Snowstorm ahead?

Back from a week’s vacation from the tevails of trying to out-guess Mother Nature, and a sneek-peak at the computer guidance shows more hand-wringing ahead as we move towards the final weekend of January.

Several of the computer models hint at a potential snowstorm for parts of the mid-Atlantic Friday and Saturday.  Don’t mean to stir up too much hope amongst snow-fans who dominate this blog, but signs sure do look interesting. 

*Jim Duncan

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105 Responses to Snowstorm ahead?

  1. hahaha says:

    hhahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  2. Chris says:

    any guesses for the area 30 miles east of richmond?

  3. Sean says:

    Heads up guys, here comes the model variability. Lately models are putting out a much more southerly solution the misses everywhere north of Richmond with the center of the storm over the VA border. It’s nothing to worry about at the moment but its something to keep in mind: this storm isn’t close to being set in stone.

  4. Do-Do Brown says:

    Update time….new blog, updated info….let’s get on the ball James Duncan!

  5. Nancy says:

    LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW! I LOVE it, can’t wait, hope we get 3ft! I do love summer too…at the beach! BUt, who wants winter w/out snow!

  6. Steve says:

    I hope we get 2ft out of this one. I was on the rain/snow line last time and didn’t get hardly anything. I have been hearing 8- 14 inches. When are you guys at Ch. 12 going to give some guesses for totals?

    • Sean says:

      They’re not going to guess until Thursday. As a TV meteorologist, one has to be careful not to call storms too early so it will probably be very conservative even when the time comes for them to issue a snow total map. I, on the other hand, call storms 5 days out and guess totals based on models alone because I am not a meteorologist and have no credebility at stake so I have nothing to lose (actually $10, but that’s different). I’m just a “snow enthusiast”.

  7. Liz says:

    New post!!! We want an update, JD.

  8. JPal says:

    New post JD! This one is worn out..

  9. RJT says:

    Ch. 12, the new 12z GFS seems to support all snow for all of Virginia, but it looks like the precip will be slower to move in and possibly lower QPF amounts. Can you verify this?

  10. Matthew says:

    NEW INFORMATION ON STORM SFC Temps Sat/Sun

    NEW INFORMATION ON STORM TOTAL PRECIP FOR STORM THIS WEEKEND VALUE IN WATER

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1407596477&ref=mf#/photo.php?pid=977405&id=1407596477

    NEW INFORMATION ON STORM Snow Accumulations SAT SUN LOOKS LIKE HENRICO COULD SEE 13+ INCHES OF SNOW!!!!!

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1407596477&ref=mf#/photo.php?pid=977405&id=1407596477

  11. Tracy says:

    Let it snow. I love watching the snow fall.

  12. Ava St. James says:

    I am new to this blog — actually this is my one and only foray into blogs — but I have found my “people!” Snow lovers, where have you been all my life?! : )
    Snowstorms are just the best — as close to a real miracle as we get — or so says me. Of course I’m old enough to have been disappointed many, many times. So these days, I celebrate the FORECAST of decent snow because I realized that part of the fun is the anticipation and the excitement that strangely enough does seem permeate this southern town when the weathermen call for our favorite winter precip. I get my kids together and we pop popcorn or bake cookies and we wait and we hope, but we do so with a certain understanding in what may or may not come. Somehow, this works for us.
    Still, I am crossing my fingers and sayin my prayers for a big fat snowstorm this weekend!!

  13. Ben Jewvelzke says:

    6 feet of the fluffy stuff

  14. Lee says:

    Mighty, what is your deal with teachers? I am getting pretty tired of coming to this weather blog to read about what people are saying about weather just to see you going off at the mouth about how lazy and horrible teachers are. I am a teacher and I don’t appreciate you insulting us at every chance you get.

    Sorry everyone, I am just tired of reading it so I had to say something. Now back to weather related issues…

    • Sean says:

      A. He said “lazy teachers” not “all teachers are lazy”. Comprehension is important.
      B. He’s repeatedly sarcastic and often funny
      C. His posts make a greater contribution than you trying to continue an argument which should have ended long ago

      As a student, I have teachers who I know work very hard but I have others who don’t work half as much as the good ones. The exception, in this case lazy teachers, is never the rule.

      • Michelle says:

        If I’m not mistaken, HE keeps trying to bring the argument back up that yes, ended long ago. People are tired of hearing it. If teachers get off, fine. If we go to school, that’s fine too.

  15. Michelle says:

    Mightly don’t start the teacher fight again. You will lose. This is a weather blog by the way.

