Arab, Alabama snowstorm

in Breaking News, General, Winter Weather

Volatile Pattern With Another Winter Storm

There has been so much going that I have no clue as to how many winter storms have actually occurred in the last month. I explained that March was going to bring with it a more volatile pattern with wild swings in temperatures, while some areas would stay consistently cold. This week is going to be a great example of what I was talking about. Patterns like these can even be more exciting that the locked-in cold pattern that we saw last month. March will be characterized by Arctic cold, warmups, snow/ice storms, severe weather, etc.

Temperatures were warm across parts of the East Coast and southeastern U.S. today, but this bi-polar weather is going to continue. First, a wedge of high pressure is going to begin building along the east side of the mountains tonight and tomorrow, so many regions along the East Coast as far south as South Carolina and northern Georgia will be cold tomorrow.

This cold air is going to get eroded away ahead of a very strong cold front that will be pushing south mid-week. Many regions that will be in the warm-sector ahead of the front will be stormy and warm on Tuesday night/Wednesday and then flip cold once again. On the back end, another winter storm looms. So think about this. Some regions were warm today, will be cold tomorrow, will be warm on Wednesday, and cold on Thursday going into Friday.

This will generally hold true, but just be aware that because I cover the entire United States, I don’t get to be as detailed for specific regions as I would like.

Winter Storm Potential:

Most of you are here to find out what’s going to happen with the mid-week winter storm. There is another piece of energy off of Baja California that will get absorbed into a trough digging south. In fact, there are several pieces of energy coming in from different locations this week, which is why I keep going on about how active this pattern is.

Once this cold front moves south and cold air begins to win the battle, precipitation is going to develop and move along the backend of this front and give many areas (including parts of the Deep South) an ice/snowstorm. What happens will depend on where you’re at, so I’ll probably have to make my own map tomorrow to clear everything up a bit more. What makes this difficult for me to cover is because many regions will go from rain/storms to ice to snow. Some will only go over to ice, and some will stay rain the entire time.

Tuesday night going into Wednesday will be the general timeframe that many regions across the Southern Plains will see the transition from rain to ice and eventually over to snow for the more northern regions. Areas as far south as Dallas and maybe even farther south will probably get decent ice accumulations out of this.

Latest projection for Wednesday morning from the GFS model:

Wednesday morning snow map

Later on Wednesday going into Wednesday night/Thursday morning, much of Arkansas, northern and central Louisiana, northern and central Mississippi, northern and central Alabama, much of Tennessee/Kentucky and extending northeastward will see the transition from rain to ice and eventually over to all snow for the more northern regions. Unfortunately, many of the more southern areas could remain ice the entire time. Total accumulations will vary depending on the region, so I’m not going to cover that in this article. Parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will also be impacted with a big snow/ice storm from parts of North Carolina/Virginia and northward.

Latest projection for Wednesday night from the GFS model:

Wednesday night snow map

Latest projection for Thursday morning from the GFS model:

Thursday morning snow map

Another big uncertainty is how far east and south this frozen precipitation will spread and changeover. The model guidance has been pretty consistent with projecting a big winter storm for the regions I just mentioned, but kind of fades everything out farther east into Georgia, South Carolina, and into parts of North Carolina. I’m keeping a close watch on this zone because the cold air eventually will be available for a transition to ice and/or snow to occur. The big question is how much moisture will be available by the time the cold air arrives. So be sure to watch this closely, but just be aware that a level of uncertainty exists. Some areas might get a surprise. I emphasize the word MIGHT.

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The photo used in the featured image today was taken in Arab, Alabama by Andy Kinard. This was from the last big winter storm in that area.

Arab, Alabama snowstorm