4:30 P.M. Monday, Feb. 18, 2019
Most likely rain will start as snow
A quick look at the primary weather charts today would give you the idea that there’s no chance for snow tomorrow night. But, today’s forecast models allow you to dive much deeper – and they say we’ll see a few hours of snow/sleet before we warm enough for rain.
The mid and upper atmosphere will warm rapidly tomorrow, but there be some air in the lower 5000 feet of the atmosphere that remains cool enough to create snow before rain takes over. Even though surface temperatures should reach 40 or higher, the near surface air will remain very dry. So, as precipitation begins aloft, it will be evaporated before it reaches the surface. Evaporation of water cools the air. In this case, just enough cooling to allow the snow from aloft to NOT melt before reaching the surface. Temperatures will probably only drop into the mid 30’s, so it’ll be a very “wet” snow. Nevertheless, much of the area along and north of I-64 could easily see a 1″-2″ accumulation on grassy areas before the changeover to rain. Areas south of I-64 will see a rapid drop in snow – probably 30-40 miles south – should expect no accumulation.
Roadways may see a brief slushy period, but little (if any) accumulation. Rain will wash away icy spots on the roads by shortly after Midnight, so no trouble with the morning rush – expect for water. Rain tomorrow night until midday Wednesday should be add up to about 1″-1.5″. While that’s a good sized rain, it will not be enough to bring back flooding. After that the next heavy rain is not expected until Saturday.
36 degrees If something is falling out of the sky and it’s 36, there’s 50% chance it’ll be rain and 50% chance it’ll be snow (or some other frozen type). Above 36, the odds increasingly move toward liquid. Below 36, the odd increasingly favor frozen types of precipitation.