You're probably very confused about this forecast. Snow begins tomorrow night, and yet I still can't give you a firm answer as to how much or when it ends. But when the weather service issues a winter storm watch for a duration of 36 hours, that's pretty big.
Thursday's storm has something unique: the element of surprise. Whatever happens in those 36 hours from tomorrow night into Friday morning will be "wintry". While meteorologists are losing hair to try and pinpoint a forecast, their toils will mostly be lost due to so many last minute changes for this now-casting type event.
Just keep in mind that the forecast will change (at the very least be tweaked) roughly 5 times through Friday morning. This includes the start time, changeover time, change-backover time, and end time. Of course, the snowfall accumulations are based on only one of many scenarios. So, naturally, those will go up or down too.
Keep watching the forecast, and hopefully we'll all have a better handle on the event tomorrow morning.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
After 8 inches fell in the city this morning (at some points at a verifiable rate of 6"/hour), it is now "graupeling". Meaning, the snow is falling so heavily at 9am that the snowflakes don't have a chance to reach the ground before being swept up back into the cloud, and freezing with water droplets. A graupel pellet is not hail, nor sleet, nor ice pellets rather it is "rimed snow" or "snow pellets". It is also called "soft hail" and look and feels like a styrofoam bead. You can squash it flat between your fingers, but it also hurts as it falls.