Monday, February 12, 2007

Storm on its Way, but What Will it Bring?

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh issued a winter storm watch early yesterday morning. A very complex weather scenario is about to unfold over the eastern half of the U.S. A cold front will push south into the region today, at the same time a developing low over the south central U.S. will take shape and begin moving northeastward. While it treks northeastward toward the Ohio valley, a strong high pressure system over eastern Canada will funnel cold air into our region. As the initial low moves into the lower Ohio valley, a secondary low pressure system will develop over the Carolinas and move north, northeastward.

Our snowfall total from this event will depend on the exact track of both lows, as well as whether the warm push of air associated with the primary low pressure system is enough to cause our snow to mix with sleet or freezing rain. If we were to remain all snow throughout, the totals could be as high as a foot or more, however any mixing of sleet or freezing rain will diminish our snow totals. Moreover, the potential exists for a serious ice storm, should we switch over. At 7:51am Monday morning, it looks as though we will change over at least for a period of time, until the coastal low takes over and colder air rushes in behind it. Later this afternoon and this evening the forecast should become much clearer.

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