Rain Departing And Blue Skies Returning But Winter Is About To Return.

Good Monday to you and I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  As you get out the door this morning to work, cloudy skies, fog, and wet roads will greet you but the rain will not.   All of the rain has pushed east of our forecast area.  Most areas ended up with around an inch of rain and a few areas really did well with 1.5 inches or so.  A solid rain event in a time in which we were starting to get dry again.  Well the pattern looks like it wants to remain stormy in the long term but we will cover that later down the briefing. 

A piece of energy will move into the area area today spreading a shot of snow into the mountains.  As winds become Northwesterly they will tap into moisture off the Great Lakes.  This moisture will travel Southeast into the Mountains. The National Weather Service has hoisted Winter Weather Advisories for the mountains that goes into effect 7:00pm Monday Night (tonight) and runs through 10am on Tuesday.  Generally 1-3 inches of snow looks likely but those favored Northwest facing slopes could see more.  This snow will only last for about 6-10 hours.  Initially this evening atmospheric profiles indicate surface temps too warm to support snow at the valley levels below 3000ft.  However as cold air moves in those snow levels will fall and by 10pm and midnight the snow levels will reach the valley floors.  There are some indications that as this Northwest flow snow event peaks during predawn hours of Tuesday that a few snow showers could break containment and move out over the foothills along and North of I-40.  A quick dusting of snow could occur in very isolated areas but it will be nothing widespread.  If you are up early on Tuesday though you could see a few snow flakes pass in front of your windshield.   High temps today will top out in the low to mid 50's foothills and mid 40's mountains.  Tonight temps will fall back into the upper 20's to around 30 degrees for lows over the foothills and into the low 20's in the mountains.  Most areas will see partly cloudy conditions by Noon today but the mountains will cloud over quickly again this afternoon and evening while most other areas remain partly cloudy.  The other story will be the winds tonight, especially across the mountains.  Winds across the mountains could gust to 50mph and up to 30mph across the foothills . This will cause low visibility in the mountains as the snow falls tonight.  If you have to travel into Tuesday Morning do so with caution and care.

 Futurecast at 1am Tuesday Morning

Futurecast at 1am Tuesday Morning

Snow showers will taper off in the mountains by 10am on Tuesday and skies will be clear.   The winds will start to die down and pleasant conditions will prevail.  Temps will run 10-20 degrees below normal Tuesday, as highs top out between 35 - 40 degrees in the foothills and 28-31 degrees in the mountains.  Skiers delight up there and I'm very thankful that the ski slopes have enjoyed such a great season so far. 

 Model Guidance Temperatures Tuesday 4:00pm.

Model Guidance Temperatures Tuesday 4:00pm.

Temps will moderate for the midweek time frame but only into the 40's which is still 10 degrees below climo for this time of year.  Another cold front will approach the area Thursday Night into Friday.  Models differ on the amount of moisture that will be present as the front progresses though the area overnight into Friday.  The GFS is dry outside of the mountains but the operational Euro is wetter and spreads light precipitation into the foothills during the predawn hours Friday.  Thermal profiles would support all snow in the mountains with a rain/snow mix out along and North of I-40, and liquid rain south of I-40.  The front clears the area Friday Afternoon and Northwest flow will again develop for the mountains.  High temps will top out near 40 on Friday for the foothills and in the upper 20's for the mountains. 

Moving forward in the forecast period Saturday looks to be tranquil weather with high temps in the 40's foothills and 30's mountains.  Mostly clear skies should allow for some sunshine.  Another front will approach the area Saturday Evening.  Models vary greatly on a low pressure developing near the Gulf and then its eventual track.  The control GFS looks close to the Euro ensembles and it produces a little precipitation over our area. Profiles would only support mainly a rain event east of the mountains.  Most of the moisture dries up as it moves East of the mountains.  Plenty of time to watch this feature but it has our eye. 

Further down the road February looks really cold.  A ridge redevelops over the West taking the Pacific North American Oscillation into a positive phase.  This pattern is very similar to the pattern we saw the first part of December.  I know you have heard rumors of snow online but right now there is nothing definite in the forecast for snow.  Event the items mentioned earlier in the discussion have about a 20% chance of occurring.   There are some subtle signs to us though that a cold stormy February could be in store.  Remember on December 8th we received that snow before it briefly warmed up a little.   

 Current upper air jet stream.  Piece of energy comes over the ridge and down into the trough Thursday Night. How much moisture can link up with it as it opens up into an open wave.

Current upper air jet stream.  Piece of energy comes over the ridge and down into the trough Thursday Night. How much moisture can link up with it as it opens up into an open wave.

 Upper air pattern Friday as trough sharpens and digs into the East Coast again with a piece of energy rotating though its base.

Upper air pattern Friday as trough sharpens and digs into the East Coast again with a piece of energy rotating though its base.

 European Model Projection of the Pacific North American Oscillation.  Briefly positive today but indications it goes sharply positive out beyond February 9th. Of course could change but if you want cold weather the positive phase of the PNA is a good provider.

European Model Projection of the Pacific North American Oscillation.  Briefly positive today but indications it goes sharply positive out beyond February 9th. Of course could change but if you want cold weather the positive phase of the PNA is a good provider.

 GFS Ensembles projection of the PNA.  The dates area along the bottom. Arrow pointing to today's date the 29th.  The circle highlighting the time the ensemble mean goes positive.

GFS Ensembles projection of the PNA.  The dates area along the bottom. Arrow pointing to today's date the 29th.  The circle highlighting the time the ensemble mean goes positive.

Summary of this briefing:

Clearing skies today.

Piece of energy moves into the mountains tonight and snow develops above 3000ft and snow levels fall to mountain valleys by midnight.  A few snow showers possible in the foothills with little to no accumulation. 

Calm midweek.

Another cold front Thursday Night into Friday. with limited moisture. Snow/Rain mix outside of mountains if there is enough moisture.

Calm Saturday but turning colder with a possible storm system Saturday Night and Monday.

Long range looks cold .

 

Chris White

Chief Meteorologist

Foothills Weather Netwrok