Thursday January 17th 2013 6:17am MST
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Daily Snow One Sentence Summary: Storm system sliding to the south of DC, few inches possible for Wintergreen, Massanutten, Bryce and the Homestead; colder air filters in tonight and is backed up by strong cold front Saturday night.
Today: A tightly wrapped winter storm is moving off the coast of southern Virginia and out to sea. Expect a large area of 3-5 inch totals in central Virginia with some areas picking up 6+. Unfortunately, there is a VERY tight cutoff line for the northern part of the precipitation shield, meaning that areas north of a line extending from Fredericksburg to Charlottesville will see little to no accumulation. Wintergreen and other VA ski areas will pick up light to moderate totals.
Tonight-Saturday: Cold air will filter in tonight as the coastal storm moves out to sea with lows bottoming out in the mid 20’s for lower elevation ski areas and teens for the highlands. Thankfully, temperatures tomorrow will struggle to get out of the 20’s let alone break the freezing mark due to a reinforcing NW wind (yay snowmaking!). Temperatures will remain somewhat constant in the twenties Friday night but rise rapidly on Saturday into the 40’s as a southerly breeze kicks up in advance of the cold front that will move through the area on Saturday night into Sunday.
Before the temperatures kick back up on Saturday, resorts should have a solid 30-40 hour window to make snow and rebuild some of the base lost over the past two weeks. As a result, conditions may actually be decent throughout the area for skiing on Saturday – just bring your rock skis and expect thin spots in some areas.
Sunday & Next Week: Temperatures will drastically cool off on Sunday as the strongest shot of cold we have seen yet this season filters into the area and parks over our region for the majority of next week. Unfortunately, the cold will be accompanied by a lack of precipitation minus a few snow showers Sunday-Monday over the higher elevations of WV, MD, and PA. Most importantly, areas will have a 4-6 day window for very good snowmaking and should be able to reopen trails lost to our recent warm weather. Weather looks unsettled again starting later in the week, too early to project precipitation type or exact timing of the storms.
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