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A chance of snow tonight?

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SUMMARY

For today, we’ll have clearing skies. By this afternoon, our skies will be filled with sunshine, though it will be getting breezy. But don’t let the nice weather fool ya, another system will be spinning in here from the northwest tonight, bringing a variety of light, wintry precipitation. Remember, it’s March and anything can happen this time of year! By Wednesday morning, some of us may be waking up to a dusting of snow on the grass and rooftops, especially if you live along the western edge of the plateau. Temps will be hovering right around freezing in the morning, so there shouldn’t be too many problems out of this (if any at all). Wednesday looks to be a raw, winter-like day. We have another chance of flurries or a snow shower Wednesday night, with no accumulation expected. The only exception might be for the folks north of Jamestown. I’ll keep an eye on that system and update as needed. The weather finally improves on Friday, just ahead of our next rain maker for Saturday. That rain could end as some light snow on Sunday. I’ll have more details on that as we get closer to Sunday and as that weather scenario gets clearer.

Current satellite showing the clearing line nearing the plateau. I’ve circled tonight’s disturbance that will be swinging through.

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Tonight’s disturbance shows up much better on water vapor imagery.

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DISCUSSION

The disturbance is an upper level low pressure system, meaning it exists at the higher levels of the atmosphere. These systems are very cold at their core, making it easy for them to produce snow. These are the systems that can cause it to snow when temps are near 40 degrees. It’s cold enough up high for the snowflakes to fall into air that is above freezing. These systems can put down some potent snow showers. Fortunately, our ground and road temps have warmed up a lot over the past month, with our streak of above normal temperatures. Never the less, we could see some snow accumulate on the grass and rooftops.

This the same system that brought ferocious wind and snow to the northern Plains on Monday. Thankfully, we won’t be getting any of that craziness, but it will bring some interesting weather our way.

That system will lead to a very raw Wednesday that will remind you of January. Be sure and dress for that. Another round of flurries may swing through Wednesday night, but it looks so light it seems hardly worth mentioning. Should that system strengthen any, we might get another dusting, but right now that seems unlikely.

By Friday our weather will improve, but the next big storm system will be gathering strength to our west. That will move in here on Saturday with milder temps and rainfall. Right now, the models are all over the place with this storm. There is actually a chance, albeit slight, that we could get some snow Sunday evening. But, like I said, the models are having an awful time figuring this one out. Frankly, I can do no better with the data we have today. For now, we’ll say rain on Saturday and a rain/snow mix Sunday, with light snow possible Sunday night. Stay tuned.

An update on the satellite I saw launched last Thursday evening….everything is going very well with it! Everything is deploying and activating as it should, and we are all set to be getting our first images from it within the next week or so! Of course, these images will be the first ones and they won’t be available on weatherTAP until they’re considered operational (in about 6 months or so). I can’t wait to see those images!

This satellite really is going to be a remarkable gift to the western US. It will be able to spot wildfires just as they’re starting, giving firefighters an edge on firefighting that they’ve never had before. It will provide imagery of the storms coming across the Pacific that they’re never seen before. This will improve forecasting and lead to better lead times to prepare for the devastating flooding these systems can bring.  The satellite will improve the fog forecasting abilities for places well-known  for getting this fog, like San Francisco. These dense fogs can move in and drop visibilities to nearly zero, causing very dangerous driving conditions to folks unaware of the fog moving in. This satellite will see that process happening like no other satellite we’ve ever had before. What a remarkable and life-saving tool this will be! And I got to see it launched! What a day that was, folks.

The launching of the GOES-S satellite. This was just after we were impacted by the sound waves. I was shaking like a leaf! 🙂

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And don’t forget that our webdev St. Jude Rock-n-Roll marathon fundraiser is one week from tomorrow (March 14)! I was out pounding the pavement again this morning getting ready for this race.  I have to run the 13.1 miles. All you have to do is eat and throw some money in a bucket (haha).  Seriously, it’s always fun to do this race and there’ll be 30,000 of us runners out there that day! This is BY  FAR the biggest race I do of the year. Let’s just hope it’s not like last year and miserably hot and humid.

You all have a great day and I’ll keep you posted on tonight’s light snow!

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