LET'S DISCUSS: Close call for snow this Saturday
I know what you're thinking..."really? Snow?!" First off, it's a close call - not a guarantee at the moment (and we'll explain why that's the case below). Secondly, snow happens in April more than you might think. That's especially the case in places like Wise. Measurable snow (0.1" or more) has happened 14 out of the last 80s years in the Tri-Cities. Since 1955, Wise has only gone 13 Aprils without measurable snow.
So, what's up with this Saturday then? We've got an area of strong winds at airplane level, referred to as the jet stream, passing to the north. There's one region of the jet stream that we will have to monitor closely.
This particular region is called the 'right entrance' region. This is where the air lifts more and heavier precipitation can fall. The farther north this right entrance is, the lesser chance we have of snow. The farther south it drops, the better chance we have.
That's where we see a little variation in our forecast data. The GFS (or American) model shows a better chance of accumulating snow, especially towards the KY/VA line. Still, it shows more major impacts towards Lexington and Charleston, WV.
Compare that to the European model that has shifted most evertying north, leaving most of us with little to no snow accumulation. Still, it has the better chance of major accumulations around Lexington and Charleston, WV.
It would take quite a shift for us to get pounded with snow, but this is still worth watching. With temperatures in the 30s Saturday morning, this would mean a wet snow if it were to materialize. If you're in southwest Virginia, I'd especially pay closer attention to this forecast. Your forecast is more susceptible to change, depending on the track of this system.
Most of the Tri-Cities sees a cold rain, and maybe a brief change to snow with little to no accumulation.
We expect to have more confidence in the forecast by Thursday, so be sure to keep checking back for updates. Simply looking at a cute snow icon on your phone isn't enough to give you the complete story. Whether it's a cold rain or a wet snow for parts of the region, we'll be with you every step of the way. Stay tuned.