Hurricane's Blogs: Arctic Blast & Snow Threat Day 2

Temperatures dip to the lowest point in a couple years

Here is Tuesday’s wind chill map for the U.S:

With winds coming from the northwest, it’s clear that even colder air will be moving in Tuesday night. Temperatures at night should be lower than at any time last winter. But that’s a LONG way from record cold. In fact, we should miss our record low in Philadelphia by about 15 degrees!

The Arctic air will stay with us through the weekend, with just about every night dropping into the teens (or lower). This will NOT continue into next week, though. A nice warm-up will bring temperatures back to the 40s by next Tuesday.

Next: the latest on the snow. It still looks like it won’t be a huge storm, since it will be moving too fast and there’s not enough moisture. But there is enough moisture moving into Arctic air to produce a period of steady, accumulating snow Friday afternoon and night. The snow will stick on untreated surfaces due to all the cold this week. That’s the easy part.

The hard part is determining how much snow will fall. The computer models were actually less in agreement Tuesday than they were Monday. Most are showing a weaker solution than they did Monday, but not all. Models from Canada and the United Kingdom (UKMET) still are suggesting bigger snowfalls than the U.S. models AND the EUROPEAN, which is the best overall. The EURO was much more impressive with Monday morning’s run, as well as the one from Monday night. Snow lovers suffered a let-down after seeing the EURO Tuesday.

A storm now in the Northeast Pacific will redevelop near Colorado and move our way. It will pick up enough moisture on its way to bring some snow to the area. That low will weaken as a new one develops along the East Coast. But there are doubts that the new low will strengthen soon enough to add much Atlantic moisture into the mix.

This will not be heavy, wet snow. Lower temperatures cause fluffier snow, so making snowballs and snowmen will not be easy. Normally, the average would be 10 inches of snow for every inch of rain. But that depends on temperature. In this case, it may be a 15-1 or 20-1 ratio. That means it will take less total precipitation to lead to significant snow accumulations.

New computer model data comes in every 12 hours, so there are still several model runs to watch before the forecast becomes fairly certain. I’ll be writing another blog Wednesday with the latest timing and snowfall potential. 

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