I am an amateur weather enthusiast with a small hobby horse farm. I track the weather for the purpose of keeping my family, horses, and farm safe.
By: MLJenkins, 12:30 AM GMT on January 27, 2014
Some quick thoughts on upcoming weather. I haven't really looked too much at the models for this week because it is pretty obvious it is going to be colder than [fill in your favorite saying]. Tuesday and Wednesday morning are going to be the worst, with temps way below 0F and wind chill values in dangerous zones. Thursday it starts to warm up, but we may see some snow flurries Thursday into Friday.
Saturday (Feb 1) is where things get interesting. It appears the winds start shifting and we start getting fed air from south. Right now we will probably have a minor snow/slush/rain event on Saturday that will turn over to rain by the end of the day. The northern panhandle may see more of this and my bet would be it will start as snow and end as a rain mix.
The first week in Feb, Monday-Wednesday, the models are showing a significant amount of precipitation. However, by this time we are being fed a lot of warm air so I believe these events will hopefully be rain. This could, however, be a bit of a problem. We have almost a foot of snow on the ground, and depending on how fast the temps come up over the next week, may have to worry about localized flooding if we get too much water. Unfortunately it is pretty far out to predict, but the models keep pulling this event up in time, so this will most likely occur Monday or even Sunday if the trend continues.
Currently there is about a foot of total snow on the ground, with drifts up to almost 2' against walls and such here. The temp keeps going up and down like a yoyo as this new system pushes in and drives arctic air into our area tomorrow. We should have some rain/snow tonight, which could make things slick if it does come down as rain.
Until next time!
By: MLJenkins, 2:10 AM GMT on January 11, 2014
Just some quick thoughts on tonight. The NWS is calling for rain after 2am. Looks like the GFS, euro, and RUC models put possible rain here between midnight and 3. However, temp predictions are up around the low 50's.
Rain tomorrow should start between 7am-10am, with anything heavier probably closer to the 10am mark. Going to wing it since I think the change of rain is so slim tonight and keep the horses outside and bring them in when we get up. If I'm wrong, at least it won't be cold out and the rain in the early hours should pass quickly.
Tomorrow the rain should come down with warm temps. Unfortunately this means even more mud as the ground continues to thaw from last weekend's freezing vortex.
By: MLJenkins, 7:05 PM GMT on January 09, 2014
Just some thoughts long term for our area (Salem, WV) from looking at the GFS models today. Just putting some thoughts together so I can go back and read them after the days pass, so I can continue to get better at forecasting for my area.
* Sat Jan 11 - Lots of rain, but probably nothing to be too concerned with flood wise. Will probably turn over to snow late Saturday into Sunday morning. May be a bit of a pain Sunday morning to deal with depending on the temps.
* Thurs Jan 16 - Snow turning over to freezing rain by morning. Probably nothing too significant
* Sun Jan 19 - Cold and snow. Could be an interesting weekend, but it's too far out now to tell. Just keeping it in the back of my mind as we approach the MLJ holiday.
Typically late January brings us good snow amounts, so I'll be curious if we see some more snow later in the month. This winter is definitely warmer than last, so I expect we could see enough white stuff to cause us a headache this year.
The back roads that were treated are thawing out, but the gravel roads are a glazed ice now. They are really unsafe to drive on and care must be taken to stay away from the road edges so you don't slide off the road into a ditch or over an embankment. I am hoping this warmer rain Saturday will help melt a lot of the ice that isn't going away.
The ground is very hard and has ice on top of it, covered with snow. It is difficult to stand on. The horses are having an equally difficult time getting around on the hill. I had hoped the snow would help cushion their feet but a majority of the snow has melted down to top the frozen ground with ice, making matters worse.
Updated: 7:05 PM GMT on January 09, 2014
By: MLJenkins, 2:30 PM GMT on January 08, 2014
The weekly summary for my weather station says it best. Take a look.
Tuesday (Jan 7) at 07:42 we saw our low temp of the year, -8.9 °F. With a 4.7mph breeze, that was a -20.4 °F windchill. Our lowest windchill occurred at 06:41 and was -25.0 °F. At one point I recall seeing a -29 °F windchill on the base station at my house.
The fun ride was on Sunday night/Monday morning (Jan 6) at 00:12 we had a high temp of 55.4 °F. Only several hours before we were feeding our horses and it was 33 °F outside.
It looks like tomorrow (Thursday Jan 9) we will break out of the freezing temps. Unfortunately by the time we hit the 50's on Saturday we will be paying for it with rain, which should make what is left over on the ground pretty darn slick.
