The team spent a couple hours tonight discussing the possibilities that are in play in the long range for our beautiful state. On Thursday, a low pressure system to our Northwest will produce a solid snowpack. Around this time, High pressure will begin to build in as well and will produce cold air that will be enhanced because of this snowpack. Forecast models often have a very difficult time of discerning the true depth and nature of this type of cold air. That being said, cold air will be filtering in as a low pressure system pushes moisture Northward on Saturday, December 29th into Sunday, December 30th. The possibility of some type of wintry precip looks to be in play for Saturday into Sunday. As a whole, moisture does not look to be overly plentiful with this system at this time; this will need to be monitored as we move forward though.
The system we discussed the most tonight is the system that will be coming in during the New Years Eve time frame. Cold air will be much more in place for this system, thus we are more concerned about this setup. At this time, it looks like moisture will struggle to make it into the Northern counties of the state. Also, if the Saturday system is able to leave behind a little snow or ice, temps will be colder on New Years Eve. The possibility exists for all modes of wintry precip. Once again, if the Saturday system is able to leave behind a little snow or ice, the possibility of higher snowfall on New Years Eve would exist. If the system on Saturday does not produce, it would be warmer, thus more of an ice concern would be present with some snowfall following.
We feel that the models are not picking up on the cold air moving over the snowpack to our Northwest. The High will be in a position for this event to push snowpack-cooled air into the state, thus resulting in winter weather. We will continue to monitor this system. We felt it was important to warn you of this possibility ahead of time. Again, nothing is certain at this point. Stay tuned moving forward as we fine tune this forecast.
Following the New Years Eve system, cold air looks to remain in place. There are indications that it will become very cold and this cold could stick around.
Below is a graphic representing the setup for the potential winter weather upcoming. As you can see High pressure will be setup in a position to move already cold air over the top of a fresh snowpack. The models will likely continue to have a tough time picking this up. As the cold air filters to the Southeast from the High it will run over the top of a cold, fresh snowpack. Also, moisture will enter the state from the Southwest. This will give us both the moisture and the cold air needed to produce the possibility of winter weather.