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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snow Day for Wednesday?

Secure your valuables. Stock up on supplies. Make sure you know the whereabouts of your children and pets. Yes, we have a major winter storm headed our way for Wednesday!

This storm won't be a Snowmageddon or a Snowpocalypse, but all indications are telling us that we're in for a major snow event. 

If the models prove to be accurate--and we haven't seen such good early agreement from the models in several years--we are looking at a 6-10" storm for Wednesday. The best part of this storm from an "I really need a snow day" perspective is the timing. It is predicted to start shortly after midnight on Tuesday. Even if the storm speeds up by four hours or slows down by four hours, we are still well within the optimal time zone for school cancellation.

The forecasters see about three-quarters of an inch of liquid precipitation with this storm. The last time we discussed liquid-to-snow rations we were talking about exceptionally high ratios (15:1 and 20:1) because of the extreme cold. Because this storm will be warmer (high 20s, low 30s), we'll see ratios more along the lines of 10 or 12 to 1, which should give us about 8 inches of snow.

We have been hearing that the temperature will be lower than forecasters thought a few days ago, so there's now less of a risk for a changeover to mixed precipitation. If this storm stays as an all snow event and we get the predicted 1 inch of liquid, we will see those 8 inches of snow between the hours of 12 AM and 12 PM on Wednesday.

But--you knew this wouldn't be that easy--here's a note from GSD Staff member Debbie Downer:

Before you start making your plans for your day off on Wednesday, consider the following: 1) sometimes a thing really is too good to be true; 2) in general we have more busts than spot-on predictions; 3) we still have 57 hours to go; 4) the amount of predicted liquid is down from a few days ago.

We're not sure how much more information we'll be able to squeeze out and pass on to you in the next 36 hours (given the agreement of the computer models), but early Tuesday we'll start to get a good look at the radar and we'll know if this storm will deliver a wimpy jab or hard uppercut to the region.

(And, by the way, you may have to dig out again on Saturday or Sunday. Forewarned is forearmed.)


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