Mid-Atlantic Daily Snow

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Trending more toward spring


Scattered lake-effect snow showers affect the northern Mid-Atlantic Thursday and Friday with minimal snow accumulations and quiet weather elsewhere. The next storm system approaches from the south and west by Friday evening into Saturday. This storm will bring mixed precipitation with light accumulations to the region this weekend.

Short Term Forecast

Conditions are as good as they get in the Mid-Atlantic right now. Warm weather the past few days has melted slopes and made them soft with plenty of terrain open throughout the region. Check out the current view of Whitetail Resort with 96% of terrain open!

Image courtesy of Whitetail Resort

Dry weather will continue for most of the Mid-Atlantic over the next few days. The exception to this is in the northern Mid-Atlantic with scattered lake-effect snow showers on Thursday and Friday. These snow showers are already developing in central New York and will continue to fall throughout the day, and remain weak and scattered. By early Friday morning, snow showers will strengthen and become a bit more widespread and affect western New York and northern Pennsylvania. Dry air moves into the region Friday afternoon and snow showers will dissipate. Let’s check out the HRRR model’s depiction of precipitation type/intensity and mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) from 10 am Thursday until 5 pm Friday.  

GIF courtesy of TropicalTidbits. 

Weak and scattered snow showers will produce light to minimal snow accumulations. Here is a look at what the HRRR model shows for snow accumulations by 1 pm Friday. 

Image courtesy of WeatherBell. Not much snow is expected but I think central New York will see 1 - 2 inches. 

Following these brief lake-effect snow showers, the next storm system will affect the region late Friday and into Saturday. The center of this storm system is tracking well to our north into Canada. A secondary weak storm system from the south will produce a majority of our precipitation. These two systems will interact and bring warm air into the region and light precipitation overall. Initially, cold air will be in place and cause many areas to begin as snow, sleet, and or freezing rain. Within a few hours of precipitation onset, your precipitation type will change to rain as warm air moves in from the south. Let’s take a look at the NAM 12 km model’s depiction of precipitation type/intensity and MSLP from 10 am Saturday until 5 pm Saturday. 

GIF courtesy of TropicalTidbits.

Precipitation will remain light overall and any frozen precipitation at the beginning of the storm will have minimal accumulations before the changeover to rain. This system will track quickly over our area with another storm system developing behind it. This next storm system will bring warmer air into the region. Precipitation will approach from the south and west and bring more consistent rain in the southern half of the region with scattered rain in the northern half. Developments of this storm system still remain a bit uncertain which will affect precipitation intensity. Either way, rain looks likely for the region on Sunday. Here is a look at the GFS and ECMWF (Euro) model’s depiction of precipitation type/intensity and MSLP at 5 pm Sunday, February 28th. 

Images courtesy of WeatherBell. 

I’ll have a better idea of how much precipitation we can expect from this storm system in the next few days. More storms and chances of cold air are in the extended forecast! 

Extended Forecast

Scattered rain showers will likely continue into Monday from the weekend’s storm system. Precipitation will be lighter on Monday and dry weather will move into the region by the afternoon. Lake-effect snow showers could develop following this system with some additional moisture moving into the northern Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday. These snow showers would be light and scattered with minimal accumulations.

The rest of next week has a lot of model disagreement right now. The GFS model has dry and warm weather for the remainder of the week. The Euro model has a large storm system developing Wednesday into Friday with rain and snow impacts. Right now it is too difficult to say which model is right because this potential storm has not impacted the United States. The Euro model's extended forecast has been more accurate in the past few weeks so we could have our next storm system affecting us by Wednesday, March 3rd. Here is a look at the Euro model’s depiction of precipitation type/intensity and MSLP from 8 am Wednesday, March 3rd until 2 pm Friday, March 5th. 

GIF courtesy of WeatherBell. 

If this next storm system develops, a mix of precipitation is in store for the region. Widespread cold air will not be available to the north. Precipitation could start and end as snow but a spring-like mess is looking possible next week. Cold air will likely move into the region next weekend following the passage of this system. More and more as we inch toward spring, these types of storm systems will become more common. Precipitation type forecasts will remain difficult unless there is widespread cold air to the north (snow events) or the storm system surges southern warmth (rain events). 

The pattern looking further into the future is showing more warm weather events across the East coast. This will continue to bring warm temperatures and mixed precipitation events through the first two weeks of March. Here is a look at the Euro model’s upper-level pattern from Thursday, March 4th until Wednesday, March 10th. 

GIF courtesy of WeatherBell.

The blue colors over the March 6th - 7th weekend could bring cold air into the region but the weather looks dry right now. Otherwise, the warm colors show areas of warmer weather for the East Coast and more chances of above-average temperatures and rain. 

That’s all for this forecast, I’ll have the next forecast out Friday morning with more updates about this weekend’s weather. 

Zach Butler, Meteorologist for the Mid-Atlantic Daily Snow. 

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