Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Colder Weather a Lock - Snow Chances Remain Muddy

Colder temperatures are a lock to move in behind a cold front later tonight and tomorrow. Relatively elevated overnight temperatures tonight won't rise a ton tomorrow. While temperatures today will be into the 60s, temperatures tomorrow likely won't rise out of the 40s...although upper 40s do seem probable. 

By the second half of the week, highs in the lower to mid 40s become more likely. There may be highs in the 30s sprinkled in into the weekend and early next week. From Wednesday into next week, highs will generally oscillate in the upper 30s to mid 40s. While these temperatures aren't "frigid," they will feel noticeably colder than the past few weeks. 

Temperatures predicted by the 06z GFS model for early tomorrow afternoon. 40s should generally be the case throughout the area. Some blustery winds will also be possible (up to 30mph gusts at times). 

Unlike the cold temperatures...odds of snowfall are much more uncertain. If one looks at the past few GFS runs, the odds of anything more than light snow or flurries seem pretty low. However, uncertainty is pretty high with the pattern we are entering into. There will always be chances for light to moderate snow events to develop in the short to mid range. Snow events are notoriously difficult to predict far in advance (except in a few very rare cases like February 2010). 

There will be a weak coastal storm that may scrape extreme eastern portions of the region towards this weekend. The last few runs of the GFS have shown a bit of a trend west. Nonetheless, this won't be a significant precipitation producer by any means...odds of a few snow showers or rain showers are definitely there though. 

The last four runs of the GFS model. The coastal storm is still well to the east. It's unlikely to produce anything more than a few snow or rain showers. However, stay tuned.

After this weekend, some odds do exist for clipper type systems to bring light snow accumulations to the area. However, these types of systems do not become apparent in the flow until short lead times. I'll continue to monitor and post updates if any more legitimate threats evolve. 

Despite cold temperatures, odds of anything *significant* snow seem low throughout the period. Of course, this is subject to change. Take a look at the GFS model from start to finish...not a whole lot of precipitation to speak of. Cold and dry might be the rule for a while. 

The entire run (from now out to 384 hours) of the 06z GFS. This particular map style shows possible precipitation types. You can see that for the most part, the DC area misses out on anything falling from the sky. Subject to change.

Snowstorm threats, however, do tend to be more likely as the pattern relaxes...so it is possible that a more substantial snowstorm threat may develop as we approach a relaxation of the long wave pattern later in December.

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