Quick evening post

>> Saturday, January 20, 2007

Not a lot of time once again, but I wanted to lay out my ideas for the upcoming winter weather threat.

Of the 3 News 14 Carolina markets, the Triad market should experience the most from this event. Right now for the Triad market, I expect precip to move in Sunday afternoon, maybe as a sleet/rain mixture. As evaporation kicks in, the temp drops below freezing for much of the viewing area, and freezing rain becomes the dominant precip type by late afternoon. From the Triad itself on to the north and west, I don't see the temp getting above freezing until around midnight. So, roughly from Greensboro and Winston-Salem on north and west, I think 0.25" of ice accumulation is a possibility before we switch over to rain overnight Sunday night. That could be enough to cause some isolated power outages and a few travel problems, but I am not anticipating a crippling ice storm right now.

For the Charlotte area, precip also spreads in Sunday afternoon, likely beginning as a sleet/rain mix. Like in the Triad, temps then drop to freezing or below from roughly a Shelby to Gastonia to Charlotte to Albemarle line on north and west, and a period of freezing rain occurs. In the area I outlined above, I think up to 1/10" of ice could accumulate. Not a huge deal, but some icing of elevated surfaces is possible.

This is a very tough forecast, and one that could swing one way or another for either market. A few things that are complicating the forecast this evening....

  • Very low dewpoints moving in. That is a bit concerning, and we will watch wetbulbs carefully tomorrow.
  • Some of the modelling, such as the NAM and MM5, showing a real lack of precip across the area. At the moment, I continue to side with the wetter model solutions, although I am taking a bit off of their forecasted precip totals.
  • The classic error of models under-estimating CAD situations. This always sticks in the back of my mind during these situations.
So, there ya go...my thinking as of now. More updates as time allows through tomorrow....


Anonymous 7:19 PM  

Sorry Matthew, I know you probably have most of your mind on tomorrow's weather right now, but I just have to ask. What type, if any, precip are we looking at for next week with the temps being SOO cold? I heard on News 14 this afternoon of the chance of precip Wed. night. What are your thoughts on that. Great blog. Keep up the good work!

Matthew East 7:28 PM  

Thanks for your kind words! And you are right, most of my forecast energy has been used on tomorrow and tomorrow night. But, that mid-week system is interesting, and the GFS has been getting stronger with it on every run. If we can get the precip in here, temps would probably support something wintry. I will look at that better after we get past our event tomorrow.

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