Residents of Charleston, West Virginia likely watched the news of the epic snows in Virginia and North Carolina with a sense of relief. Yes, it snowed in the southern part of the Mountaineer State, but it merely grazed the Charleston area. The airport reported .05 inches of liquid with snow, which, given temperatures on Sunday afternoon, likely meant around half an inch of accumulation, if any. The most noticeable impact was the cold air pulled into West Virginia. Warm air never was able to find a foothold as the system passed, and as a result, Sunday high forecasts were universally too high. The National Weather Service, Weatherbug and WeatherNation had a three way tie at the top, and beat everyone fairly comfortably. Actuals: Saturday – High 33, low 23 Sunday – .05 inches of liquid in snow, High 34, Low 26
Charleston is nestled in the Kanawha Valley, which means that most of the weather that comes their way can be something of a surprise. Let’s try to mitigate some of that with a mountain forecast for the weekend.
At 1054AM, ET, Charleston was reporting a temperature of 34degrees and fair skies. A trough was centered over southern West Virginia was getting squeezed to oblivion by two areas of high pressure, The trough is bringing clouds and a bit of drizzle to areas south and east of Charleston, but is going to blink out of existence as high pressure continues to build at the surface. High pressure is going to sit over the Upper Ohio Valley Saturday, and suppress a developing storm over the Gulf coast. The region will be quite cold under this ridge, but it will generally be sunny. Precipitation will inch closer to Charleston through the weekend, but will hold off until Sunday, when it will definitely fall as snow. The system, by the time it is strong enough to rise far enough north to afflict Charleston, will be fully formed and moving quickly. Snow will fall rapidly, but the duration will be short through the middle of the day on Sunday. Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 36, Low 24 Sunday – A quick burst of snow midday, but otherwise mostly sunny, High 43, Low 26
TWC: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine in the morning with more clouds for later in the day. High 37, Low 23 Sunday – Cloudy, High 42, Low 27
AW: Tomorrow – Partly Sunny, Clold, High 37, Low 23 Sunday – Cloudy; cold high 40, Low 26
NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, high 34, Low 22 Sunday – A slight chance of snow after 9am, mixing with rain after noon. Partly sunny High 38, Low 26
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 35, Low 23 Sunday – Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of snow in the morning then a chance of rain and snow in the afternoon. High 37, low 25
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 34, Low 22 Sunday – Partly cloudy with slight chance of light wintry mix, High 38, Low 26
FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 35, low 24 Sunday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day.High 41, low 26
That’s an interesting change of opinion between the outlets. I think its going to be a very intense burst of precipitation if it comes to pass. There is definitely a chance nothing happens though. All or nothing. Here is the current satellite image, with clouds over southern West Virginia.
Today we travel between state capitals that are almost exactly the same distance from Frankfort, KY (another state captial) as one another. That’s right, Nashville and Charleston are both pretty much right at ~180 miles away as the crow flies from the capital of Kentucky. Fun fact right? Today’s one-day trip won’t go through Frankfort, but will spend plenty of time in the Bluegrass State.
It’s a fairly dry but chilly start to the day as we head northwards out of Nashville on I-65 towards Bowling Green. There might be a few spotty rain showers as we hit Elizabethtown and head eastwards on I-64, but shouldn’t be anything to be really worried about hazard-wise. As we cruise past Lexington around noon, showers should be mostly dried up and the rest of the day will be cloudy but dry as we head into Charleston.
As the Upper Midwest continues to get buried under this historic April snowstorm, let’s take a peak at how the Mid-Atlantic is faring.
At 1154pm, the temperature at Charleston, WV was 49 degrees with light rain falling. Even as this potent low pressure system that’s sitting over Lake Huron and Erie continues to dump snow over the Upper Midwest, the intense cold front associated with it is pushing through the Mid-Atlantic region into the Northeast US. The back end of heavier rain showers are pushing out of the area currently, but scattered rain showers are expected to last throughout the overnight and the daytime hours tomorrow as northwest winds keep some upslope activity popping in the region. Temperatures are expected to drop throughout the day and by early Tuesday morning, could be cold enough for a brief snow shower to mix into the activity. Conditions should clear out by midday, precip-wise anyways, and make for a dry midweek period.
