Tracking the threat for weekend winter weather

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The weekend forecast continues to be of great interest as we track the potential for winter weather.

A coastal low will develop on Saturday in response to an approaching upper-level wave.  The placement of this low depicted by the various computer models differs, having impacts on the expected weather in central Virginia.  It appears at this time as though there will be enough upper-level lift for a light rain/snow mix across the area.  Surface temps should be above freezing, limiting the potential for any accumulation. The most likely part of the state to get the snow will be the northwest half of Virginia, with a rain/wet snow mix in the southeast half.

Weak energy will influence the area again late Sunday, with scattered light rain/snow showers being possible across the area (northern Virginia is most favored for this chance).

PREVIOUS UPDATE:

This is one forecast depiction (The European) of Saturday early afternoon, showing a coastal low pressure system over the Outer Banks with enough cold air in place over Virginia to support winter precipitation:

EuroSat18Z

However, another computer model (The GFS) at the same time Saturday shows a weaker coastal system off the Carolinas coastline, too far to our south to send in major winter weather impacts to Virginia.

GFSsat18Z

There may still be enough moisture and lift in this scenario, though, to support some winter precipitation, just not as much as depicted by the European.

Remember, these are just potential scenarios we monitor when we are still several days away from a storm system. In reality, this storm system hasn’t formed yet, so we are gazing into the future right now to see what could, in computer model theory, happen.

The timing is still not certain, so we’ll continue to track this storm as it develops, and its potential impact on our area. If you have weekend plans, stay weather-aware for forecast updates!

Stay with CBS 6, we’ll keep you ahead of the storm.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose

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