Tuesday is Looking Mighty Interesting.
Interesting, mighty interesting. That pretty well sums up this coming Tuesday. Notice the QPF map on the right which is valid from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning. That it will be a wet day is now a given, the interesting part is the precipitation type and how much, if any accumulation there would be. Again, referencing the QPF map notice that the total amount would be near ½" of liquid. IF that were to all fall as snow and given the usual 10:1 snow:rain ratio, that would translate into about 5-6" of snow. However, that is a mighty big IF as there are a number of other factors to consider.
One is the very mild soil temperatures which are currently running well into the 40s. Another is the absence of any cold air at the surface already in place before the precipitation starts falling. The air above the surface will certainly become cold enough with temperatures expected to be below freezing a couple of thousand feet up by that afternoon and plenty of moisture available deep into that colder air. It is the near surface air temperature that poses the real question mark.
Given the uncertainty, will go with a cold rain to start the day and temperatures running in the mid 30s. As the day wears on, the colder air aloft will cause more of a rain/snow mix by afternoon which should eventually change over to all snow before it ends that night. Even if it does turn out to be more of a snow rather than a rain event, the relatively warm ground temperatures and the surface temperatures hovering right around or just above freezing would result in a heavy, wet snow which would significantly impact the accumulations. In other words, I fully expect that there will be much more snow that falls than will accumulate due to the melting that will be occurring and the relatively low snow:rain ratio. With all that said, would not be surprised if we end up with as much as 2-4" on the ground by the time the event ends Tuesday night. As always, some locations could end up with much more, others much less.
Between now and then, today will be very pleasant although windy. The showers that went through last night are well on east of us and with lots of sunshine and a gusty SW wind, temperatures will soar well into the 60s. Together with relative humidity values dropping into the low 20% range, that will result in an enhanced fire danger.
Monday will be more seasonal with temperatures starting off in near freezing and reaching the low 50s that afternoon. Then there is Tuesday mentioned above and how much snow we end up with will have an impact on the rest of the week. Have dropped temperatures some for the Wed/Thu time frame assuming there would be at least some snow. Another relatively strong cold front will arrive by the end of the day Thursday to give a chilly weekend. There may also be some flurries on the back side of that system during the day Friday as well.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.