  16. Mighty Dyckerson says:

    Great, another Saturday snowstorm = no time off from work. (Of course, the lazy teachers who always whine about their jobs will probably get a whole week.)

    • Superbad says:

      The few truly lazy teachers will be in heaven. The majority though while still happy to get some days off will use that time to do the things that they cannot do during their normal work-weeks. That means they’ll use it to catch up on grading, lesson plans, etc.

      But back to weather…. We all know the International Date Line. I believe Richmond is on the International Snow/Sleet/Rain line. Seems like most storms end up with Richmond being the point of the good stuff (snow) turning into the not so good stuff (sleet/rain). Hopefully this next one will be an exception.

  17. Michael says:

    Also under the forecast discussion on the nws site, they are stating that this sort of set up often causes thunderstorms in the SE that rob a fair amount of the moisture on the northern end.

  18. Michael says:

    Come one guys, this event is 4 days out. While I agree the computer models are interesting, they will probably change a lot before the storm. Chances are the storm will move too far north and we will be on the rain/snow/ice line. Accuweather is of course excited and saying it will be big, but the National Weather Service in Wakefield is still pretty cautious. They currently have precip chances around 40 to 50% and say rain/snow. I do hope it snows though, just being realistic.

  19. David in Cumberland says:

    00z gfs colder than previous runs

  20. Elaine says:

    Is it too early to get excited????

  21. Chris says:

    i don’t work in richmond no more so at least i won’t have to drive in it. that storm in december was rough driving home it it in a small car.

  22. Matt says:

    As of tonight I’m going to go ahead and take a wild guess that western henrico sees 8 inches while Eastern portions see 3-5 inches. (I’m lowballing due to the fact the storm is nearly 4 days out.)

  23. Chris says:

    I thought the current trends with this system had it going slightly further east, wouldn’t that preclude any sleet mix from happening?

    • Matt says:

      It would lessen the chances of sleet mixing in yes but the temps aloft may be a few degrees warmer in the southeast portions of Richmond (as is the case with most of our winter storms) . This could occur regardless of the low setting up farther east

  24. Matzdikow says:

    I’d be more concerned of sleet mixing in and cutting down on the numbers than the ground temps being to warm. You have to look at past storms when thinking of the weather and we almost always have some kind of sleet even in a mostly snow event. I’m thinking this will have a sharp cutoff line. Meaning western Richmond may have 5-6 inches more than Eastern Richmond.

  25. matt says:

    I’m not too worried about the ground temps. They’ll cool off fast and even if we do loose a little accum because of it, it won’t be much. My concern is going to be the chance for sleet to mix in around the Richmond area. Especially south and east of the city. This storm looks like it might have a sharp cutoff kind of like the December storm.

  26. WahooFan says:

    I do not think that we will have to worry much about ground temperatures. The storm will not be here until Friday night….low temperature in the mid 20’s and low temps on Saturday night in the upper teens…we just have to worry about the actual artic air getting here in time and we have to worry about the track…as usual in this area…if the track is good and the air is in place we will have a similar but bigger snowstorm than the Dec 18th….Let it snow!

    • Matt says:

      Don’t think it will be bigger than that one. At least because short pump area picked up 15 inches. I don’t think we will see
      that much this time around.

      • WahooFan says:

        I base my comment on the fact that if the storm does come it will bring a high amount of moisture with it…..1.5 inches…if for instance we do not see a change over from snow to sleet….like the December storm….we will get a big accumulation possibly higher than the December storm in some places. It should be fun to watch.

  27. Rusty T says:

    The ground temps are only a huge factor with snow when the temps are hovering around freezing, which is normally the case with us. I really have a strong feeling that the temps will bottom out quickly and we will be in the low-mid 20’s through most of this storm. I say we are at 26-28 by the time the precip starts Friday. Just an inclination.

  28. Shawn says:

    Like Sean said earlier, about .5-1 inch of snow will fall before it sticks to the ground. This will be a slight factor, however, the bulk of the precip won’t come until Saturday.

  29. The Waiter says:

    I am personally and not going to think of it untill Thursday night when it starts coming down, then I will make my prediction. I don’t want to be dissapointed lol

    • Sean says:

      Well you’ll be disappointed if you start your watch Thursday night. It’s not gonna start till Friday somewhere after noon.

  30. Jeff J says:

    The totals maps can be over the top as they were with the December storm. They don’t take into account ground temps etc.

  31. Superbad says:

    You guys are missing the real important question here….will we get enough snow for schools to be canceled Friday? Specifically the counties that don’t normally roll over and cancel quickly (i.e. Henrico and Chesterfield).

