Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sunday snow? Our best shot this winter

Had a family illness to tend to or I would have given more advance notice of our best shot at snow since 2005 (remember, 2006 was a rare, big, fat goose egg for the white stuff.)

This system is a classic looking "Miller A" storm -- which basically means it is a low pressure system which develops in the Gulf of Mexico and tracks across the Gulf coast into the southwest Atlantic, somewhere of the Ga/S.C. coasts. "Miller A" is named after meteorologist James Miller.

This is how we USED to get most of our storms and is a favorable track for snow.

Here is the latest run of the GFS:

In the wee hours of Sunday morning. Note the low forming in the north central gulf
Sunday at church time. Precip spreading our way. High pressure building in from the north.
Sunday afternoon. Low still getting its act together in Gulf as precip breaks out.
Wee hours Monday morning. Low in perfect spot off S.C. coast, temps dropping, snow falling.
Monday late morning. Low heading up coast, snow still falling

The recent (6z) GFS was the warmest of recent runs. For example, the previous (0z) run showed cold air moving in more quickly.

Compare this to the "Sunday at church time" 6z run above.

The European model lost the storm yesterday, but got it back overnight. Temps are still an issue.

Overall, there are some things going for this system we haven't had in a while -- mainly, that it's "Miller A."

What's NOT going for it is that the overall pattern is still not great for winter weather here -- we have to have great timing between features to get a snow rather than simply waiting for a good pattern to crank out a storm.

I have a feeling temperatures are going to be the main problem. The high pressure to our north during this storm will have to be at least as strong or maybe even stronger than what is being modeled for the snow to come through.

Right now, I'd give us a 2 out of 10 shot of measureable snow with 1 out of 10 of a major event (4 inches or more).

New models runs late this morning and early this afternoon, so watch for updates.


Splinter said...


I so hope you are right. Would be nice to see some snow.

Anonymous said...

Just as long as it's not ice.

Anonymous said...

no way it snows. why get everyones hopes up?

Skip Foster said...

Why get everyone's hope up?

Because that's the fun of it!

It WILL snow again somebody, anticipating that snow is half the fun!