Cold Weekend Ahead, Update on Sunday/Monday Snow Potential

Current Radar 

Few Flurries Tonight?

Notice that the HRRR model has a few flurries possible late this evening as the surface low moves east.

Right now there is no reason to be worried about these.

Saturday – Sunshine But Much Colder! Waking Up: 17° High: 28°

High pressure will be in full control of our weather for Saturday, driving in frigid temps on a north wind.

sat 6 pm

Clouds will begin to increase as our next disturbance gets closer to us.

Sunday – Wintry Mix Late – Waking Up: 17° High: 38°

The current run of the GFS model has a wintry mix off to our west Sunday afternoon, making its way toward us in the evening.

Sunday 12 pm

The NAM4 model has it coming a little earlier, perhaps in the afternoon. An afternoon arrival means rain.

sunday 12pm

Precip should still be in place Sunday night as we drop below freezing. During this time should see some snowfall accumulation, lasting through the overnight hours on Sunday, more north of I-40 than south of it.

However, forecast soundings show some warming aloft – meaning despite sub freezing temperatures Sunday night, the snow may melt before it reaches the surface or refreeze once it falls below freezing again. So, sleet and freezing rain may be what happens at first Sunday night, before possibly changing to all snow very late Sunday night into Monday morning. The changeover time is very uncertain, and will obviously impact ice and snow accumulation potential. It’s also possible it could be one of those events where it snows, then melts.

Editor’s Note — I agree with what Meagan has on this. My “gut” — not a forecast — is that temperatures aloft and at the surface will be too high to accumulate much. Temps at the surface, 2,000 feet, and 5,000 feet have been right at 0°C during several of the last model runs, with slight variations in and out of our counties. Snow and ice potential improves the further north you are.  

Road conditions may be hazardous when waking up on Monday, but the low temp (even with some wiggle room for evaporative cooling) should be very close to freezing, then rising above freezing after the sun comes up. It’ll be hard to wreck the roads with temps only at, or barely below, freezing. The precip will be hanging around during the day on Monday, most likely as rain. We expect 44° Monday afternoon. Any snow/ice accumulation early Monday morning should be very short-lived.

Edit! This afternoon, our NWS updated its idea on what’ll happen, suggesting afternoon rain may be afternoon snow around 1″ along and north of 40, while what we suspected would be mix/snow Sunday night may be rain:

The good news is school won’t be in session for most because it is Washington’s Birthday.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.44.36 AM

There is a chance precipitation will linger Monday night, as dropping temps again flirt with freezing, providing a potential for a parting snowshower or two as the precip pulls east.  Temps are not expected to get too far below freezing (if at all) late Monday night into Tuesday morning, so although there might be a slight refreezing concern, that doesn’t look likely.

There’s also an indication another shortwave will swing back through the area on Tuesday, probably Tuesday night. With low temps hanging around the freezing mark and high temps expected to be at least in the 40°s, expect another brief window of snow chances, but mostly another rain event.

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