Kirk Mellish's Weather Commentary 

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Storm post-mortem

  • 12:48 pm Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

The biggest snow in parts of the Metro area in at least 25 years.

Clearly my forecast snow amounts were a big bust fail in the West and some North suburbs, whereas it WAS correct elsewhere… including the rain-snow line, and where there would be mostly rain and little or no snow. I realize that is no comfort to those impacted by how wrong I was in the W/NW suburbs where my 1-3 inches became a ton more.

Here’s a quote from my blog of last Wednesday morning:

I hope you checked back often. I updated my Friday forecast at 11:30am to 3-6 inches [More]

Snow leaves, but hard freeze follows

  • 7:51 am Saturday, December 9th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

LOCAL RADAR AND TEMPS 730AM:

Beware of icy spots and slippery driving until at least 11 this morning, longer in the far NW where snow was heaviest.

Remember whatever snow or moisture is left on the roads will turn to ice tonight with a hard freeze after 9pm when temps slip below 32 on their way to lows by sunrise Sunday of 20-24.

Temps rise back above freezing after 11 am Sunday.

Winter wonderland for some

  • 1:15 pm Friday, December 8th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Heavier snow than I expected in earlier forecasts… at least in the areas West and North where it started first.

At least the rate of fall was more than I expected which is why there was accumulation on roads in some areas. When it falls fast enough it can overcome warm ground and air temps that are above freezing.

Many folks in the East and South sections of the metro are still just in rain or a mix.

For the metro area 1-3 inches looks like the most common accumulation to me now in the pink warning area of the metro along and [More]

Winter Weather

  • 9:30 am Friday, December 8th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

As forecast precipitation started out as rain. In areas where the snow started earlier up to 5 inches expected in parts in the “warning area” in the pink below.

As usual we are right on the sharp dividing line between a lot of something and a lot of nothing for some, more something the closer to TN and AL you are and more nothing the closer to FL/SC you are.

With the rain-snow line aloft cutting roughly near and along I-85 give or take 20-40 miles North or South. So the farther North and West of the perimeter you are the better the [More]

Winter Mischief Friday

  • 5:46 pm Thursday, December 7th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

As always some of the details, like start and stop times are hard to pin down across a metro area larger than some of our states. But the main saving grace is no freezing rain is expected so no ice storm worries. Also, air temperatures are expected to stay above freezing for most of “the event”.

DO NOT EXPECT TO WAKE UP TO A BLANKET OF WHITE TOMORROW. It starts as rain or a rain/sleet/snow mix.

Temperatures may drop below freezing after 8pm or so Friday but maybe not until after midnight for many. But this could change so stay tuned.

The mix [More]

Winter weather

  • 6:07 am Thursday, December 7th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

The first thing to remind everyone is that snow tomorrow is not a certainty.

And if you’ve been reading my blog posts HERE over the past few days you know you can expect the forecast to change with a more volatile pattern than normal in place.

One thing that looks pretty certain is that precip tonight and tomorrow/tomorrow night will be either rain or snow but NO ICE storm conditions expected, although patchy black ice will be possible tomorrow night and early Saturday morning.

SURFACE WEATHER CHART TODAY/TONIGHT:

SURFACE WEATHER CHART EARLY SATURDAY MORNING:

So a far from certain forecast with the usual [More]

Old Man Winter threat

  • 11:27 am Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

In my past two blog posts I pointed out how I thought this pattern was atypically unstable and forecasts would probably have to be changed every 6-12 hours. That sure has come true and will continue until the jet stream is no longer screaming right above us.

In a nutshell the divergent output of the models is related to how each is handling the speed shape and configuration of the upper level flow and pieces of energy within that flow, how strong they are and whether they stay weak and “strung out” or gather together to form a more potent upper [More]

Winter Outlook

  • 10:59 am Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Note this outlook was made a couple weeks ago for publication today.

There are enough differences in the sea-surface temperature patterns around the world this year compared to last year to expect a different kind of winter.

The past two winters were quite warm. This one is expected to be more normal when averaged over the 90 day period.

Waters west of Australia are cooler than normal but warmer around India, this can impact how much energy gets injected into our jet streams for the winter. Likewise, this year there is warmer than normal waters off the coast of California and Mexico, but [More]

Watching winter precipitation risk

  • 7:38 am Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

When there is a risk of snow or ice in Georgia the question usually concerns either marginal temperatures or marginal moisture, or both. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf and mountains all make forecasting here all the more complicated and difficult.

In the case this week, most data supports temperatures aloft being cold enough for snow to start in the clouds, the question is will there be sufficient LIFT (ascent) and MOISTURE to produce enough precipitation for it to fall from clouds and reach the ground or fall enough to not melt?

For a week now there has been zero agreement [More]

Winter chill for Atlanta

  • 7:28 am Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

It was still November when I first warned that this big cold front was coming and that rumors of snow would come with it. While the rumors were spread by others everyone now agrees on the coming cold.

The pattern is highly volatile thanks to the jet stream screaming right over Georgia with embedded “short-waves” or upper-level disturbances or spokes of vorticity which are notoriously difficult to time. Thus, expect forecasts to need adjusting every 6-12 hours between now and Saturday.

YES, there are multiple “opportunities” for snow flakes in Georgia, even Atlanta. However, to me NONE OF THEM look significant enough [More]

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