Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breaking Down the Snow and Cold...

If we had a word list for the upcoming week, it would be snow and cold. The good news is we are going to be a bit warmer the next few day as compared to the previous few days. Tonight should be the last single digit lows until the end of the week. Still no highs above the middle 20's all week. That means there will be no borderline temperatures and the associated mixing issues we so many times have to worry about.

This is going to be a tough week for school administrators and athletic directors who have to make decisions regarding school delays and closing and the postponement or cancellation of athletic events. (This week is the Howard County Girls Basketball Tournament.) I say a tough week due to the timing of the snow and the borderline amounts for school closings.

Lets break down the snow...

Some lake effect snow will continue and there could be as much as a fresh inch by Tuesday morning. With an overnight low near 10, I doubt there will be any problem with school on Tuesday. Wednesday will be a dry day so another day with everything continuing as scheduled.

Thursday becomes a real mess...

I want to say I am pretty excited to have called this storm system just a couple of days after Christmas. However I was hoping it would have cranked up to be a monster system but instead it look more like a widespread system which will deliver accumulating snow for many including those who have missed out on much snow so far. (We have 8.5 inches locally already which isn't bad considering we have not had a significant system hit our area.)

Things will just be getting started Thursday morning. Unless the system speeds up, I don't see any delay for schools at this time. (Timing will be everything for Thursday morning's call.) As the day progresses, snow will fall at a moderate rate through noon with a high rate in the afternoon to early evening. School activities will likely be called off for Thursday evening but the question is does school dismiss early? Tough call but 2-3 inches of fluffy snow is likely by the time dismisses. One thing which might help are the winds don't seem to be much of a factor for this storm.

By Friday morning, snow will begin winding down by noon and all but complete by Friday evening. No matter what happens, my confidence for a school delay on Friday is high. Friday night will bring back the deep freeze with single digit lows and highs in the middle teens for the weekend.

One positive for now is the snow ratios look to be high. Not the typical 10:1 ratio which is common but more of a 15:1 to 20:1 ratio with some near 30:1 possible someplace with the system. Also the heaviest snow is a bit south and things many times do sneak north so that would be good for us.

I don't see any chance for a miss with this storm.

Finally I think the door is still open if only slightly for the moisture train to open up from the Gulf and to make this one a decent 6 to 10+ inch plus storm. However I think 4 inches is not an unreasonable call at this time but 2 to 4 inches seems like the safe call this far out.

I do wish a good surface low would form before the system passes to our east. That could make a world of difference for everyone.

No comments: