Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pockets of Freezing Rain = less snow

Boy, when you visit the National Weather Service's webpage you KNOW something bad is on the way.  There are blizzard warnings from Indianapolis to Cleveland.  Dayton is included in that, but as of 7PM the blizzard warnings border Columbus and Franklin County, but are not part of it.
As a matter of fact there is a tornado outbreak across parts of Mississippi and Alabama.  This storm is quite a beast and you can see the pink shades of the snow that it is going to drop from Texas up to Maine.

The main reason I wanted to jump on here for one FINAL blog entry.  I know I said that this morning, and I DO have to be up at 1:15AM for work, but this storm has been changing and the one MINOR, but HUGE change is the temperature... by 2 degrees!  Ohio is going to be divided between all snow and the ice and the ice line looks to be a little more north than the last entry... here is why"
Here is a cross section of the atmosphere.  The graph goes through time until Saturday morning.  It goes up into the lower parts of the atmosphere so you can see the temperatures.  Tomorrow morning there will looks to be a pocket of warm air between about 2000 and 3500 feet above the surface of the earth.  It will only be about 32, 33, or 34 degrees depending on your location, but that will be enough to cause some big issues.
First is the fact that it may not stay all snow for Columbus or even Dayton.  Areas along I-70 and south will see this warm pocket, IN SPOTS, and freezing rain may fall or even some ice pellets.  This will SIGNIFICANTLY drop the snowfall total for that location because it will melt the snow and then fall in a much more compact for of precipitation... ice or freezing rain.  Areas north of I-70 should remain freezing all the way up into the storm so it will stay all snow, but for an example take a look below.
This is the last 24 hours of forecast models for Columbus showing accumulation of precip through time.  The blue is snow.  The earlier models showed nearly all snow, but the last couple models are showing that brief pocket of the wintry mix.
This image shows the areas that are forecasted to get freezing rain for tomorrow morning and anywhere south of I-70 is possibly going to see the ice.  This will be in pockets so you may drive a mile one way and not see the freezing rain, but you do at your house.  It will be a "nowcast" event in the morning where you will need to just keep up-to-date with the radar.
With all of this out there I still stick with my forecast from this morning.  The ice may make its way as far north as I-70 and again, if you see see freezing rain, you can knock about an inch of snow off your total for every hour you have a wintry mix.  There will be a line from West Central Ohio up to the Cleveland area that will see close to a foot of snow, but most of us will see less than that.

I will be working a long day tomorrow and make sure to tune in.  We will also be streaming a lot of the coverage online on www.abc6onyourside.com.  Bill Kelly will have an even more up-to-date look at the storms on FOX28 at 10 and ABC6 at 11 so be sure to check that out tonight... Time to get ready to head to bed and get what little bit of sleep I can get before I wake up at 1:15AM.  Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

ALSO!  If you are unsure the differences between sleet, freezing rain, or how it forms... here is a previous entry with some diagrams to help: http://www.stuckinthebuckosphere.com/2009/12/whats-that-falling.html

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