Monday: Lingering morning showers, flares back up in afternoon. High 49, Low 37.
Tuesday: Isolated morning rain/snow shower, then drying out for afternoon. High 52, Low 32.
TWC: Monday: Showers. High 43, Low 36.
Tuesday: Isolated showers, then cloudy. High 52, Low 33.
AW: Monday: Windy with rain, mainly early. High 51, Low 37.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 51, Low 33.
NWS: Monday: Chance of showers. High 44, Low 36.
Tuesday: Slight chance of rain/snow showers. High 49, Low 33.
WB: Monday: SITE DOWN
Tuesday: SITE DOWN
WN: Monday: Cloudy with chance of light showers. High 53, Low 36.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy with chance of light wintry mix. High 49, Low 33.
FIO: Monday: Rain overnight. High 49, Low 34.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 55, Low 32.
Weatherbug really needs to get their act together, right? Rain is shifting slowly eastward out of the region, but some lingering light shower activity remains into the early morning hours.
The forecast in Charleston promised to be extra dicey, as I noted, thanks to the rolling mountains of West Virginia and the variability in clouds that could to lead to some unexpected spikes in temperature. There were a couple of outlets that did really well with temperatures. The Weather Channel was only off by a degree or two for all periods, while Accuweather was entirely perfect on Wednesday. The weather was not, however, what with the torrential rain that was seen during that stretch. If you can’t have a good weather day, you might as well have a good forecast, I always say.
Actuals: Wednesday – 1.47 inches of rain, High 78, Low 71
Thrusday – .23 inches of rain, High 85, Low 72
Everytime I see Racine I’m reminded of the movie A League Of Their Own. Solid movie if you haven’t seen it. Today’s trip there will only take one day, but it’ll be a long one. Hopefully nothing from the sky slows us down!
A cloudy morning is expected with perhaps a couple sprinkles dotting the landscape as we head off towards southern Ohio. An area of low pressure is trailing a trough through the Ohio Valley and showers and thunderstorms are expected along it throughout the morning hours. We’ll have to dodge these as we make our way past Dayton, but once we get past it and head towards Indianapolis, it should be smooth sailing the rest of the way. We should get some sun even as we make our way around Chicago and cruise along the shores of Lake Michigan and into Racine.
Our two points at either end of this road trip are only 445 miles and exactly 8 hours apart. The two states DO touch, after all. Of course, we are driving from the far end of either state to the other. The drive is such that, despite the shared border, we will pass through a totally undeserving Maryland, which is in the way. The pace of play is about 63.4mph, if you were curious. Sunrise approaches, let’s bang out this forecast.
Eastern Pennsylvania and western Maryland are being impacted by the diminishing cold front that is sliding through the region. It won’t carry much energy with it, but there will be some light rain. It will begin to pick up in intensity west of About Cumberland as we reach the western exposure of the Appalachians, and will remain fairly heavy for the remainder of the way into Charleston. It will be a combo of the orographic forcing, but also amplified by a wave moving through the Ohio Valley. Some of the rain could be stormy as well, and with the slopes, the drive could be a little white knuckle. Hopefully, the storms will be dappled with breaks in the action. That would be nice. Rain could still be heavy in Charleston whenn we arrive.
Hey, it’s late night forecasting time. It’s like I’m Anthony, right?
At 1254AM ET, Charelston was reporting a temperature of 72 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and rain. A slow moving and now stalled boundary lie along the Ohio River, with most of the shower activity outpacing the front, and smothering West Virginia. The front has become dissociated with the upper level trough, but a wave in the Western US is quickly beginning to latch onto the boundary.
As that wave progresses westward, it will pump more moisture into the area. A perturbation in the flow ahead of this wave will result in lower level rotation in the form of surface low pressure. In the summer, this is a recipe for enhanced precipitation. There will in fact be two of these waves over the next couple of days, with the first arriving in Charleston midday on Wednesday, and again on Thursday evening. There may be a few peeks of sunlight through the next two days, but it’s more likely that there will be rain.
