Watching the Weekend

Some of the first flakes of the season could fly as soon as the weekend...IF all the ingredients come together.

It's a question I get asked more times than I can count in the winter -- "Is it going to snow?" This usually proves to be a tricky question in central Virginia, because so many different elements have to come together to make that blanket of white a reality. I'm keeping a close eye on a developing system that will head our way this weekend that could bring a little bit of light snow with it.

Here's the setup...Cold air continues to pour in behind a powerful cold front that moved through late Tuesday night. The unseasonably cold air mass will stay with us through the upcoming weekend, with high temperatures staying well below average, and our overnight lows dropping below freezing. I've been watching several different computer models that simulate what the atmosphere will do in the future and there have been hints that a clipper-type system will approach on Saturday evening. A clipper is a fast-moving system that drops in from the west and typically doesn't have a lot of moisture. One computer model is particularly aggressive in bringing the track of the system close to central Virginia. If this track were to pan out, light snow is certainly a possibility, especially on Saturday night. One other computer model is less aggressive and takes the clipper on a track that is much farther to the south. This would simply yield cloudy and cold conditions on Saturday night for us here in central Virginia.

If snow does indeed pan out, these clippers usually only bring a dusting of snow to our area. I will continue to watch the next few model runs very closely to pick up on any subtle changes in the track of this system. It's interesting to look back at the December 4 - 6 time frame in recent years -- it seems over the past five or six years we've seen our first snow of the season around that time.

Are you ready for more snow, or would you be happy if we had a snow-free winter? I welcome your comments on this blog!


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