SFR confirms Radar and Surface Observations

On January 10 2016, an arctic front pushed east across our forecast area. Rain, associated with the front, mixed with snow and then changed to all snow from west to east during the afternoon and evening hours. Patchy snow showers or flurries then continued into the nighttime hours.

I have attached an SFR image (SFR_2233Z_011016.jpg) from 533 PM EST (2233 UTC). I have also attached two other images: RLX radar (Radar_2236Z_011016.jpg) and Surface Observations (Surface_23Z_011016.jpg). In general, the SFR data matches up quite well with the radar data as well as the surface observations.

The only area where the SFR data does not match up with the other observations is across eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. KBKW (Beckley WV) and KPBX (Pikeville KY) both reported
light snow while K6L4 (Logan WV) reported unknown precipitation. In contrast, the SFR data did not indicate any snow in the clouds.

SFR_2233Z_011016

Radar_2236Z_011016

Surface_23Z_011016

3 thoughts on “SFR confirms Radar and Surface Observations

  1. This is a great case example, Jeff! For the areas where the SFR product missed reported snow in southern West Virginia and Kentucky, I wonder if this was too light to be detected by the satellite. Do you have a feel for final accumulations in those areas?

  2. We have not received the reports from all of our Cooperative Observers yet. But snowfall reported was generally a trace across all of West Virginia…but the northern mountains as well as the northern lowland counties where a few reports of 0.5 to 1 inch amounts occurred. Many of the Cooperative Observers across the southern third of West Virginia reported no snow. This matches up quite well with the radar data from 01/10/16 which shows the snow showers were much more scattered across the south.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. The snowfall that the SFR product missed appeared to be either too light or have come from very shallow clouds. Either case would have too weak of a scattering signal for satellite to detect snowfall.

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