The Severe Weather Center 13 team works hard to give you advanced notice when weather is going to potentially affect your life. To do that, we look a low resolution, long range data – that always has a chance of changing.
Today's Weather: Saturday showers and cool temps
Confidence increases once we are able to use high resolution data, which only projects out a few days and is why we’re continuously fine-tuning our forecasts.
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We have rain moving into a warm air mass next Thursday pm/Friday am (Fed 1st & 2nd) - and cold air is helping propel it as it attempts to overrun it.
If it DOES overrun the backside of the system - which is trying to push through - we expect to see the cold rain change over to a brief ice/sleet mix then transition to snow.
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But the force and placement of that critical "FREEZING LINE" isn't clear yet.
The information isn't aligned. That's not unusual at roughly a week out (and i've been studying this particular event for TWO weeks, sifting through ever changing data).
Now that those stipulations have been put in place, here is the info you’re looking for.
The model above shows the air just above us - between roughly 1500 feet and 5000 feet - at being below freezing between midnight Thursday and 6 am Friday.
This is the swingpoint for this event. If that air cools down to this temp at this moment - the rain that's exiting will transition to snow and stay as pretty snowflakes all the way to the ground.
(Snow falling through freezing air remains as snow). And if the ground temp can chill in time, some of that will stick.
THIS data above shows that the same layer of air (1500 ft - 5000 ft) is 'hanging on' to the warmth a little longer. Remember, this is a critical swingpoint.
If this layer of air stays ABOVE freezing during this critical window of rain (which is exiting, remember) - then anything that falls (and it could fall as snow first ...or as rain) would MELT as it falls through this warm layer - and land as a chily rain. (think of a snowflake falling to the bathroom floor, but it has to go past your hairdyrer first. Lands as a water droplet).
SO WHAT DO I THINK?
Because we're expecting rather mild temps the day before - and because this cold air (at this time) doesn't have enough speed and ferocity to superchill everything super fast - my experience tells me that we're going to be just a LITTLE too warm to support the changeover. (BUT THIS IS A CRAZY GAME OF INCHES .. and it's ever changing. The next model run could drop those Memphis temps a few degrees and POW! snow).
So to recap: these maps are in Celsius. That means 0° (and cooler ) supports snow; anything ABOVE 0° supports rain.
(that's a big simplification of a very dynamic and complex process ... but you get the basic building blocks).
Here in Memphis and the surrounding areas, a few degrees make the biggest difference. And it often can't be nailed down until we get closer to the event (as data becomes more detailed and higher resolution).
A "snow potential" is still completely in play.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Check in with us at FOX13 whenever you want the freshest update - because we will be studying it around the clock and forwarding the story in every single broadcast.
All data suggests this event will be centered around February 2 -- just days before the Super Bowl. If you're planning or attending a party, you'll want to stay dialed in as we continue to track the potential snow event.
As denoted by the legend on the side of each image, wintry precip, mainly in the form of snow, is a possibility during the first week of February.
However, the timing does not line up – which is another sign that this is too far out to pinpoint. But once we start to see a convergence of data, we’ll give you that update.
With all that being said, we want to keep you in the loop with what we’re tracking so you can plan ahead and get items like ice melt BEFORE an event happens.
Stay tuned over the next week and a half as the Severe Weather Center 13 team fine tunes this forecast.
This is the GIF sent to me when I mentioned possible February snow on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/iFIvxeYD8G— Joey Sulipeck FOX13 (@joeysulipeck) January 24, 2018
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