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Good Sunday Morning. Hopefully you have had a restful night even though a few areas received thunder. Most areas received anywhere from .80 to 1.25 inches of rain overnight. What great news that is after being so dry recently. The front has now cleared all of our forecast area and the severe threat has ended.
Our focus now goes west to the upper low that is ejecting out of the Southern Plains into the Arklatex Region. This upper low will spread rain back into the area today as it moves east and strengthens. We are just barely missing a big time winter storm here in the foothills. The mountains will win out though and we expect heavy snow to develop up there Monday Morning between 1 and 4 am. This will be a very heavy, wet snow. As the upper low closes off in Southern Georgia, it will track to the northeast into Eastern NC by sunrise. Pressure drops considerably as it moves east and this will be a rapidly intensifying storm. The system will race off to the northeast tomorrow leaving behind windy conditions.
The big 8 million dollar question is, will it snow in my back yard? Overall the question is answered with a solid maybe. This is a very dynamic system and though it will be strengthening as it moves through, I’m not sold that the precipitation will hang back long enough for the atmosphere to dynamically cool. If we are to see snow it is going to have to cool down quick and this would be between 4 and 8am Monday. The best chance at seeing any accumulation is the mountains. The western foothills likely will not see any substantial accumulation at all. The eastern foothills actually look a little better for slushy accumulations Monday Morning just because that looks like the best location for that last deformation band to set up. Those are a beast to forecast an hour out though so trying to pin it down this far out is like trying to cage a bear in the dark without a headlamp. So no change to our snow forecast map. A lot of you will see a brief period of snow and some of you could see a big burst of heavy wet snow. Low temperatures tonight now look like they will remain above freezing at 34 – 36°. Accumulation outside of the mountains will be hard to come by. What this should give most is another year with at least a trace of measurable snow keeping the longstanding record alive. We have never had a winter with no snow.
One fun thing to look for in the morning is graupel. Graupel is about the same consistency as dip n dots ice cream. This hydrometer is really soft. This precipitation type forms when the snowflake falls and runs into supercooled water droplets. It is formed in the same process of hail. Those supercooled water droplets freeze (process called accretion) around the snowflake until the flake isn’t visible anymore. This is measured as hail but officially gets measured as snow (I won’t waste your time with that long explanation). These can get pretty big if the conditions are just right or they can be really small too. Most of the time they will float down like a snow flake but when they hit, they bounce. They don’t hurt either because they are so soft. The atmosphere tonight and Monday Morning will support a lot of graupel so be on the lookout for it.
Here is a map with our thinking on snowfall probabilities Monday Morning. Outside of the mountains we are not producing an accumulation map because if any accumulation is realized it will be really spotty and slushy. I won’t totally rule out someone winning the snow lottery and receiving a quick inch of slushy build up on elevated surfaces.
We will work on keeping you updated through the day on social media and here on our blog.