Winter Storm Update: Wed 8pmDecember 4th, 2013 at 8:52 pm by Tara Hastings under Weather
By now I’m sure you’ve heard that we are in store for a winter storm Thursday night into Friday. This one has been evolving over the last few days. I have heard a lot of people asking me about snowfall amounts on Friday – I do want to point out that there will be sleet and freezing rain before the snow gets here. Yes we’re going to see snow and you’re going to have to shovel but we’re also going to see some icy conditions too.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the Miami Valley for Thursday night and Friday.
A strong cold front is heading toward the Miami Valley. Ahead of the front we saw temperatures in the lower 60′s today. Here’s a look at the 7pm temperatures. Can you find the cold front? Arctic air is going to head this way and have an impact on our precipitation type.
Thursday temperatures will start off mild (we’ll actually see our high for the day in the morning) then fall during the afternoon as the cold front moves through. There’s a slight chance for little rain early in the day Thursday.
After the first pocket of rain moves through we’ll see a lull in the precipitation. However another wave of energy moves through and this is when we’re going to see rain, sleet and freezing rain. The next wave will get here after 9pm Thursday and continue to bring us a wintry mix through Friday morning.
The Friday morning commute will be a mess. The northwestern half of the Miami Valley will see snow first while the Dayton area will continue to see a mix through the first half of the morning Friday.
Once the cold air spills into the area after 11am all of the Miami Valley will switch over to snow. It will accumulate and you’ll have to shovel it. Roads throughout Friday will likely be messy.
As for snowfall amounts – I will post a map of what I’m forecasting however I need to say this is a difficult forecast due to the fact we’re going to see sleet and freezing rain. If we see more sleet and freezing rain this means less snowfall – if we see less sleet and freezing rain we may see more snowfall.
Sleet and freezing rain all depend on temperatures. Freezing rain is when there’s a shallow cold layer and the rain freezes on contact. Sleet is when partly melted snow refreezes. Both can really throw off a snowfall forecast.
Many of the models are showing agreement in the amount and track of the snowfall. This may vary by 50 miles either direction and may need to be tweaked once we get closer to the storm.
Again – stay tuned to the forecast. And please be careful. Yes we’re going to see some accumulating snow but we’re also going to see some icy conditions first.