Thursday, December 20, 2012

Could it be true? Real snow at last?

12:15 PM EST 12/20/12 (Mid-Atlantic Director Greg Jackson, Winter Stormcast Director Zach Fasnacht) With all the ingredients coming together to produce a blizzard in the Midwest, our team projects that winter weather will also impact portions of the Mid-Atlantic as we head into the pre-Christmas Weekend. After "our winter of discontent" in 2011-12, we know many readers are hoping this latest lack of response from Mother Nature on our request for snow will turn for some to have a White Christmas. We will know soon enough! 

OUR LOCAL & REGIONAL ZONES (forecast pages in Facebook)

OFFICIAL NWS WATCHES, WARNINGS, RESOURCES 


PROJECTED IMPACTS OF THE WEEKEND STORM

AREAS AT RISK: FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY
  • Upper Great Lakes and Ohio Valley to western and central Pennsylvania.
  • Western Maryland, the WV panhandle, Northern Virginia
PRECIPITATION: When the storm to the west arrives into the Pittsburgh Metro area it should be rain, even in the ridges. However, as the storm begins to pull away and the cold front behind it moves in, the precip associated with the storm could end as some sleet or snow. The bigger player and the reason for WINTER STORM WATCHES in the ridges is the lake effect snow that will occur over the western portion of Pennsylvania, and creep into the central area of the state as well.


TIMING: The first signs of precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic will move into the Three Rivers zone by dinner time on Thursday as the low pressure continues moves to the north and east. As this happens winds will shift to the NW over the area and moisture will then start to come off of the lakes. This will create an abundance of lake effect snow for all of Friday and possibly lasting into the morning hours of Saturday. 

SNOWFALL: 
  • Pittsburgh Metro Area (lower elevations): 1-4”
  • Ridges in Southwestern PA, WV, and western Maryland: 6-12”; Isolated 12”+
  • Central PA: Coating-1” 
IMPACTS: 
  • Friday travel will be difficult at times for many in the western portions of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as the higher elevations of West Virginia. 

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