    Priorities man, priorities 😉

  32. xbrandonx says:

    So much for Global Warming, eh?

  33. Sean says:

    *when on friday

  34. Matt says:

    Does everyone think the snow will stick right away? (if it snows at all). The temperatures Thursday are going to be very mild but it should cool off rapidly Thursday night into Friday. Any thoughts?

    • Sean says:

      I have no confidence in the snow sticking right away. I see about and .5-1 inch coming down before it sticks but it depends on Friday.

      BTW, this looks like a monster:

  35. Snowman says:

    Yeah, stop being a party pooper David.

  36. David says:

    Something very important to keep in mind peeps. History has shown (especially in Richmond) when we forecast a snow storm this far out, we don’t get it! The big ones normally sneak up on us! I remember a year we were gonna get a “big one”. We even had live coverage on tv and nothing happened! The storm came and just fizzled all around our area!
    Let’s take a step back and wait a while before we plan snow days next week.

    • Sean says:

      Actually not really, 10 years ago today that was the case but they usually don’t sneak up on us that often. December 19th was pretty much called out 3 days out, this storm should be an even easier call if you note the forecasted temps. The weather forum I visit is buzzing over this storm. The only ones crying are VA Beach and the Northeast.

  37. snowman says:

    I think that fact that JD at nbc12 is already saying big snows, is a good sign for a good size snow storm. He is always VERY conservative.

  38. Matthew says:

    TAKE A LOOK AT STORM TOTAL MAP AS IT STANDS AT IS POINT. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=975991&id=1407596477

  39. Matthew says:

    Thanks for backing me up Shawn!

    • Matt says:

      I agree with you. What do you think will be the deciding factor in this storm? Not enough cold air (I.e. Mostly rain and the snow not sticking) or not enough moisture or a storm track that misses us?

      • Rusty T says:

        Matt,

        From the way it looks right now, cold air will be plentiful through most of the storm (based on most models). It will be wayyyy to warm on Thursday, but rest assured, the arctic air will barrel in sometime late Thursday night/early Friday. The way it’s looking now, once the cold air charges through, it’s going to be easily in the 20’s throughout the event. One model (Canadian) has some decent precip moving through before the temps bottom out, giving us a little rain or mix before all snow.

        The question is whether or not the precip will be as extensive as the models indicate now. If dashes from NC and speeds off the coast too quickly, then we wouldn’t get a whole lot. But that is not the thinking right now.

      • Sean says:

        Most of the models are in agree of 1-1.8 inches liquid equivalent and are trending to be pretty cold. I really don’t see how this could go “bad” at the moment (of course I really have no forecast ability). People on a forum I visit are actually starting to worry because the models have been so consistent. I’ll agree with them, it’s oddly unsettling.

  40. James says:

    My mom just said we will get over 2 feet of the white stuff. I always listen to my mommy…

  41. Panic says:

    I’m predicting 4 feet of snow this weekend. Seriously…it’s still 4-5 days away however, most if not all long range models I’ve seen are forecasting a nor’easter this weekend with below average temps and ample mositure. GFS has this storm really blowing up close to coastal New England.

  42. Shawn says:

    It looks like we will be in the heart of this one. The storm won’t come very far up the coast, so all of the precip will stay east. This means we get the most snow (more than the mountains). 1.5 inches of liquid is equivalent to about 12-16 inches of snow!!!

  43. Matthew says:

    OVER 1.5 INCHES IN liquid AT TH TIME OF EVENT.

  44. Matthew says:

    HOW CAN WE PREDICT OR TRY TO PREDICT THE WEATHER FAR OUT? IT IS CALLED PAYING HUNDRED OF DOLLARS FOR A WEATHER TRACKING PROGRAM.

  45. jpal says:

    How is it possible to predict accumulations this far out? Lots of you are saying 12″+, I just don’t know how it’s possible to predict this 5 days out..

  46. Matthew says:

    SAT – SUN STORM LOOKS TO BE THE ONE TO WATCH!! TOTAL APRWX SNOW TOTAL AS A GUESS AT THIS POINT 10 – 14 INCHES OF SNOW TEMPS 25 TO 35.

  47. weathernut says:

    Looks like all the ingredients are coming together for another major snowstorm for us this coming friday/saturday. Could be looking at another 12″+ in some places in central VA. Most long range models are in agreement on this one. I even think our own NBC12’s Jim Duncan could be in on this one! That would make this a BIG storm if he’s in! 😉

  48. Mighty Dyckerson says:

    Standby, people. This one’s gonna be HUGE.

