The word "pleasant" would perfectly describe Saturday, as afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper 60s dominated much of southwest Virginia. Upper 60s and a chance of showers will be in store for the area on Sunday, as warm air continues to hold it's grip for the day. Cool air will then promptly return for the beginning of the workweek, as Monday's highs will be in the mid 40s. Tuesday will feature a negligible rebound, with temperatures in the low 50s.
Then we get to Wednesday, where a possible wintry precipiation event appears to be on the table. All of the ingredients are there on ALL of the models I have seen for a potential wintry setup. The problem is getting those ingredients together. Every model has a low pressure system in the deep south near the Gulf of Mexico. Every model run has cool air at or just above our viewing area. It certainly appears at this point that we are on the fringe of the cold air, which could lead to either a cold rain, wintry mix, or heavy/wet snow. We also run the risk of not recieving the storm, as it could pass us to our south, leaving us with cold, dry air. Another factor that could play a big role is the timing of the storm. If the storm does indeed hit our location, arriving during the day or night could determine which precipitation type we recieve and how much of it sticks.
Keeping in mind we are on the fringe of either rain or mix/snow in this scenario, the day-time would most likely yield rain instead of snow. This is due to solar radiation having an impact, heating up the area into the upper 30s/low 40s. The radiation would also help the already warm ground to melt any snow/sleet that may occur. If the system arrives at night, however, then a mix/snow event is more likely. At night, the temperatues are colder (low 30s/upper 20s), so the chances of having frozen precipition is more likely. Solar radiation is also not present, presenting an opportunity for either sleet or snow to accumulate. Of course we also have to pay attention as to what happens aloft during the potential storm (upper atmosphere), as it also has an impact on the precipitation type.
Bottom line: We have a system that could yield wintry results, but are still unsure if it will impact our region as of this moment.
My early guess would be a light wintry mix of sleet/rain/snow for the area, but that could all change in dramatic fashion later on.
I will keep you all informed as we close in on this period.
Until next time
-Robert Gillespy IV-