Updated Thoughts....

>> Friday, January 18, 2008

This is still an amazingly difficult forecast even at this late hour before the event. A shift in the track of our area of low pressure of simply 25 to 50 miles will have huge implications on our snow accumulations.

I still have no significant changes to the ideas I laid out early this morning.

For the Triad, my forecast will be for 1"-3" of snow, possibly weighted more heavily toward the lower end of that range. As you go south and east from the Triad, higher snow totals could occur.

For the Charlotte region, I will maintain my earlier forecast of 2"-5" at this time.

And, although my main forecasting focus this evening has been on the Triad and Charlotte regions, I will leave my earlier 2"-5" outlook for the Triangle unchanged.

Here are the problems. If the GFS precipitation amounts verify, all of these snow totals are too high. Taken verbatim, the 18z GFS gives Charlotte 1"-2" and the Triad a trace to 1."

However, if the NAM precipitation amounts verify, then the forecast is in good shape if not a little too low. Taken literally, the 18z NAM puts down 3"-5" in Charlotte and 2"-3" in the Triad.

So, there is 'bust potential' here for sure.

But, like I said above, my ideas from earlier are essentially unchanged.

Watch the radar tonight. It is about time to put the models away and 'nowcast.'

12 comments:

Anonymous 6:57 PM  

Matt,
Live in Ansonville and everything I see would indicate that we could see the most accumation since we are in that south and east zone. Also could this storm really wind up with all that cold air coming in? In other words, what needs to happen for us to get more snow than forecasted?

Matthew East 7:05 PM  

Yeah, your area is tricky as well. While the better precip amounts will be the farther east you are, the atmospheric profile also gets a little more dicey in terms of rain vs. snow.

I think Anson county will see some snow....but really tough call on amounts.

To get the most snow, you need the system to move roughly where it is projected now but be a bit stronger to throw more moisture back into the cold air.

Anonymous 7:20 PM  

You guys are doing a great job! Out of curiosity - at what point in the system's track will it be more clear as to where the low will go? Thanks for everything! No matter what happens tomorrow I really appreciate your hard work!

Anonymous 7:40 PM  

Matt does this Strom has a chance to be like the 2004 Strom where out no where we got near 2feet of snow in Charlotte.Could we get 8-12in Charlotte?

Anonymous 7:45 PM  

I have been checking in here for the past 2 days with this storm and the last storm. Thank you for the updates.

I live in Raleigh and hoping for 3-5 inches, but expecting 2-4.

Sound about right?

Pretty tricky system for sure, it will be very interested to see how this one works out.

Thanks,
Brian

Matthew East 7:54 PM  

Thanks! Unfortunately, it will not really be definitively clear until we see the radar trends in the morning.

I don't think 8-12" are in the cards. The low would really have to out-perform all modeling.

Brian, yeah, I am still floating my 2-5" out there for the Triangle.

Definitely a trickier-than-normal system here. Quite the range of possibilities....

Russell 8:27 PM  

Looks like everything for the Concord/Mt. Pleasant area is laying out to be 1-4" and Salisbury 2-5". I only hope things clear up enough by Monday that we won't have any nasty driving scenarios. Guess you could say that is the only good thing about this storm happening when it is; storms over the weekend mean less concerns about "rush hour" traffic problems

Tony Of Rockingham 9:04 PM  

Are you going to make a video tonight ? Really wanna know what your expecting

Anonymous 10:40 PM  

Storm looks pretty impressive here at 10:30. Is it possible this is stronger than indicated?

Anonymous 10:57 PM  

Hey Matthew

Heavy snow warnigs in south central Alabama? WOW thats rare eh? Kinda makes yyou wonder if the storm is a little stronger than what was expected. Was heavy snow in that region expected?

-Joe in Charlotte

Matthew East 11:24 PM  

Russell....no rush hour is a good thing...

No video tonight. I have done a ton of talking and forecasting, and I am about spent for the day. But I will try to get one cut in the morning.

Don't think the storm is any stronger or weaker than expected as of yet.

And yeah, heavy snow warnings are not an every day occurrence in Alabama. However, I believe the Birmingham NWS has been planning on issuing those since at least early afternoon. Nothing unexpected there as of now.

DoubleJ 1:00 AM  

Thanks for good work Matthew. Hit or miss, bigger or smaller, you and your team did an excellent job. At some point you just have to sit back and watch, and I guess that is what we are doing here. Thanks, JJ.

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