  49. ryan says:

    hype….i always believe it when it comes to snow but i never want to…..i bet we are on the Rain snow line again. I’ll wait till thursday to form my opinion on the matter.

  50. Do-Do Brown says:

    It’s too good to be true…you all know we never get an easy snow forecast in Central Virginia. This forecast will change to rain….back to snow….then we’ll have to worry about WEATHER or not the cold air coming in will push the storm too far south. Or if the storms gets too big, and brings in too much moisture, we’ll have to worry about where the rain/snow line sets up….we never just get an easy forecasted snowstorm around these parts….unfortunately.

  51. Shawn says:

    Let it snow!! The Euro is saying about 12-16 inches. It’s to far out to accurately predict accumulations, but almost all models show about a foot of snow. Can’t wait until closer to the date to find out more!!!

  52. SnowLover says:

    It’s January so it’s suppose to be cold and with SNOW. I can’t help but get a little excited with the thought of another snowstorm hitting the area. I just hope C.H. will get more the a couple of inches! Bring it On!! Doing the *Snow* dance 🙂 .

  53. Chris says:

    its fine with me too i wont have to be driving in it from richmond any longer.

  54. Dave says:

    I’ve had my fill of snow for the next 12 months from December’s storm…but hey; if there’s a chance it will snow again this coming weekend and bring us a good amount, then why not right? At least we’ll be getting snow in Richmond more times in the last 12 months than we’ve had in years! I’m ready for it. If it’s just rain…well, that’s fine too. I’m not too hard to please. Will be paying attention to Jim D and the rest of the crew this week for sure though.

  55. kristinrosemoon says:

    ONLY in Richmond can you go from 50-60 temps. w/heavy rain, maybe some thunder to 4-5 days later having temps in the 30’s and snow! Happened in ’96. Is it possible it will happen again??

  56. snowman says:

    Snow, did somebody mention snow…

  57. Matt says:

    Latest GFS model showing approximately 0.78 in. of precip. (just was published at 6 P.M.). Very fortunate for us is the fact that the temperatures appear to be unseasonably cold just in time for the moisture to arrive. Now the key here is enough moisture. Some of the models are hinting at a more northerly track while in the past the moisture has slid from the southern plains to South Carolina and off the coast. Keep watching the models closely! NBC12 Team, will the upper-air temps stay cold enough for snow or will they be too warm and will we end up with just a wintry mix? (I know this is a long-shot, but any ideas?)

    • nbc12weather says:

      Cold air advecton aloft should be plentiful after initial stages of precip arrival. Stars may be aligning for this one if it doesn’t get diverted too far south, which is a bigger question imo than precip type.
      Jim D.

  58. Janet says:

    oh I’m so glad that I checked this blog! hope for snow is just what I needed!! this 50 and 60 weather in January is making me cranky! LOL

  59. Shawn says:

    Jim Duncan never says anything will happen when it’s not going to. Also, he is not throwing out snow amounts when he’s not sure if it even going to snow. Currently, he is saying models hint at the possibility of a snowstorm.

  60. Shawn says:

    At least there is not just one model picking up on this. All of the models show snow. And not just a few flurries. Most show around .75-1 in of precip. That’s about 8-12 inches of snow.

  61. kristinrosemoon says:

    Hoping, hoping, hoping, but afraid to be disappointed once again….still hoping though!!

    • Sean says:

      This upcoming storm is different from the last two. The last few storms never had any real chance of snowfall, people were just wishcasting (accuweather team). Jim Duncan didn’t say it was gonna snow the last few times did he now? It is still a good idea to remain a pessimist, then you won’t be let down.

  62. scott says:

    the gfs are saying about 1″ of liquid precip for friday during the time its supposed to snow so that should be ATLEAST 6 inches.

  63. Sean says:

    No lie, I’m giddy. I really hope this on pans out.

    • MsBoat says:

      Let it snow, fellow weather nerds! I’m waiting for it….unfortunate that payday here is THURSDAY………ick! Aint gona be pretty! B ut t’is something that must be done…..owell………….gonnna charge up the batteries…………………get the camera clost to hand………and despite a ruptured tendpon, will look forward to one of life’s pleasures………….a walk in the snow……………
      OK………….so I”m currently on crutches……….gonna be there one way or the other!
      HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

  64. Shawn says:

    Apparently, the models are all in agreement with this storm so far. It is looking like a great nor’easter. Hopefully, it stays this way!! Let it snow!!

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