Monday, February 7, 2011

Starkville Snow?

It is looking more and more likely that snow is on the way to Starkville, MS! How much? Well, that is still tough to tell with accuracy. Funny enough, the GFS, which completely blew up this system last week, had completely lost the system until recently. I haven't looked at the updated 18z model data through Bufkit, but it was showing at 12z about .02" of QPF for Starkville. It looks a little higher now, but still less than .05-.10"...

Going on a soapbox here, but PLEASE don't quote GFS model output 7 days out as the "truth"! I'm sorry, but the GFS is HORRIBLE, and when it is showing weather conditions that has maybe happened once or twice in the history of Starkville, don't post high/low temps 7 days out! Especially, when the GFS was calling for a foot + of snow with temps getting down to -5 degrees! Was it possible, yes, as almost anything is possible in weather! But, this is the GFS people, so don't start quoting temps/precip amounts a week out! The GFS has so many problems with heat/heat transfer/bundling energy that it really can't even get 48 hours out correct most of the time! Just ask NYC how well it has handled these Nor' Easters this year even 48 hours out!

Back to Starkville, I do think we will see some snow Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Again, it is still too far out to get into specifics, but I think we "could" see maybe 1-2" of snow at this time (3" tops right now!). Of course it will depends on many factors, and also, any accumulations on the roads will depend on how warm we get on Wednesday, and how much evaporational cooling we see Wednesday night! I was talking to Doug Gillham today, and we were talking about how this setup is similar to the Jan. 2000 setup (8" of snow in Starkville), but obviously on a much weaker scale. The dewpoint depression is big and also how warm we get on Wednesday is big! This doesn't even factor in the dynamics of the system, which is more likely to overachieve in my eyes!

While the GFS is still out to lunch, the NAM is painting about .25" of QPF, the Canadian/ECMWF was similar, and the JMA was painting about .5" of QPF... So I think an inch or two of snow is probable at this point on grassy surfaces. For it to accumulate on the roads, temps are going to have to be near 30/31 since the QPF rates won't be high enough to overcome the road surfaces. Plus, if we are somehow pushing 45-50 on Wednesday (Personally, I don't see that! Lower 40's tops...), then the roads will be too warm for much accumulations! I think the roads will likely get covered, but it's still very difficult to speculate on how treacherous they will be! I will say, beware the lack of moisture in the snow growth region! This will lead to a period of freezing drizzle after the snow, which by far worries me the most with this setup! I'll update tomorrow, but it does look like snow is on the way for Starkville once again this winter!

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