Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Starkville Snow Update!

I'm going to try to keep this as short as possible! I still think 1-3" of snow is on the way to Starkville, but there is one thing that has me a little concerned. The system seems to be speeding up (Canadian has almost .5" by 0z) overall. This would bring max precip amounts during the late afternoon, which is not exactly conducive for snow sticking on the roads. However, it is a little more complicated than that. If we can get in the middle 20's tonight and clouds start streaming in during the early morning hours, I doubt if we will even see 40 degrees tomorrow before the snow starts.

There is something I use called the 1/3rd rule, so if we are 38/20, in theory we should be near 32 when the snow starts. At 32, while the snow will stick in the grass, it is going to have trouble sticking a lot on the roads unless precip rates are high enough to overcome that! That's tough right now, as both the NAM/ECMWF are near .20-.25", even though they hold off the max precip to after 0z... Once the sun goes down and you lose the infrared radiation, then I do think the snow will start to stick on the roads. The question is by then, how much QPF will be left to fall? The GFS is still showing about .05" for Starkville, even though the overall precip field has expanded in coverage. Also, the GFS ensemble mean is painting about .5" for Starkville! Personally, I think .5" is overdone, but I do think precip will hold off enough that max precip rates will be near or a couple hours after 0z! This will make a big difference with the road conditions!

I'm sticking with 1-3" for Starkville. 2-3" more in the grass, and closer to 1-2" on the roads. Add in some freezing drizzle at the end of the event when we lose the moisture in the snow growth region, and I expect the roads to be fairly treacherous with lows Thursday morning pushing 20-22 degrees! Of course things can change quickly, but I think 1-3" is a solid bet at this point! I could easily see going 2-4" in Starkville, but I want to edge on the side of caution just in case the precip starts as some light rain or if temps start out too warm for much accumulations... Also, just in case QPF rates underachieve!

No comments:

Post a Comment