Snowshoe Mountain Resort

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Snowshoe, WV

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... High pressure brings clearing south to north this afternoon. A flat wave brings a rainy Sunday, with a brief period of wintry mix in the mountains early. Several more waves cross next week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 520 AM Saturday...

The forecast is mostly on track. Only had to make some amendments to the cloud cover forecast. Clouds are clearing out faster than anticipated, but there is a broad high level cloud deck that is moving in from the west. A blend of the HRRRTL and HREF looked the best for the current situation and for conditions ahead.

As of 324 AM Saturday...

A weak clipper system on track to graze the area overnight. A 500MB jet has moved through the area ahead of this system. This has been noted by gusty winds at multiple spots for the past couple of hours. Still seeing elevated wind speeds at multiple spots and expecting that they will continue overnight. Temperatures have gradually warmed up 1-3 degrees at several spots with the passage of this jet as warmer air has mixed down to the surface.

Also seeing some lee troughing to our east and over our northeastern mountains. As such, cloud cover has moved back in after brief ridging ushered some clearing this past afternoon. Cloud will continue to filter in and out overnight as this clipper moves through. the northern half of the CWA will be seeing a more continuous cloud cover with lower ceilings. These areas may see a rogue sprinkle overnight due to this system. Areas along the mountains will likely see some flurries tonight, but nothing above minimal accumulation at best.

Today looks to be much warmer and drier than previous days with high pressure moving in. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 50's for the lowlands; 40's for the mountains. Clearing should start by early afternoon moving from south to north. This will not last long as another system approaches from the west and as such clouds increase later on Saturday night as do PoP chances.

SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 420 AM Saturday...

Sunday morning finds a stout theta e feed right into the area out of the southwest, albeit h85 theta e values increase only to 300-310K with corresponding PW values just shy of an inch. This spells a widespread stout, but not heavy, rainfall Sunday morning.

It will be warm enough for rain for most of the areas with this system, but there is likely to be enough cold air trapped in the northeast mountain valleys and eastern slopes for mixed wintry precipitation, including freezing rain, potentially bringing ice accretion on the order of a few hundredths of an inch. A small winter weather advisory me be needed if confidence in ice accretion increases.

The causative southern stream flat wave scoots off to the east Sunday afternoon and evening. However, it remains overcast with spotty light rain, ad a cold front moves into the area and then stalls out on Monday.

A stronger southern stream flat wave moves into the area Monday night, tightening up the baroclinic zone, with widespread precipitation developing overnight Wednesday night near and north of the surface low track, which would encompass much of the area give the track across southern to central portions of the area.

Global models track the system farther south and slower through Monday night, with a colder but lower QPF solution.

Precipitation type will be determined by the track, and associated thermal gradient in the sloping baroclinic zone across the area, with snow to the northwest, rain to the southeast, and a wintry mix in between.

Central guidance reflects a southeast /higher/ to northwest /lower/ temperature gradient beginning to develop in warm advection Sunday into Sunday night, and then tightening up much more Monday and Monday night, as the flat wave draws the cold air to the northwest into the middle Ohio Valley.

LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 420 AM Saturday...

The area is impacted by northern and southern stream short waves, with the confluence zone near the area early on, shifting south late next week as the northern stream become more dominant. In a week of tough timing, this spells two opportunities for snow and mixed wintry precipitation across the area which may eventually need to be highlighted for potential snow and ice accumulations.

Tuesday finds low pressure tracking across south-central portions of the area or even south of the area. In a sharp southeast /warm/ to northwest /cold/ baroclinic zone across the area, precipitation type in this sloping baroclinic zone will depend upon the exact track of the surface low, with a transition from rain along and southeast of the track, to a wintry mixed northwest of the track, including freezing rain, and then to snow well northwest of it.

Models also differ on timing, with the system exiting the area Tuesday afternoon or evening. Timing differences increase further on the next flat wave in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame, with the latest guidance leaning toward the latter.

This system is forecast to track south of the area, but the cold air that the Tuesday system draws into the area may have moderated a bit by then, before more cold air arrives in its wake for a dry, cold finish to the week.

Central guidance reflects the baroclinic zone across the area early on, before the colder air become more dominant later on.

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