Bryce Resort / Basye

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Basye, VA

Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... Low pressure will track northeastward from the Ohio Valley to New England through Tuesday, bringing its associated cold front across the Mid-Atlantic by Tuesday afternoon. Arctic high pressure will follow Wednesday into Thursday. A cold front will likely move from the Midwest to off the East Coast Thursday into Friday. Low pressure may develop offshore of Georgia and the Carolinas this weekend as another area of Arctic high pressure builds over northern New England.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/... Arctic cold front currently stretches through northwest Pennsylvania and central Ohio, with low pressure developing over eastern Ohio. Very mild air has been drawn into the area ahead of this system, with temperatures approaching 70. Meanwhile, mid 30s are found immediately behind the front.

The low will move off to the northeast tonight, and the cold front associated with the low will move into the area from the northwest after midnight. A digging upper-level trough will also slide east, and a potent upper-level jet combined with the frontal passage will be enough for some rain to break out around midnight near the Potomac Highlands, and toward morning farther east across the Shenandoah Valley and metro areas. Much colder air will begin to move into the area behind the front, and this will cause rain to mix with and change to snow across the Allegheny Highlands toward morning. Have issued a Winter Weather Advisory for western Grant and western Pendleton for a combination of higher elevation (better snow accum) and favorable positioning for residual upslope. Gusty northwest winds will cause temps to fall sharply into the 30s (20s in the mountains), but temps in the 40s and 50s will persist ahead of the boundary through tonight.

The cold front will pass through the rest of the area Tuesday morning. Expect a relative minimum in precipitation in the lee of the Appalachians to the Blue Ridge due to downslope flow. However, good mid level forcing, an anafrontal structure, and a coupled upper jet will likely result in a blossoming of precipitation east of the Blue Ridge. Despite rapid cold advection, it will still take some time for low levels to support snow, so we'll be threading a needle in terms of seeing any flakes before dry air wins out and precipitation ends. It could be that the best chance of snow falling ends up east of I-95, where better forcing will result in precipitation hanging in the cold air longer, and heavier rates to potentially aid temperatures falling. Am still not expecting much if any accumulations in the lower elevations, especially since ground temperatures will be very warm. Precipitation should be exiting southern Maryland during the early afternoon.

Blustery and cold conditions are expected during the afternoon with some partial clearing, as temperatures level out in the 30s to lower 40s. As the mid level trough axis pivots across, snow showers...and perhaps squalls...will continue along and west of the Allegheny Front with totals of 2-4 inches in favored locations. With Froude numbers well over one and saturation/weak instability in the dendritic growth zone, would expect some snow showers to move east of the ridge too, with the most favored areas being western Maryland and eastern West Virginia. However, there could be some snow showers as far east as the metro areas. The most intense showers could produce a quick coating but most areas won't see accumulation.

SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/... High pressure will build toward the area Tuesday night. Any leftover snow showers should dissipate during the evening, and even upslope snows should steadily dwindle, with only potential flurries by late night. Very cold conditions are expected with min temps in the teens and 20s and wind chills in the lower to middle teens. Wind chills could drop below zero in the higher elevations. Will let later shifts evaluate if the higher Alleghenies will meet wind chill advisory criteria of -10F. See Climate section below for records.

High pressure will build across the area Wednesday and Wednesday night, so winds will diminish. The main story is the continued well-below normal temperatures, with highs in the 30s to around 40, and another night of lows in the teens and 20s.

LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... Mostly dry conditions and well below normal temperatures are expected to persist through the long term period. A weak shortwave trough embedded in northwesterly flow will approach the area from the Ohio Valley on Thursday. Most guidance doesn't produce any precipitation, but a brief rain or snow shower can't be ruled out in the zone of warm advection ahead of the system. At the very least, the shortwave should produce a fair amount of cloud cover across the area, with high temperatures only reaching into the 40s.

By Friday, a trough is expected to dig southward from the Mississippi Valley toward the Southeast US and eventually become cutoff from the upper level waveguide. This cutoff trough will slowly drift off the GA/SC coast this weekend, inducing cyclogenesis off the coast. Meanwhile, a potent trough is expected to swing across Northern New England on Friday. A strong area of high pressure will build over the northeast for the weekend in the zone of subsidence following the aforementioned trough. This high will act to keep the area of low pressure off the Carolina coastline suppressed to our south through much of the weekend. Even though the majority of both deterministic and ensemble guidance keeps the system centered well to our south, it will be a feature that bears watching as we move through the upcoming week.

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