3 PM UPDATE: 60% Delay, 35% Snow Day

As of right now I have not changed my delay or snow day forecast because I have not seen anything significantly different.  Besides the snowfall rates more impressive than expected this morning, the forecast is right on track, with the main mixing with rain happening at noon, moving slightly inland by 1, and now by 2 and 3 we are seeing most areas turn over to light rain/freezing rain.  The radar is almost empty as the entire region has been dry slotted, so we are in a lull for a period of time here.

Precipitation then picks back up tonight between 11 PM and 1 AM.  Around midnight enough cold air will begin to move in for the rain to mix with snow, and by 1 AM we will be dealing with a period of snow accumulating at rates up to 1-2 inches per hour again in this banding.  Snow will then move out of the area by 3-5 AM, so it will be a quick burst.  The reason the delay/snow day forecast is constant is because most weather models have the snow out of the region by 4 or 5 AM, meaning districts will have up to 4-5 hours to clear roadways with delayed openings, and many districts will do everything in their power to have school.  Yes, a foot of snow fell today in places, but with temperatures above freezing there is time now to clean up from that and prepare for the next burst tonight.  Schools on half days tomorrow will likely have to close, but I am still leaning towards delayed openings for most other districts.

Other than that, the storm has gone according to forecast, which is funny as this seemed to be the most complex and hardest to forecast storm of the winter.  That leaves me very uneasy for tonight, because most storms tend to bring large surprises in one way or another.  That’s why I’m watching this banding so closely, as a few more hours and it could close schools, or 50 miles in another direction and SWCT could barely be scraped by it.  Assuming we get a few inches, though, most areas will get into the revised snowfall totals, and a majority of those will be in the previous totals as well, as a few very high-end amounts from the locally heaviest snowfall areas are slightly throwing off amounts.

I am also beginning to track a storm for Saturday, which is an Alberta Clipper that will rapidly strengthen to the east of the region.  As of right now I only see an inch or two of snow for the region during the day on Saturday, but depending on the exact track and how quickly it strengthens it could even be a little more than that, as storms like that are notoriously very difficult to forecast, as we learned earlier this year.  I’ll keep an eye on that and the heavy snow banding tonight, as well as any potential impacts on school, so that I can keep you ahead of what’s coming next.  Stay tuned.

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