SNOW POTENTIAL FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY
Forecasters: Nick Dunn & Ken McNatt
Written: 9:15 PM 1/9/2019
We continue to follow the potential of accumulating snow across our region this weekend. We will be watching for a low pressure that will develop and move across the Tennessee Valley. This system will bring a surge of moisture northward into the Ohio Valley. The big question remains how far north will this system track.
Let’s talk about the setup a bit for this weekend. The biggest questions we always have with southern storms is just how far north can they travel? This plays a role in determining snow amounts, and any possible rain or mixed precipitation. We can look at one area of High pressure that will be over Canada. This is a “Canadian High” due to how strong it is, and typically brings lots of cold air to areas where it is centered. These high-pressure systems can act as a “party-wrecker” and suppress the system to the south. With that said, if the system can not get moisture transported far enough north, snow amounts would be light. We will have the temperatures in place to support snow for much (if not all) of the area.
Computer models are indicating that the area of high pressure may not be a huge factor and that the system will travel far enough north to bring a good swatch of accumulating snow from the Ozarks to the Mid-Atlantic. The heaviest snow tends to fall about 150 miles or so north of the track. Therefore, if you want snow, you want the storm to stay on a northern track.
While models are in some disagreement in terms of the strength of this storm, there is support from models that the storm will develop. The uncertainty lies in track and intensity. The NAM is a bit stronger, while the GFS and Canadian are a bit weaker.
It remains a bit too early to give an exact idea on snowfall totals. However, the heaviest snows are likely going to be found across parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and into Ohio. With exact track and intensity in question, giving totals is a bit unrealistic as of right now. But, the areas shaded in purple have a chance of seeing 4″ (possibly more) of snowfall from this system!
We encourage you to stay tuned for the very latest on this system as new computer model data comes in over the next 24 hours! This does not look like a giant storm, but this is our first decent snowfall potential of the season. Travel difficulties are likely Saturday.