Saturday, February 16, 2013

Snow For The Midlands

UPDATE: 1 p.m. Saturday

The precipitation that moved through the Midlands this morning was mixed with snow with more snow in the northern sections.  Daniel Bonds reported from Winnsboro that the snow fell of over an hour with only trace accumulations thanks to a warm ground.  The RPM verified reasonably well on this event.

Radar is showing a break in the precipitation for the early afternoon.  However, another band of precipitation is expected between 4 and 9 p.m. for the northern half of the Midlands. This will likely be in the form of wet snow and there could be some accumulation.  The pictures below are from the 12z run of the Regional Precision Model (RPM).  The 15z run is similar, but backs off on coverage.  It still has the same idea.

From the 12Z RPM.  Image Credit: WLTX.


Computer models began suggesting that a fast-moving weather system in the middle part of the atmosphere could bring snow to the midlands of South Carolina this weekend.  The models backed off from that forecast during much of the week, but still hinted at something.  Well, something is here.  Snow became a real possibility once the high-resolution models came into play in the short-range.

A vigorous trough with the energy moving through the Southeast valid for 18z Saturday, February 16.  The forecast uses the NAM model based on the 00z data for Saturday, February 16.  Click on the image for a larger version.  Image Credit: WSI.

A vigorous upper-level disturbance will be passing over the Midlands late Saturday.  There will be enough moisture as the cold air moves in to produce snow for the area.  The situation will be dynamic and constantly changing during the day.  Rain will begin to fall in the Piedmont before daybreak.  The air will be chilled by evaporative cooling and the rain will change to snow.

The RPM forecast for 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2013.  The forecast was made using the 00z data from Saturday, February 16.  Click on the image for a larger version.  Image Credit: WLTX.

Snow will be falling over the northern Midlands by mid-morning from Saluda to Newberry to Winnsboro.  This will likely continue until about midday when the snow will change to light rain and taper off.  It will not be the end of the precipitation.

The RPM forecast for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 16.  This forecast was made from the 03z data.  Click on the image for a larger version.  Image Credit: WLTX.

A second round of rain will move through the Midlands late in the afternoon into the early evening.  It will likely change to snow before ending for the night.  Some areas will receive snow long enough for some accumulation.  The map below is a computer forecast (RPM) of snow accumulation and is the same model used above.

Snow Accumulation forecast from the RPM using 00z data for Saturday, February 16.  A similar result was obtained using the 03z data.  Click on the image for a larger version.  Image Credit: WLTX.

Any snow accumulation is likely to be short-lived.  Soil temperatures on Friday were generally in the mid 40s to low 50s.  So any accumulation will likely melt shortly after landing.  Keep in mind that surface air temperatures will likely remain above freezing into the evening.  Roads will be wet, but should not freeze.  Thus, only minimal travel problems are expected.

I will have updates throughout the day on our Facebook and Twitter pages on WLTX.  You can also follow me on Twitter: @JimGandyWLTX.  The situation will be dynamic so there could be surprises.  Stay tuned!