Today: Jan 22 , 2020

Snow Levels

13 January 2015   Dr. Curtis James

The figure above indicates the forecasted high in orange (with error bar denoting the range of ensemble forecast members), average high for this time of year in orange (dashed line), forecasted low in blue (with error bar), average low this time of year in blue (dashed line), and forecasted wind speed in purple.

Note that the wind speed forecast is sustained wind (not gusts), and it is based on only one model (not an ensemble).

Weather Discussion:

This last storm of a series of storms that has affected us the past four days has turned out to be slightly colder than was predicted (all of the forecast models last night were indicating snow levels around 6,000’ today. However, the cold frontal band moving in from the northwest early this morning produced a moderate to heavy band of snow and of rain showers. Within a band of heavier showers like that, there is a tremendous amount of melting that takes place as snow at higher altitudes melts into rain as it falls towards lower altitudes. This melting absorbs heat from the air, thus cooling it and allowing the snow level to drop to lower elevations. That’s what happened this morning. Snow levels are not always constant…they fluctuate based on how heavy the precipitation is.

We may expect up to an additional inch of snow accumulation this morning, but the cold frontal band is just about past us. Expect clearing skies by 10 or 11 this morning, and snow or slush on the roads will probably melt off. Rain/snow showers mixed are still possible today or tonight, but I don’t expect significant snow accumulation.

Temperatures will gradually warm back up starting tomorrow, and it should be dry for another week or more thereafter as high pressure returns to the Southwest.

C. James


Met Mail is an unofficial weather discussion and forecast transmitted once or twice a week via e-mail by the Embry-Riddle Department of Meteorology (http://meteo.pr.erau.edu/). Embry-Riddle offers an undergraduate bachelor-of-science degree program in Applied Meteorology. Please spread the word to all potential qualified candidates!

Further Information:

ERAU Applied Meteorology degree program

Official National Weather Service forecast

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