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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 01/24/2009

Tues-Wed Provides Some Snow Potential

By Jason Samenow

* The Return of Cold: Full Forecast *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Tues-Wed
Probability of Accumulating Snow: 55%
Most Likely Potential Impact:

A disturbance will form along a front stalled to our south. As it approaches the area and then slides by to the south, there's a chance it will produce some periods of snow for us Tuesday and Wednesday.

Canadian high pressure will be parked just to our north, providing the cold air supply necessary for snow. However, there's a chance it could push the disturbance so far south, that most of the snow falls in southern and central Virginia. On the other hand, if the high pressure is displaced a little to the north or weaker, it might allow the disturbance to track closer to region, and increase snow potential.

Taking these considerations into account, here is my assessment of snowfall possibilities for Tuesday-Wednesday:

45% chance: Dusting or less
20% chance: Dusting to 1"
20% chance: 1-3"
15% chance: 3"+

Another round of precipitation is possible on Thursday...but it's too early to discuss details.

The Snow Lover's Crystal Ball appears when the potential exists for accumulating snow beyond 24 to 36 hours.

By Jason Samenow  | January 24, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
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Next: Forecast: The Return of the Cold


Given the forcast highs next week, it seems it may be too warm for frozen precip. yet again. What makes this system any different than the ones we have seen so far this winter?

Why are we not getting any noreaster's this year?

Out here in Brambleton, Va, we saw an inch last Monday (19th). It melted by days end. There aren't too many more opportunities left so I'm hoping but not counting on something next week.
Keep up the good work guys!

Posted by: bodyiq | January 24, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

This setup, as CURRENTLY modeled on the GFS, shows several waves of "overrunning" precipitation on a finally active southern stream. The first wave looks to be snow for our area, and potentially a VERY nice hit. But the later wave may well be rain. Nonetheless, I think most here would be quite happy to see a significant snowfall.

I actually dare to disagree with CWG a bit on this storm. I think the suppressed solution, at this point, looks pretty unlikely. The EURO model recently showed the first wave being too far NORTH for us, with maybe 1-3" of snow followed by rain. The GFS was suppressed but it has moved north a bit also, showing a nice hit, 6"+ in some cases, from about central VA northward.

In my mind, the clear trend with this system is NORTH. So it'll either hold steady, and we'll get a decent snow, it'll move a bit more north, and we'll get a great snow, or it'll move TOO far north, and we'll change to rain quickly. I do not see the suppressed solution happening, though I could certainly be wrong! =)

NOTE - the above logic applies to the first storm. The second, a bit later in the week, looks likely to be a lakes cutter type system that will deliver rain to our area.

Posted by: jahutch | January 24, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Current prelim extended charts seem to target Wednesday as our most likely snow day. High pressure is to our north but in Maine rather than a favored location near Quebec City. It may also be weak, ca. 1024 hPa or less, so CAA could be less than strong.

Low pressure center near Asheville/Hickory, NC looks quite favorable for possible snow provided the cold air advection isn't too weak. If it is weak we could only have wintry mix or, worse yet, plain ol' 35-degree rain which is NO FUN AT ALL [!] & soaks you to the bone. The low pressure seems to be weak and moves right over us Thursday threatening a changeover to more of that grungy old soaking cold rain and a general mess of things. After that, we only get boring-forties mildness with little threat of snow.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 24, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Considering I have to go to court in Wednesday morning, I am betting that it snows. I haven't had to go out much this year, so there was no point in the Snow Gods inconviencing me.

Posted by: epjd | January 24, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Made some adjustments to the accumulation potential based on the latest data, and have extended the period of potential snow to include Wednesday. Was tempted to make more dramatic changes considering how bullish this morning's GFS model runs were, but restraint is probably wise at least until we see a couple more model runs.

For the record, the earlier forecast (which was based on data as of last night) was:

55% chance: Dusting or less
15% chance: Dusting to 1"
15% chance: 1-3"
15% chance: 3"+

Also, most likely potential impact has been raised from 2 flakes to 2.5 flakes.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 24, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I just want to say I have lived here for 13 years, and I have been waiting for something like the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball...wonderful, so much fun!!!


Posted by: ThinkGreen | January 24, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Katie! ... glad you like the feature. If you're looking for an easy way to point friends and family to CWG, just tell 'em

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 24, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

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