The weather pattern has “relaxed” some as we head into midweek. Sure, it is cold but at least it is not the brutal as it has been.
BUT, the Deep Freeze will get an encore performance before the pattern changes at the start of March. More on that in a moment.
Thursday will bring some light snow into the region. Despite being just one day out, the various computer models all handle this minor system somewhat differently. Some give us basically no snow and some suggest a few inches is possible. I don’t think it will be much, and our current forecast of a coating to an inch or two seems fine. Here’s the SREF (Short Range Ensemble) model, which has a fairly wide range of accumulations (each represented by a line): The mean, or average is about 1.8″ , although that mean is getting pulled up by the big “outlier” that gives 5.5″. Overall, the SREF generally jives with our forecast.
Beyond the nuisance snow, our attention turns back to the harsh cold. A fresh arctic air mass will invade one more time. Thursday morning’s wind chills will likely end up around 5 to 10 below. But the REAL cold comes Friday into Saturday morning. Check out Friday morning’s wind chills: Likely in the -10 to -20 range, which means some school adjustments seem likely.
Actual temperatures will plummet under a strong dome of high pressure Friday night. With a clear sky, “radiational cooling” will be maximized. (Radiational cooling is the process of the “heat” from the day radiating back into space, causing the air temperature near the ground to cool)Temperatures Saturday morning will probably be similar to the readings we have seen during our coldest mornings this season. -20 or so in the coldest spots!
The cold will quickly ease by Sunday. BUT (always a BUT at this time of the year) any warming will probably be accompanied by some snow. Models are trending toward a decent snow for the region sometime Sunday into Sunday night. Here’s this morning’s GFS: Notice the rain snow line near I-70. That may get close to us at some point. It’s far too early to have any confidence in those kinds of details. A shovel-able snow is becoming more likely, but stay tuned. The European model odds of more than 3″ are looking pretty good right now:
I will have more on the outlook for March and for the Spring season later this week. Long range climate models are pointing toward a near or somewhat below average March. After the coldest February ON RECORD, a slightly below average March would be great!
Thanks for reading!