Friday, January 7, 2011

Starkville Snow!

I wanted to post some thoughts on this Sunday's possible snow! I honestly don't really care what the models are saying, even though of course I'll follow it, but to me it comes down to one thing, the track/development of the surface low! I have said for days, that I feel like a more southern track is likely! Things like a +SOI, -NAO, and maybe some left over extra rising motion in the tropics says south! I personally feel the low will develop and stay over the extreme northern Gulf of Mexico, and not track inland... If this happens, which I really think it will, then Starkville will get snow, period end of story! How much? Well, that's still hard to predict!

With the more southern track, I also think it will be a deeper/stronger low! A nice baroclinic zone should setup right along the northern Gulf of Mexico! A stronger low does two things! 1) More WAA, which is not typically what you want to see in Deep South snow setups! 2) More dynamic cooling, due to heavier precip amounts! This should basically cancel each other out, and I really think Starkville is going to see its first significant snow since January 2000 (Saw 6-8")... If I had to guess, I'll say around 6", which is huge for us in Mississippi!

One other big key is the winds near the surface! If we have a southerly surface wind Sunday, NOT GOOD! I'm sorry, but this is the Deep South (typically very marginal setups), so a south wind is not going to lead to much if any snow at all... Northerly winds at/near the surface, then we are in business! This will bring in extra cold/dry air which is insurance for us on an evaporational cooling standpoint! I promise evaporational cooling will be key, like the big snow in Jan. 2000... Also, I'm hoping we see enough clearing Sat. night that temps drop lower than forecasted! If it is overcast by Sat. night, that will hurt! Again, these simple observations is what will dictate Sunday's snow threat, not what the models are saying at this time! It's impossible to see these details this far out (still ~48 hours out)... Trust me on that!

The good news for travel, is the ground is fairly warm. I think 6" totals in grassy areas will be common, but main roads shouldn't be horrible at first... It will take awhile for the snow to start sticking on the roads! It will hold off, but eventually heavy precip rates will overcome the roads as well... I'm going to drive around town to see how everything is going (Did that in 2000, which was CRAZY!), but if you are not used to driving in the snow, I wouldn't recommend going out! If you do, please don't slam on your brakes! This is why I love my manual transmission in my Xterra! HUGE for snow driving! More updates to come....

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