A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. -- Susan Orlean

Monday, December 30, 2013

Snow Storm To Greet School Vacation Returnees

We have ourselves a weather situation for Thursday and Friday this week. All of our sources are suggesting that a possible 1-2 punch of storm systems could throw down a serious blanket of snow starting as early as the pre-dawn hours on Thursday and extending all the way to Friday morning.

First things first: it will be plenty cold enough for snow. Temps are on the decline, and we'll see highs in the teens on New Year's Day with single digits for a high on Friday. The coldest time this week will be Friday night when we could see a low of negative 10-15 degrees. An its-too-cold-to-start-the-buses delay scenario would be in place because of those low values. If only we had school on Saturday...

As for our storm(s) for Thursday and Friday... We've been down this road a few times already this winter. The first low pressure will emerge from the Ohio Valley and move east-northeasterly on Thursday. This storm has some potent moisture associated with it and we could see 3-4" of light, fluffy snow from it. The second phase is the one we at the GSD Office are really eager to see: the coastal low. This part of the storm will hit us Thursday night. If everything breaks the right way and the track is good (that means closer to coast but not too close), we would see an additional 6-8" of snow. If the two-phased storm is a bust, we'll see about 3-4"; if the two systems phase together and strengthen, we would see 10-12". Exciting times indeed!

Looking good. (Thanks to TWC for this image.)
Before you decide to blow off that assignment that's due on Thursday, we present three potential problems with this storm. 1) Because marrow-chilling cold air will be in place, the cold air could evaporate some of the moisture of this storm, thus lowering snow totals. 2) The timing, to put it plainly, stinks (unless it starts before the Thursday AM commute and/or extends into the Friday morning commute). 3) The track of the coastal storm is anything but a certainty.

The two pressure systems in action.
As of today (Monday), the best case scenario would be two more days of snow-induced vacation. Huzzah! The worst case scenario would be 2-3" on Thursday afternoon and the coastal low going out to sea, giving us a big, fat powdered doughnut of nothingness for those desiring some kind of school-shortening or cancelling experience. Boo to that.

There are a lot of "ifs" right now, so students should plan on at least starting the school day on Thursday with the possibility of announced early releases for our region. A full day of school on Friday is also very much up in the air.

We will go ahead and name this storm, so vote early and vote often!

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