Saturday Night....

>> Saturday, January 19, 2008

I know their are a lot of folks disappointed with this system, and I am one of them. I was really hoping to get some snow on the ground, and it simply didn't happen in many places.

Some spots did see an inch or so of snow accumulation, but like I mentioned, many places ended up with no accumulation at all, even though snow basically fell for 7 straight hours in much of the region.

Tomorrow, after my brain is back working again, I will write the postmortem on this storm and go through what happened to my forecast.

As for tonight, the light snow will wind down with no additional significant accumulation. However, temperatures will plunge overnight tonight. The clearing line of clouds is already approaching the mountains, and we will see the sky clear here overnight. That should allow lows to drop to around 20 degrees in the Charlotte region.

That is important because of all of the residual water left on area roads. Some of that water will likely become ice overnight, especially on secondary roads as well as bridges and overpasses. So, I can't urge this enough.....PLEASE be careful driving tonight through Sunday morning.

Sunday will be very cold with a high struggling to make it above freezing in spite of a sunny sky. And, then we drop into the low to mid teens Monday morning.

Down the road, I am watching the potential storm systems next week. The first one on Tuesday could begin as some freezing rain Tuesday morning. I will look at that much closer tomorrow.

After that, the next potential system is Thursday, but I get the feeling that one might pass too far south to give us any significant precip. Again, I will look much closer at all of this tomorrow.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. God bless!



Well, I am afraid our accumulations are just not going to be very significant for much of the area. That is definitely a real disappointment.

However, it was nice just to simply watch the snow fall. But that doesn't help with the kids wanting to sled and build snowmen. I know....I have three of them.

We will see snow continue into this evening and taper off with time. Some spots will pick up some mainly minor accumulations, but for the Charlotte and Triad regions, they look to be just that....minor if at all.

At least we can enjoy the falling snow this evening. Get a cup of cocoa, get a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy!



Well, the change-over from rain to snow is taking place from northwest to southeast around the region. Now, it is simply a matter of how much precip we have left in terms of any accumulations.

Enjoy the snow! The precip will gradually dry up from west to west through this evening. We will see what we can squeeze out in terms of accumulations around the region.


'Wasted' precip

Let me say, the drought obviously continues, and we remain very thankful for the rain. No complaints there.

However, in terms of snow chances, we sure are 'wasting' a lot of our precip before the changeover to snow. Not good.

I am now beginning to think the upper end of my accumulation ranges will be very difficult to reach....think more toward the lower end.

We shall see....


Saturday morning...

Here is a video I jsut cut this morning.

Well, we are at the day of the event. I have been analyzing radars from across the SE all morning, and this just simply remains an extremely tough call.

Modeling has been next to useless, as none of them have handled the overnight precip very well.

The radar back over Georgia looks fairly encouraging for North Carolina, at least for the I-85 corridor and points east. But we are going to see the northwest portion of the precip shield gradually erode with time as the drier arctic air moves in through the day. Again, such a tough call.

This morning, I am going to slightly pull back my snow accumulation totals just a bit. But, these are not drastic changes at all.

For the Charlotte region, I will go with 1-4". While it is tough to tell, the best chance for decent accumulations looks to be from a Gaston to Iredell county line eastward.

For the Triad, I will go with 1-2". However, from the Triad on to the northwest, a dusting looks possible.

For the Triangle, I am thinking 1-4". But, at this point I will defer to my colleagues in the Raleigh area for the forecast.

At this point, just watch the radars and see what happens.


Late Friday night....

>> Friday, January 18, 2008

Brain cells are about done for the night. However, wanted to throw a quick update up.

The 0z NAM shifted the heaviest precip farther south, but what do you know...the GFS all of the sudden shifted it a bit back north with its 0z run. So, while the NAM had been the biggest friend of snow lovers, it is now much lighter for much of North Carolina. Meanwhile, the GFS is a little heavier than previous runs.

Satellite and radar trends don't look bad at all for now for getting some snow in here.

My first reaction when I saw the NAM shift south was to back off on my snow totals. But based on how the radar and satellite look, I am going to let my going forecast ride and we can evaluate in the morning. Scroll below for my forecast ideas. For the time being, I will leave them as-is, but the 0z NAM didn't do us any favors.

I am off to bed for the night. Thanks so much for reading and blog record for hits today! Thanks!


Updated Thoughts....

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.'


Conference calls.....

Just finished the conference calls with RAH and GSP. The general idea from RAH is 1-3" for the Triad, with more likelihood of the lower end of that range verifying. The Triad will go under a Winter Weather Advisory. RAH is siding more with the NAM due to its better handling of the 500mb features compared to the GFS.

GSP is going with a winter weather advisory for the Charlotte region for generally 1-3" of snow. Their thinking is 1-2" in Meck county with the highest accumulation (2-3") running in a rough line from Rutherfordton to Lincolnton to Salisbury.

I am just getting into the forecast package now, and I will update my thoughts later on as necessary. At the moment, I see no need to change my outlook given below. So from me, no changes as of yet.

