Saturday, February 01, 2014

Some Get Snow, Some Don't

First off, not everyone will see snow on Sunday. It's looking more and more likely that a narrow band of snow will be setting up and it may not even cover the viewing area. Before we dig into the data, let's breakdown what we know right now, at 8:00 am on Saturday morning:

  • Today, we will only see rain showers. Plain ole rain. The heaviest will be this evening (Saturday evening).
  • Early Sunday morning, the rain may switch to a little wintry mix, but no huge problems are expected. The greatest threat on Sunday morning appears to be in Randolph and Clay counties in Arkansas, and SE Missouri.
  • Sunday afternoon and evening, another round of precipitation moves into parts of Region 8 and it appears to be snow.
  • Accumulations of 1-3" are POSSIBLE in Region 8. Nothing is guaranteed. 
  • At this time, I expect travel problems in parts of Region 8, Sunday evening.
Let's dig into the data! The image below is a behind the scenes look at one way we analyze data. It's a program called BUFKIT and it's looking at the data that came from the midnight run of the GFS model. The time goes from RIGHT to LEFT. Odd, I know. Anywho, the green bars today show the rain potential. The blue bars show the possible snowfall tomorrow. And lastly, the red bars show the potential of icing (freezing rain) on Tuesday:
If it were this simple, my job would be easy. Sadly, there are many other factors that come into play here:
  • First, will tomorrow's precipitation be snow or sleet. The TYPE of precipitation means so much! Imagine 2 jars. One jar has 100 copper BBs in it. The other jar has 100 cotton balls. The jar with 100 cotton balls looks "fuller" or .... more accumulated! 
  • Second, where will the heaviest bands of snow setup? I fully expect one county to get 3" of snow, while a county north or south get 0-1". Trust me... this will happen tomorrow. That's why I say that some will get snow, some won't.
  • Lastly, the timing. I've already had pastors contacting me about Church services. While it appears the greatest travel problems will be in the afternoon and evening, there is a CHANCE that on the tail end of tonight's rain, we could have some wintry mix. As mentioned earlier, the greatest threat for that would Randolph and Clay counties and SEMO.
Let's take a look at some maps! This first map is the NAM. I think it may be a little too narrow on it snow band, but worth noting:
The second map is the snow accumulations from the GFS. It has a wider swath of snow and some isolated higher amounts. I'd be surprised to see 5" of snow in Region 8 though:
With all of that said, here is our updated accumulation map for Sunday, as of Saturday morning:

This is another tough forecast, which is typical in the winter. We'll have more to talk about this week as we have a threat for some icing on Tuesday. Let's take one storm at a time though!

Have a great day and don't forget to check my Twitter feed for the latest information. @ryanvuaghan 


Anonymous said...

Great job Ryan I couldn't imagine how tough your job must be. I know you must be working tirelessly on this. Thank You for your work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Ryan. And thank you for all you and the storm team do for us. You all do a great job!