Looking ahead to a *possibly* wintry storm system next weekend
Could have wintry impacts on our region
ROANOKE, Va. – A storm system with *possible* wintry impacts on our region has gained a lot of chatter on social media recently. Without sending everyone to the bread and milk aisle, let's talk about where this system is now, what we know about it, possible scenarios and when we expect to know more.
We'll start you out with the bottom line and then get into the details.
1. Yes, there is likely going to be a storm system that impacts the region next weekend (12/8 and 12/9).
2. Yes, it could possibly bring along some form, or different forms, of wintry precipitation.
3. Being that this system is 7-8 days away, exact details are nearly impossible to nail down. Anyone who says they know exactly what we'll get next weekend is either a) lying to you or b) throwing darts at a board and taking a wild guess.
WHERE IT IS NOW
Just to give you some perspective, the system of interest is just east of Japan. So yeah...it's very very far away.
It's also over the ocean, meaning that forecast models aren't getting sufficient information on the system. Once it comes closer to land is when the forecast models will have a better handle on this thing.
All indications are that this system will get closer to the west coast of the U.S. by Wednesday of this week. By Wednesday and Thursday, we can get some weather balloons surveying the system.
The data from the balloons gets fed into forecast models. Forecast model data improves, and then we can start talking more in depth about things like timing, totals, impacts, etc.
ARE THERE ANY POSSIBILITIES YOU CAN DISCUSS?
In dealing with systems similar to this, we've found that there are three different plausible scenarios for next weekend. The million dollar question is, "How much cold air will there be?"
Scenario #1: This system glides a bit far north, putting us on a (relatively) warm side. This could mean a cold rain, with perhaps a little mixing in spots.
Scenario #2: This system rides the coast, throwing moisture our way. Any degree of cold air could then give us some, or multiple, forms of wintry precipitation.
Scenario #3: The system is forced south by colder, drier air and leaves us with little-to-nothing.
WHAT DO WE DO?
All you can do is check back for updates. Again, any possible impact is 7-8 days away. There's no need to get flustered. We've got near-record warmth Sunday, crashing temperatures in the middle of the week, and quite a bit of dry time to get through.
So for now, relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend. We have four pairs of eyes on this system, and we'll keep you abreast to any updated information.
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