Canaan Valley Resort

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Davis, WV

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... Rain will increase later today, then change to snow this evening with passage an upper-level trough. Record-breaking low temperatures may occur tomorrow night.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... GOES Water Vapor imagery shows a significant upper-level low digging across the north-central CONUS this morning. At the surface, a frontal boundary currently extends from the Pittsburgh area southwestward through the Ohio Valley towards the Mississippi Valley. At this time, little in the way of precipitation is currently situated near or along the front. Cloud cover on the north side has kept the temperature below 50 degrees as of noon today, but southward towards the Mason-Dixon, the temperature has already risen to around 60 degrees in a strong warm advection regime.

Mesoanalysis shows that a frontal wave has developed and is currently positioned in the Ohio Valley, somewhere in the vicinity of Cincinnati. As the aforementioned upper trough digs into the Great Lakes, cyclogenesis of this wave is anticipated under the right- entrance region of the upper jet as it shifts northeastward up the valley.

As this happens, a strengthening temperature gradient and frontogenetical forcing in conjunction with the upper-level divergence will promote a growing precipitation field along and on the west/upstream of the frontal boundary and the developing surface low. Precipitation should overspread eastern Ohio and far NW PA by late afternoon, eventually reaching Pittsburgh in the evening, and ridges shortly thereafter.

Precipitation type will initially be rain at the onset and first few hours of precipitation, but will transition to snow as very cold air filters in behind the departing and strengthening low as it ejects to the Northeast. Forecast soundings suggest that the surface will see snow when the surface/low-levels can support snow... so expect a transition when the surface temp gets within a few degrees of the freezing mark. This will likely be in the late evening for Franklin southwest towards Zanesville, midnight or early AM for the Pittsburgh metro, and by 3am or so for everywhere else.

Snowfall will come from two mechanisms. The first of which is the aforementioned frontal-precip. The second is that of lake-effect snow through the day Tuesday. Snowfall accumulation associated with the frontal-precip will likely end dawn Tuesday as the system departs. Accumulations of somewhere between 0.5 and 1 inch is expected for lower elevations and south of I-80, while areas north of I-80 and the ridges may see upwards of 2 inches by this point. Snowfall accumulation at onset may be delayed by warm ground temperature, but should quickly begin to accumulate as the very cold, arctic air filters in. The lake-enhanced snowfall will be talked about in the undermentioned short-term section of this AFD.

SHORT TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... While the bulk of frontal precipitation will exit shortly after the thermal profile becomes cold enough for snow, strong northerlies in conjunction with an upper trough axis moving over the warm Great Lakes will promote fairly widespread coverage of snow streamers across the CWA from Tuesday and into Tuesday night.

Between the frontal/synoptic-scale precipitation and subsequent lake-enhanced snowfall, accumulations of around an inch are to be expected area-wide. The outer snowbelt counties near/north of Interstate-80 may receive between 2 and 6 inches, while the higher elevations from the Laurels south through West Virginia may receive upwards of 3 inches. Therefore, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for these counties tonight into tomorrow.

Shower coverage will decrease Tuesday night as the upper trough axis passes and high pressure builds into the lower levels. The resultant backing of wind from NW to W will quickly end snow shower coverage for the CWA.

Highs on Tuesday will struggle to reach 30 before dropping into the teens by Wednesday morning. A few cities may break or tie their record daily low temperature.

Cold weather will continue on Wednesday as the low-level ridging becomes centered across the CWA. Expect another day where the temperature remains below the freezing mark w/ increasing upper clouds moving in from the west.

LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... Another quick-moving shortwave will move north of the region Thursday. With the path of the wave and a dry atmosphere in place, appears any light snow showers will remain north of the region.

Looking ahead, temperatures will gradually moderate as the synoptic- scale wave pattern becomes less amplified. The next chance of widespread precip will likely be at the end of the weekend or early next week.

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