By now you are hopefully aware of the potential for some light snow tonight. I wrote this morning that the possibility existed for some snowfall later tonight, however it depended on all the ingredients coming together in unison. You can read my earlier post about the general set up here. With the additional forecast data that came in this afternoon I wanted to provide an update on what may happen tonight.
What: A distinct possibility exists that the area could see its first real snowfall in about 9 years. We have 100-year floods more often now. However this is not a guarantee that everyone will see it. As I wrote earlier the mechanisms required to make snow in this area are extremely fragile. Even the slightest deviation from the forecast, (ie. the altitude of the freezing air being just a couple hundred feet higher than forecast) will kill snow chances. This is also why some parts of the area could see snow and other parts only a mile or two away are left with cold rain.
Where: The whole area has a decent shot at seeing some snow, but the best chances are going to be along the HWY 59 corridor and southwards. That isn’t to say there cant be snow north of that, but I think the BEST chance is south due to moisture levels.
When: This is unfortunately going to be an overnight event so it may be a little harder to immediately recognize and will be tougher for the kids. The first flakes (likely mixed with rain) could start around 10 PM starting in the west and southwest parts of the area, expanding to the northeast by Midnight. Midnight to 2 AM looks to be the best chance for widespread snow across the area. It is around this time a stronger bit of atmospheric energy will be passing the area increasing the precipitation potential even more, so long as there is enough moisture to work with. After 3 AM dry air from the north will begin eroding the precipitation and the rain/snow will begin ending from the northwest towards the coast. By sunrise (6 AM-ish) the potential for snow will be ending, but it may hold on until about 9 AM closer to the coast.
Impacts: Temperatures should stay just above freezing at the surface so any snow that falls will melt on contact with the ground. Icy roads do not look to be an issue. If you are lucky enough to get a long enough snow shower it could accumulate a bit on grass, cars, outdoor furniture and other raised surfaces. But again, if you get snow it probably wont be enough to do anything with but look at. Thankfully the largest impact from this event will just be either some very happy or disappointed people.
Again, I would bet against EVERYONE seeing snow tonight. However, the chances look promising enough that I would keep a close eye on it if you are into that sort of thing. This event shouldn’t be of the magnitude of the 2004 Christmas Eve snowstorm, but hopefully it brings us enough to put some smiles on faces. We have earned it this year.
If you have any questions find me on Twitter @stephenuzick