Archive for January 24, 2009


A cold front moved through the Mid-Atlantic region on Saturday dropping temperatures and shifting our winds to the north.  On Sunday, it will be a struggle to get out of the thirties. Then, things get a little interesting.  A strong jet stream is expected to develop over our part of the country on Monday and it will be a mostly west to east (or zonal) flow. This will be the dividing line between the arctic air to the north and the relatively milder air to the south. Moisture will also be lurking well to our south through the week. Disturbances are expected to move east along this fast flowing jet stream with each one having the potentail to cause some precipitation. The questions are 1) What type of precipitation will fall?, 2) Where will the main area of precipiation be? 3) How heavy will the precipitation be? 4) When will the precipitation fall? The first chance of precipitation is late Sunday night and early Monday.  It appears at the time of this writing that most of the precipitation will fall offshore. Anything that falls here locally should be fairly light. The forecasting challenges will grow with the next system as it will be a stronger system and pass much closer to the region. My thinking is that the precipitation will fall predominately in the liquid form here in Hampton Roads, with only a brief period of frozen precipitation (snow/sleet) possible. There is a potential for a “Miller B” type system forming, so stay tuned.  Further north and west, there is a good chance of accumulating snow/sleet this week, so if you are traveling check the forecast ahead of time.  So, the bottome line for the snow lovers here in Hampton Roads is that I don’t think that this pattern is ideal for snow here locally. Had this arctic air been a little further south here in the east, we would have had a better chance of snow. However, any small shift in the pattern could bring snow to this area but I don’t think it will happen this week. If you want to see snow, just go up to the Northern Mid-Atlantic region and you should see it this week.

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