Tomorrow – rain and thunderstorms, especially in the early afternoon. High 81, Low 69
Thursday – Scattered showers with some storms in the afternoon, High 87, Low 72
TWC: Tomorrow – PM Thunderstorms, High 77, Low 69
Thursday – Partly cloudy High 85, Low 69
AW: Tomorrow – A couple of showers and a heavy thunderstorm; mostly cloudy High 78, Low 71
Thursday – Variable clouds with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm High 87, Low 70
NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High 79, Low 71
Thursday – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy High 81, Low 71
WB: Tomorrow – 🙁
WN: Tomorrow – Cloudy with Showers Likely High 81, Low 72
Thursday – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Storms High 81, Low 70
FIO Tomorrow – Rain throughout the day. High 75, Low 70
Thursday – Light rain throughout the day. High 85, Low 70
No sign of Weatherbug. The undulating terrain and the piecemeal cloudiness make this for a rather interesting forecast. I can’t imagine anyone will be terribly close. Check out the radar.
As Ryan had mentioned in his Charleston forecast, it was going to be a messy forecast as freezing temps were going to make a hodgepodge of precip types possible along the Carolina coastline. Almost a tenth of an inch of freezing rain was reported on Wednesday, along with a hint of afternoon snow. Thursday, however, was supposed to clear out as the storm shifted out to sea. The clouds stuck around through the day, unfortunately, and there were a couple reports of light freezing rain in the mid-afternoon. Temperatures were consistent through the day thanks to the clouds, further messing up forecasts. Weatherbug took home the victory, if you want to call it that.
Wednesday: 0.09″ of freezing rain/drizzle, trace of snow. High 32, Low 27.
Thursday: Trace of freezing rain in afternoon. precip. High 34, Low 27.
Forecast Grade: D
Things are a little crazy in the Carolinas today. We have an Arctic cold front interacting with a weak low rocketing northeast. What kind of nasty weather is Charleston seeing?
AT 1156AM, ET, Charleston was reporting a temperature of 39 degrees with overcast skies. There was widely scattered drizzle in South Carolina, but for now, the heaviest activity was found across the state line in Georgia, and towards Augusta. While temperatures are fairly cool, and heavy precipitation is on its way along the Arctic boundary, temperature profiles aloft seem to suggest that precipitation will remain rain along the coast through the day today. This is very dangerous, because surface forecasts suggest temperatures below freezing for most of the afternoon and into tomorrow morning. Don’t be surprised to see significant freezing rain and sleet throughout South Carolina and the Charleston area tonight. It is for this reason that there is a winter storm warning for coastal South Carolina
Overnight, colder air will move in a loft, and the updrafts that will be responsible for the precipitation will help dynamically cool the local atmosphere, which will usher in a change to snow, after which a few inches of accumulation are possible on top of any accreted ice and sleet. In the wake of the precipitation, expect a chilly day tomorrow, but even as the trough stalls offshore, a warm up is expected through the day on Thursday.
Tomorrow – 1-3″ of accumulating snow on top of sleet and freezing rain falling overnight. Clearing by afternoon High 32, Low 24.
Thursday – Warming a bit, mostly cloudy, High 41, Low 17
TWC: Tomorrow – AM Snow High 32, Low 26
Thursday – Partly Cloudy High 43, Low 22
AW: Tomorrow – A little accumulation of snow and sleet early in the morning; cloudy and cold High 36, Low 26
Thursday – Sun and some clouds High 41, Low 21
NWS: Tomorrow – Snow and sleet before 2pm, then a slight chance of snow between 2pm and 4pm, then a slight chance of rain after 4pm. High 34, Low 26
Thursday – Mostly sunny, (rain through 2AM) High 42, Low 27
WB Tomorrow – Cloudy. Snow or sleet or freezing rain in the morning… Then a chance of snow with a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. High 34, Low 26
Thursday – Mostly sunny. High 42, Low 26
What a freaking nightmare. Much of South Carolina is going to be crippled by this storm, and Charleston is no different. Keep in touch with the Victoria-Weather Forum for updates on Charleston, and the Storm Forum for updats on the southeast in general. Radar is currently not as active as it will be. Also, since this forecast started, temperatures have already dropped 2 degrees in Charleston. Nightmare.