WX blog: It is NOT going to snow in Tampa Bay this week


It’s Winter and now a lot of the nation is freezing. 

So, why waste a superb alternative to hype one thing that gained’t occur? 

That appears to be what has been flying round social media the final 2 or three days. “Right here comes snow in Florida”, “Might it snow in Tampa?”, “Snow attainable subsequent week in Central Florida.” 

These are just some of the foolish headlines I noticed floating round on Fb and Twitter this previous week. 

So, then you definitely click on on the articles they usually supply a variety of nonsense. From an entire lack of meteorological understanding to easily then saying that it in all probability gained’t occur anyway. However, now the hysteria has begun. 

Positive, nobody studying these articles truly believes that if it snows right here in Tampa Bay, it might be lots, however I’ve taken calls, emails, messages and posts on social media asking me whether it is actually going to snow subsequent week.

Ugh.  Now I’ve to undo another person’s poor climate forecast. 

Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of it proper now….I noticed 2 totally different media retailers right here in Tampa Bay displaying one run of a pc mannequin forecast from the twenty eighth of December indicating the potential of snow in Tampa on the third or 4th of January. 

Earlier than I delve into how they utterly misinterpreted the info, let me first say this….forecasting something off of 1 run of 1 pc mannequin a number of days out is irresponsible, not to mention forecasting one thing that hasn’t occurred in virtually 30 years. However, right here is the place the opposite people actually dropped the ball.

Each media retailers confirmed the mannequin’s prediction of precipitation mixed with the place the “540 line” was going to be. With out getting too scientific, the “540 line” is one of some tips utilized in forecasting a rain/snow line in climates that don’t have a big maritime affect. Final I checked, the peninsula of Florida was surrounded by water. 


540 line with 6 hour previous precip at 2 pm Jan three

To provide you an understanding with out getting too detailed, the 540 line represents a “thickness” of the air between 2 strain heights within the environment. The decrease the quantity, the shorter the space between these 2 layers. 

This represents colder air. The upper the quantity, the larger the space, the hotter the layer of air. 540 decameters is usually used to make that distinction for precip sort. 


540 line with 6 hour previous precip at eight pm Jan three

However, to ensure that the precipitation to fall as snow, the environment needs to be under liberating for many of that layer. Snow can fall if the floor is above freezing if the precipitation is falling exhausting sufficient. 

So, on that very same pc mannequin for Jan third, the temperature aloft in the midst of that layer described above is about 10 levels too heat for frozen precipitation. 


850 mb temp at 2 pm Jan three

That is represented by these pictures displaying 850 mb temperature. You’ll be able to discover within the photographs that that pc mannequin has temperatures about three to six levels Celsius. 


850 mb temp at eight pm Jan three

Any…



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