Wintergreen Resort

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Wintergreen, VA

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... High pressure will settle to the south through tonight. A Clipper system will bring the threat for some light snow late Sunday into early Monday. A cold front will pass through the area late Monday through Tuesday and arctic high pressure will settle overhead for the middle portion of next week.

NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM SUNDAY MORNING/... 8:30 PM Update: Forecast remains on track. Made minor adjustments to bring low temps down a couple degrees where the snowpack remains.

The high will settle to the south tonight. Overnight lows will remain chilly (but a bit warmer on average compared to early this morning due to some high clouds and light south to southwest flow). Min temps are expected to be in the teens for most areas (lower 20s in downtown Washington and Baltimore).

SHORT TERM /6 AM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... 8:30 PM Update: Increased snow ratios closer to 15:1 across Garrett County which led to slightly higher snow totals for the clipper event tomorrow. Still expecting a broad 2-4" across Garrett and western Grant. The higher amounts will likely be along/west of Keyser's Ridge in Garrett County. Latest model soundings do show lift collected with moisture east of the mountains tomorrow evening. While surface output QPF is minimal, this could be underdone and these snow showers could be impactful given the forecast limited instability. Not enough confidence with this update to increase snow accumulations, but will be monitoring closely in future updates. Previous discussion follows...

High pressure will remain to the south Sunday while a clipper system approaches from the Ohio Valley. A southwest flow between these systems will allow for a somewhat milder afternoon compared to recent days, with highs in the mid to upper 30s for most places (20s in the mountains and lower 40s in central Virginia).

Our area will remain in the favorable region of the upper-level jet ahead of an approaching trough axis, and the clipper associated with this system as well. Therefore, high and mid- level clouds will be around for much of the day.

The trough axis will pass through the area later Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening. Weak surface low pressure can be seen on most guidance associated with this system. Also, our area will be in the favorable region of the mid-level jet (left exit of the 700mb jetmax), and there is some convergence seen in the low-levels as well. Despite limited moisture, this lift along with the fact that it will coincide with the dendritic snowgrowth layer should be enough for some light snow to develop. The best chance for this to occur will be north of Interstate 66 and US 50, closer to where the better synoptic lift is progged to be. Despite milder temps (mid to upper 30s), dewpoints will remain low so any snow that does occur will lead to evaporative cooling. Therefore, light accumulations are possible across these areas.

For locations along/west of the Allegheny Front, widespread snow showers are expected later Sunday afternoon with the clipper system, but also from an upslope component behind the clipper system. In fact, there is a small period (about a 1-3 hour period) where instability will spike from the cold advection behind the clipper and that will coincide with the dendritic snowgrowth zone and the upslope winds. Heavier snow showers are expected and snow squalls are possible. Accumulations will average around 2-4", with the highest amounts in the favored upslope areas. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Garrett and western Grant Counties.

Some of these snow showers may spill east of the mountains as well Sunday evening/early overnight. A couple streamers are possible, and while the impact will be very localized, there can be a burst of heavier snow showers around Interstate 81, 70, and 68.

Dry and chilly conditions are expected overnight through most of Monday as high pressure briefly builds overhead. However, another clipper system will likely track toward the area Monday night. This system may be farther north, but the cold front associated with it will approach our area Monday night, bringing another round of snow showers possible near the Allegheny Highlands. A southerly flow ahead of the system will allow for milder conditions Monday night compared to recent nights with lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s for most areas (but colder in the mountains). Dry conditions should hold on Monday night for most areas east of the Allegheny Highlands.

LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... Model guidance is showing a fair amount of spread on Tuesday with respect to how a southern stream system will interact with a much broader region of cyclonic flow located to its north over much of eastern North America. Most solutions show the southern stream system being suppressed off toward the south. In this scenario, we'd have broad cyclonic flow, with upslope snow showers along the Allegheny Front, and possibly a few rain or snow showers to the east of the mountains. A few solutions (most notably the 12z NAM), have the southern stream shortwave tracking much further to the north. In this scenario, differential cyclonic vorticity driven ascent ahead of the southern stream shortwave would lead to more of a broad precipitation shield, with some mixed light rain and snow.

Throughout the rest of the long term period, longwave ridging will persist over the West Coast and longwave troughing will remain along the East Coast. A large area of high pressure will gradually approach from the northwest on Wednesday into Thursday. Strong cold advection ahead of the approaching high will lead to cold and dry conditions, with highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Overnight lows will dip into the teens and single digits by Wednesday night. By Friday, the next significant shortwave will drop southeastward out of Canada. There are signs that this trough could produce a potentially significant coastal storm by this weekend, but model spread is considerable at this juncture with respect to the track and intensity of the system.

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