Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snow potential for the Deep South and Mid-Atlantic

One mention of the s-word and all of a sudden people start getting worried or excited, but rarely anything in between, here in the Mid-South. Unfortunately, this time around, we likely aren't going to get any here in the Memphis metro area. If you see a flurry early Saturday morning, feel free to call me out!

However, for folks to our south (yes, I said south!), the next weather system to move through the Gulf Coastal region and into the Mid-Atlantic will bring a swath of the frozen white stuff beginning Friday morning in Texas and moving into the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys Friday night, then into the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic Saturday. According to The Weather Channel's maps, snowfall could accumulate up to 1-2" across portions of Texas, from Midland/Odessa in west TX to San Antonio and Houston on Friday, then across central LA and central MS and AL (places like Jackson and Birmingham) on Friday night and early Saturday. Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories are already posted for much of southeastern TX, including Houston, Galveston, Austin, and San Antonio, and southwestern LA, including Lake Charles and Lafayette. For those with friends or family in central AL, I enjoy following the ABC33/40 Weather Blog with Dr. Tim Coleman and James Spann, who have great coverage of this storm for their area. You can also check out The Houston Weather Blog, done by ABC13 in Houston.

This particular storm is staying to our south thanks to the extreme southern position of the jet stream (shown below - the greens, yellows, and oranges being the track of the jet Friday evening), which will be flowing out of Texas along the Gulf Coast and then making a hard turn north up the eastern seaboard. We are under the influence of an upper-level trough, which means that the storm track is to our south. Being on the polar air side of the jet means we get the very cold temperatures without the "benefits" of the snowfall.

As mentioned in yesterday's post on the weather patterns associated with El Nino, though, this isn't the last of this pattern we'll see this winter, and it's just early December, so we have some chances yet to get in on the act of one of these southern stream storm systems!

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