heavy snow, possibly bringing down power lines, especially with ice. I do not see plain rain moving into most areas. We shall see what actually happens….

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Potential for monster Nor’easter Sunday-Monday

Posted by wxgeek on December 13, 2010

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School closings…Storm Updates…

Posted by wxgeek on December 12, 2010

click WOAY-TV StormWatch

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Track the storm

Posted by wxgeek on December 12, 2010

radar

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Storm Update 12/12/10

Posted by wxgeek on December 12, 2010

Good Morning Everyone,

The storm has dropped about 1/4 of an inch of rainfall last night in Beckley according to the airport measurement. Only light rain was reported. Now light snow is falling despite the temperature being at 34-36 degrees. Why is that happening? I will explain…

For example, Beckley is at about 2,500 feet above sea level and the atmosphere is cooling rapidly from the top down right now. As the atmosphere cools the precipitation will changeover from top to bottom. However, it will not stick on the roadways until the ground also cools to 32 degrees. I do not expect this to happen until later this afternoon and evening. I do not expect I64 to be snow covered until late tonight/Monday morning. Only the secondary roadways and cars will ice up and become snow covered this evening.

One thing that weather forecasters underestimate with a storm like this is the “dry slot.” The dry slot is a wedge of dry air that gets wrapped until the storm as it winds up. That dry slot will be here this afternoon and the precipitation will stop for a time being. However, the atmosphere will still be cooling and the roadways and ground temperature will be lowering. We will only see an inch or two today as far as the snow accumulates on grassy surfaces and cars. 90% of the snow from this storm will not fall until late tonight through Tuesday. I expect almost all schools to be closed tomorrow morning with sub zero wind chills, snow covered roads, and limited visibilities at times. Tuesday morning will be the same, but the snow will be lighter by then, yet still accumulating.

I will not be changing my snowfall prediction, I rarely, if ever do. There will not be much liquid with this storm, but the liquid to snow ratios will be very high, 25/30 to 1. That means we only need a total of a half of an inch of liquid to get 12-15 inches of snow. It means the snow will change from heavy and wet, like it is now, to very light and fluffy.

I will be continuing to monitor the situation from home and am always in constant contact with our weekend meteorologist. If things get worse than I predicted then I will go in tonight. If things go according to plan then i will see everyone monday night at 6 with the latest forecast.

You can continue to track the storm here on my website using the radar screens. Snowfall totals for this area are very hard to find. I will get them to you tomorrow at 6.

Travel safe tonight through Tuesday.

Jason

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0Z’s are now in…

Posted by wxgeek on December 11, 2010

0Z Nam and GFS are almost identical now that the NAM has caught up to the GFS 120hr upslope period. The usual locations in western Greenbrier, Pocahontas counties as well as eastern Fayette, Nichols and Webster counties will get hammered by upslope from this storm. The models almost always are well short of the actual for upslope. That’s why I went 1-2′ for those locations instead of what the models are showing, even though they finally are over 12″…

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December 12-14 ’10 Snowstorm

Posted by wxgeek on December 10, 2010

Good evening everyone here is the latest on the second significant snowstorm to hit WV. Nailed the first snowstorm forecast. Here is the forecast for the second one.

The first part of the total snow will be on Sunday as the rain changes to snow. The second part will be Monday-Tuesday as the upslope machine is cranking.

The NWS is talking about possible Blizzard watches/warnings. That would be impressive if we actually see true blizzard conditions. I read that they are talking about blizzard-like conditions. It is very rare that we see true blizzard conditions that last for an extended period of time. What is a blizzard you may be wondering…

Blizzard
– A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer:

Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than 1 mile)

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