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2:45 PM | **Weekend snow threat continues for much of the Mid-Atlantic region**

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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

2:45 PM | **Weekend snow threat continues for much of the Mid-Atlantic region**

Paul Dorian

12Z GFS forecast map for Saturday evening features low pressure near the northern Gulf region; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

12Z GFS forecast map for Saturday evening features low pressure near the northern Gulf region; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Overview

Snow continues to be a threat for the weekend in the Mid-Atlantic region with early indications suggesting that the heaviest snowfall amounts may end up being south of the PA/MD border.  Low pressure will pull out of the south-central US early in the weekend and slowly head towards the eastern seaboard – perhaps near the Outer Banks region of North Carolina.  The chances for accumulating snow this weekend will largely depend on upper-level energy that is just now closing in on the west coast of the US. 

 

12Z Euro model analysis at 500 mb with upper-level energy (circled) that will play a key role in the weekend snow event for the Mid-Atlantic region; courtesy WSI, Inc., ECMWF

12Z Euro model analysis at 500 mb with upper-level energy (circled) that will play a key role in the weekend snow event for the Mid-Atlantic region; courtesy WSI, Inc., ECMWF

Weekend snow threat

By the early part of the weekend, low pressure will be pulling northeast from the northern Gulf of Mexico at the same time strong Arctic high pressure will be building into the southeastern part of Canada with a reinforcing cold air mass. Snow will accumulate on Saturday in the central Mississippi Valley region and then spread to the Ohio Valley and ultimately to the Mid-Atlantic region. Upper-level energy now off the US west coast will slide eastward across the heartland of the country this weekend and will play a key role in the eventual intensity and track of the surface low pressure system. 

 

12Z GFS forecast map for Sunday evening features low pressure near the Outer Banks of North Carolina; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

12Z GFS forecast map for Sunday evening features low pressure near the Outer Banks of North Carolina; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Early indications are that the low pressure system will take a southern track and head towards the North Carolina coastline by the latter stages of the weekend.  With this kind of track, the highest snowfall amounts are likely to end up being south of the Mason-Dixon Line – perhaps in some of the same Virginia spots that were hit hard with a December snowstorm.  Nothing is set in stone as of now, but very early ballpark estimates for snowfall amounts might range from a couple-to-few inches north of PA/MD border to perhaps several inches in areas just to the south and west of Washington, DC and this snow event would likely begin on Saturday afternoon and continue into Sunday.

Stay tuned…still a few days to go and the all-important upper-level feature is just now reaching the west coast of the US.  

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Perspecta, Inc.
perspectaweather.com

 

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