In any case, I think we've broken out of the blanket the horses weather and they can remain outside until the rain comes this weekend. Thank God, because cleaning stalls in near 0 °F weather is not fun.
By: MLJenkins, 4:53 PM GMT on January 04, 2014
Last night we saw -5.3F at the farm. That was well below the forecasted 9F for this area. Currently we are at 30F and rising quick as the afternoon sun starts to work it's magic. We kept the horses in last night and blanketed, and they seem to be dealing with the weather well.
Early next week the forecasts are showing a very very very cold storm coming in Sunday evening into Tuesday night. Prepare yourselves and your animals because we could see windchills as low as -30F on Tuesday morning. Sunday night it will start as rain and turn over to snow rapidly, creating a flash freeze condition which could make travel very difficult on Monday morning.
Please please please bring your animals in out of the weather. I would suggest bringing horses in Sunday early evening before the rain starts so they are not cold when the temperature starts to drop and keeping them in until Tuesday morning or afternoon (it may still be too cold Tuesday morning with the wind chill still below 0). The wind could guest up to almost 40mph on Monday afternoon so be prepared to lose power with the temps this low. Make sure you have plenty of water stored and if you have a generator start it Sunday night for 5-10 minutes to get the oil warm and make sure it runs.
Perhaps I am being a bit paranoid, but the news is starting to say the same thing. The GFS weather models at various heights have been consistently showing this storm for a while now and the various models I just looked at are all showing this as a definite.
Updated: 4:56 PM GMT on January 04, 2014
By: MLJenkins, 6:31 PM GMT on January 02, 2014
Where we are in Salem, the temp is down around 34F now. It has dropped about 3F in the past couple hours. The GFS is showing the majority of the precipitation coming down between 4pm-7pm, so I suspect with the timing it will start as rain (the storm is coming up from the south where it is warmer) and progress into snow as the temp falls more. Probably no need to leave too early today but I wouldn't stay out later than quitting time!
We may see wind gusts up to about 25mph early tonight into late tonight, which would give us a pretty chilly evening. If it is still snowing, the blowing snow won't make it much fun outside for anyone.
Tomorrow looks better for having our horses out, but the wind chill in the pre-noon hours could be too much to expose them to. Other than the cold wind, the day should be pretty nice. I am looking more forward to Saturday! Perhaps I'll get some pretty pics of the snow to post.
By: MLJenkins, 1:40 AM GMT on January 02, 2014
Last night it got down to 15F a couple hours before dawn. The ground was frozen hard in the morning, which is miserable for the horses (and us) when walking on the frozen mud. Through the day the sky cleared and it began to quickly warm up, to an almost unbelievable 48F today.
Tonight I think the temp has pretty much leveled off at 26F. It was around 26.0 about an hour ago, but now it is about 26.8F, so I suspect it should level out about there. The sky was clear a bit ago, but according to NWS predictions it should cloud over soon which should keep the temps about the same through the night.
The big question is how warm will it get tomorrow. If it gets up much above freezing, we will be in for some rain and snow, which could freeze overnight. If it stays well below freezing, then we should get about 3-4" of snow. I already suspect we may see a good 2" or more by Friday morning since the ground is still pretty cool from the past few days. To keep everyone dry we will be bringing the horses in tomorrow morning, since it will start to rain/snow during the early afternoon.
Friday morning brings an almost below 0 windchill, followed by a nice Saturday, and another cool down with some snow showers Sunday into Monday morning. Monday night we could see a temp of almost 0F, with a windchill down to -14F if predictions hold true. It's really too far out to tell values yet, but nonetheless enough to let me know we will be keeping the horses blanketed inside the barn.
PS: Shortly after posting this the temperature is registering 27.0F now, so the temp is on the rise. Should be an interesting day tomorrow, but still nothing to panic over, just a fun West Virginia winter day!
Updated: 1:42 AM GMT on January 02, 2014
By: MLJenkins, 1:53 AM GMT on January 01, 2014
Looks like early Thursday morning the snow will begin. It is still debatable whether this turns over to rain later Thursday and the back to snow in the evening. If so we could have a mess on the roads.
Thursday night into Friday will be terrible. The wind predictions for NWS are up to 26mph guests, with the temperature of 11F could put the windchill at right below 0F. The wind predictions this year have been on the high side, so we may not quite see that, but I guarantee early Friday morning will be miserable.
Come Monday we are in for another for another treat. The commute to work could be cold and slick. We should see temps in the single digits by then. Seems instead of the 3 dog night we might have to go with a 2 horse night.