Like I said, I am delving into it now, and I will update as necessary......


Friday Morning....

The video above is encoding and should be ready to go soon if it is not now.

The models seemed to have settled into somewhat of an agreement with our storm system tomorrow. Low pressure will develop in the northern Gulf of Mexico and lift up to near the Carolina coast.

It looks like most of the precip that falls in the Charlotte metro, Triad, and Triangle regions will fall in the form of snow. At all spots, the precip could begin as a pretty brief period of rain but quickly change over to snow and remain as snow until the end of the event.

The astronomical snowfall amounts printed out by the NAM model yesterday appear out to lunch. However, I do like the chance of accumulating snow for much of the region.

Here is my thinking as of this always, I reserve the right to adjust this some, and I won't be in my on-air shift until this evening. That is when my final call will come out. Also, keep in mind I am cutting this video and writing this post before I have seen any of the sounding data from the 12z models.

This is one of those cases where the Piedmont will probably see more snow than the mountains from the synoptic event. And, unlike yesterday, the I-85 corridor will probably see more snow than in the northwest Piedmont. There will likely be a fairly sharp gradient from northwest to southeast in terms of snow amounts.

For Charlotte, this looks like a 2-5" type of storm, depending how much snow we lose at the beginning portions of the event that doesn't accumulate. The precip spreads in tomorrow morning, psosibly beginning as a couple of hours of rain before kicking over to all snow. The snow becomes light by Saturday night and ends.

For the Triad itself, this looks more on the order of a 1-4" snow. However, somewhere in the Triad viewing area could wind up more toward 5" where the precip and the cold air line up correctly. Snow, possibly beginning as a brief period of rain, begins close to daybreak or soon thereafter and ends tomorrow night.

For the Triangle, this also looks like a 2-5" snowstorm, with the potential for a little more where the cold air and precip line up best. Rain probably begins tomorrow morning, switching to snow by lunchtime. Snow then ends late tomorrow night.

Around the Hickory area, this looks more on the order of a 1-3" storm.

What makes this one such a tough call is the sharp edge on the northern edge of the precip. There will probably be some spots that see a dusting of snow, while only 50 miles or so southeast of there, several inches are on the ground.

Again, that is my call for now. Take it with a grain of salt. I will make necessary adjustments through this evening, and my final call will come out later this evening.


Thoughts on Saturday...

>> Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hopefully, things will get a little clearer if not with tonight's 0z model runs, then the 12z runs in the morning. However, the potential is there for someone in North Carolina and/or South Carolina to get a really nice snowfall.

This is an interesting set-up. By the way, if anyone knows of a case study of an event similar to this, I would love to see it.

I ran the 18z NAM and GFS through BUFKIT, and taken literally, the NAM printed out 6-10" of snow for Charlotte.....possibly beginning as a bit of rain but changing quickly to snow. The 18z NAM printed out 6-8" for Winston-Salem....precip essentially begins as snow.

The 18z GFS gave Charlotte 4-6" of snow while giving Winston-Salem 2-4".

I am not going to put out any accumulation predictions this evening. I simply don't have enough confidence in any one solution to do so at the moment. I want to review tonight's model data, and I will make a call after that.

But I will continue to say that someone in the Charlotte, Triad, or Triangle viewing areas could very well see a significant snowfall. The keys are obviously where and how much.

I am sorry I can't get more specific is just too tough to tell at the moment.


Storm Post-mortem....

First of all, yesterday was the heaviest traffic day ever logged on my blog, and I thank you!

Now, I always like to look back after a storm system passes and see what went well and what didn't with the forecast. All of the ideas I posted are archived below.

Overall, I am fairly happy with how my forecast panned out. The snowfall was pretty much right about what I was anticipating. However, the ice threat never really materialized for most folks. I believe the reason was the timing of the clouds thickening yesterday. For the southern Piedmont, the clouds really thickened between 3 and 5pm, and that really cut down on any radiational cooling before the precip arrived. So, instead of temps being in the mid 30s when the precip initially arrived, we were in the upper 30s to around 40. Therefore, as the atmosphere saturated, most spots cooled down to 32 or 33 degrees instead of 28-30 degrees. That pretty much eliminated the freezing rain threat. But I think we can all live with that.

All in all, I thought the forecast panned out pretty well.

Now, it is on to the next system which is looking very interesting....I will have a full post on that one later this evening. Stay tuned!


Wednesday evening...

>> Wednesday, January 16, 2008

All looks good for our winter weather event. I really don't have any changes from my earlier outlined ideas. 1-4" for much of the region, weighted more to the 1" category east of Charlotte and 2-4" west of Charlotte. Still looks like a period of freezing rain in the morning.

I just talked with a good friend of mine, a meteorologist down in Anderson, SC. He said the snow has been going fairly heavily there for a couple of hours now, accumulations have started, and sure enough, there is the expansion of the winter storm warning for his area from GSP.

By the way, in all of the hubub leaving work today, I forgot to pick up my microphone. So, unfortunately, no video this evening.

