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                   Monday, December 22, 2008 - 5:35PM

Shallow upslope snow bands, coldest air so far

By DAN ROBINSON
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25 Years of Storm Observing
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This morning was another example of why with winter weather, many times I can't trust anything but what my own two eyes see outside. I figured I was in the clear for today - all models, forecast discussions, outlooks, you name it - showed nothing but clearing skies for us overnight into this morning. However, a few very shallow and narrow upslope snow bands formed over Charleston, and with the very cold air in place, quickly coated the roads at daybreak. Thanks to the extremely dry air (our dewpoints were below zero), the snow was a light 'sawdust' consistency that didn't bond to the road surface. Wakes from moving vehicles were all it took to keep all of the high-traffic roads, including the interstates, clear. Some side streets had a good covering, but thankfully the consistency of the snow and lack of bonding didn't result in any slickness that I could find. With temps at 8°F, I was very glad I didn't have to set my camera up and stand outside.

Temperature at dawn:

The light snow coating blew away quickly with each passing car:

The snow bands were some of the shallowest and thinnest precip-producing clouds I've seen. Here is a shot of a departing band, nearly translucent to the morning light. Snow was falling at the time of this image with clear skies overhead.


click to enlarge

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