cold front slows down, impacts Wed night

Unfortunately the cold front that was going to help us get snow has slowed down and will not arrive until most of the precip has left. Most we can expect from this is two measly inches. We will most definitely get rain, right on target for that. We may approach 4 tenths of an inch of rain before the change to snow later in the night. By that time, we may also fit into the dry slot which means no precip whatsoever. Usually you can get and average of 10 inches of snow out of 1 inch of rain. So we are throwing away about 4 inches of snow to rain. But then again, all this rain would not be here if the cold front was quicker, a light snow would occur and we would probably apply the same amount. The mixture of rain and snow will cause roadways to be slick (duh) so take care when driving around or even walking.

Right now the Rain/Snow line is lying right on top of us. A guideline for this is usually the ‘540 line’ that in a way represents the freezing line. Now this is not always the case due to other inputs like elevation and other advanced weather topics. When in doubt though, I would lean towards rain because other layers of the atmosphere need to be cool to keep the snow from completely melting on its way down. Basically, you need a fairly substantial cool air mass to be sure you have snow, in this case we do not. Afterwards though it will be very cold. Our first glance of winter will come with highs hitting only the lower 30s. Lows will be around the lower 20s so it may be time to finally crank up the heater. Being the nice people they are, the programmers color coded the lines, blue meaning cool and red warm.  Decided to post up the most recent NAM run to illistrate:

Cold air filtering behind a Cold Front (approx Blue line, should be a little farther to the right,with the Low), 540 line indicates a rough Rain/Snow line, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico being brought up the East coast by the accompanying warm front (red line). Location marked with a red dot near the 540 line.

As the storm moves east, the cold front will move with it trailing snow showers and that is what may give us a inch of slushy goodness. I’m going to mark the changeover to snow about 2 am or so, the snow showers will continue now and then through the day Thursday.

Additionally, the lake effect snow machine will crank up as the storm passes and linger on for a few days. For a band to come across state and effects us is hit and miss. So I would not put any or much hope in that giving us more accumulation.


About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

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