Sunday, February 9, 2014

The news you don't want regarding west TN snow

Computer models give, and they take away just as fast. What appeared to be our best shot of accumulating snow is now nothing more than another tease.

Yesterday we were looking at models solutions that ranged from 3-5" snow, with one model printing out up to 9" of snow (no, we didn't advertise that then as it was an outlier) for the Monday-early Tuesday timeframe.  Today that same outlier model (the NAM) is showing an inch or less north of the TN/MS state line with slightly higher amounts across north MS. The other two primary models, a global American-made one and a medium-range stalwart from Europe, are also lagging significantly in the precip department.  Unfortunately, at 24-36 hours out, our confidence is now fairly strong that Tennesseans WON'T be seeing significant snow.  That doesn't mean none - it means not a lot.



Accordingly, the NWS has dropped the Winter Storm Watch over west TN as winter storm criteria (4"+ snow) likely will not be met.  In addition, they pushed the start time of the Winter Storm Watch to 3pm for north MS, from Monday at 6am. There simply won't be enough precip around for most of the day tomorrow to justify a warning before that time. I still have some hope that a Winter Weather Advisory could be issued for the metro overnight tonight, but if totals continue to be less than 1", that may not happen.


Right now, the NWS thinks Shelby County may see an inch Monday night, which is when the bulk of the precipitation will occur to our south.  West TN will be on the northern fringe of the snow. An earlier upper level impulse (during the day Monday) could bring a light dusting to areas mainly north of Shelby/Fayette Counties, with very light snow possible in the immediate metro. Any time precip is falling, the bridges and overpasses will be susceptible to slick conditions due tn a lengthy cold snap of the past week.  Even 1/2" of snow covered secondary roads on Friday night.

The bottom line:  It's not a good forecast for snow lovers in west TN. Light precip is possible during the day Monday, mainly as light snow or flurries.  Monday night will see a stronger system move across MS, which could drop a few inches south of the TN/MS state line and light amounts across the metro.  Tuesday continues to be cloudy with a slight chance of flurries.  We'll also be watching another potential cold front on Wednesday night or Thursday which may bring precip.  The good news for those sick of winter is that warmer temps look to arrive next weekend - finally!!  Click here for the complete forecast from MWN.

--Erik Proseus, MWN Meteorologist

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2 comments:

bridgetb said...

Maybe this question has been answered before, but is there something in the topography of Memphis/Shelby County being on the river and on a bluff that diverts precipitation to our north or our south? Or does the jetstream just shift in instances like yesterday/today where we were going to have measurable precipitation then and now we will have litte if any? Thanks!

MWN/Erik said...

None of the above Bridget. The bluffs extend all along the river well to our north and south. And the jetstream doesn't care what's on the ground below. We had big snows (comparatively speaking) multiple times in 2010-2011. Just not in the cards this year, outside of the 1/2" Friday night.