Enjoy the event folks! Be careful in the morning!


Wednesday afternoon....

Things look pretty good in terms of the wintry weather potential from I-85 north and westward. I don't have any huge adjustments to my thoughts at this time.

I will not be able to make any more posts until mid-evening or so, but at that point I hope to get a video cut and posted here. Check back, and good luck!


GSP conference call

Some notes from the conference call with NWS GSP....

This is mainly for North Carolina.....
They expect precip to arrive late evening as mainly snow. Precip changes to a sleet/freezing rain mixture by dawn. Then rain by late morning for CLT metro.

For Charlotte, the general idea is 1-2" of snow with .1" to .2" of ice.

They mentioned that they are blending the timing of the GFS/NAM and preferring the NAM thermal profile.


My text for the Charlotte region from


Travel will likely be difficult tomorrow morning


THIS AFTERNOON: Mostly cloudy. High 46.

TONIGHT: Sleet and snow spread in, changing to freezing rain around daybreak. Low 30.

THURSDAY: Freezing rain, changing to rain east of Charlotte. Travel problems are likely. High 33.


All data is indicating we have a fairly significant winter weather threat on our hands tonight into tomorrow. This is a fluid situation, but here is how I see things as of now.

Snow and sleet arrive late this evening and continue overnight. From I-85 north and west, 1-4" of snow are possible, with possibly a slushy inch or two east of I-85.

Around daybreak, we probably kick over to freezing rain, and the temperatures will really struggle to make if above freezing (if they do at all) north and west of I-85. I think the potential is there for 0.10" to 0.25" of ice as far south and east as the Charlotte metro.

Stay tuned. We will be there for you on television through the event.


Wednesday Midday

Not much time...I had wanted to get a video cut and posted by now, but I don't think I will be able to this afternoon. Between on-air work for Charlotte and the Triad, conference calls this afternoon, and other regular work-related items, I don't think time will allow a video, at least this afternoon. I apologize for that.

But, I do want to point out that I have a hunch the National Weather Service might need to upgrade locations near the I-85 corridor to a Winter Storm Warning in the southern Piedmont. I am getting more concerned with icing potential as time passes...

More information later this afternoon.....


Early Wednesday Morning....

The last couple of model runs have come in a touch colder for tonight's event. I just poured through the 6z NAM and GFS forecast soundings for Charlotte and Winston-Salem...

I still like the idea of a period of snow, maybe mixed with some sleet, tonight. The precip will eventually change over to either freezing rain or rain tomorrow morning, depending on surface temps at your location.

For the Charlotte metro, I still think 1-2" of of snow, maybe a bit more in localized spots, could fall tonight. After that, the modeling then keeps the surface temp at CLT JUST above freezing for the rest of the event. It is close though.

For the Triad, 1-3" of snow look possible before what could be a fairly significant period of freezing rain. Then, around a quarter inch or so if freezing rain looks possible.

I still think there will be some travel problems in the morning around the region. The commute could very well be a mess.

Taken verbatim, this looks like a relatively minor event for Charlotte itself, but the potential for more significant accumulations of snow or ice increase the farther west or north you live in the region....i.e. Cleveland and Iredell counties. And, it would only take being a degree or two colder tomorrow than currently indicated by models for this to be more significant for Charlotte.

For the Triad, this looks more significant. Travel could become difficult in many spots tomorrow morning, and there could be some power outages if we do see 0.25" of ice on top of some snow.

It is just about time to put the models away and "nowcast" other words, watch the actual weather currently occurring. I will say the precip shield has not made it quite as far north in Louisiana and Mississippi as the NAM had indicated at this point. We will see if that trend continues....that might indicate lesser precip amounts in North Carolina if that trend continues.

I will post more updates through the day.....


Tuesday Evening...

>> Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Well, I just finished reviewing the 18z BUFKIT soundings for CLT and is what it basically prints out.

On the NAM for CLT, precip begins at 1am Thurs. morning, possibly a rain/snow mix. After 7 or 8am, snow becomes unlikely due to lack of moisture in the snow growth region, and temps then hover just above freezing the rest of the day with rain.

On the NAM for GSO, precip begins at 7am Thurs. morning, probably several hours or snow, then over to either freezing rain or rain, depending on surface temps.

On the GFS for CLT, precip begins at 7pm Wed. evening, probably snow until the wee hours of Thurs. morning. Then freezing rain until 10am, then rain. Taken literally, it shows about an inch of snow and then less than 0.1" of freezing rain, then rain.

On the GFS for GSO, precip begins at 10pm Wednesday evening. The soundings indicate all snow through late Thursday morning, then freezing rain until late afternoon, then rain. Taken literally, this indicates 2-3" of snow and then about 0.15" of ice, then some rain.

As for my thoughts, timing will be everything with this system. The quicker the precip moves in, the better in terms of seeing some snow. It will be critical to watch dewpoints through the day tomorrow and see if the models have a grasp on the nature of the airmass in place. Often times, the air is drier than what the models indicate, and therefore, when precip kicks in, evaporational cooling takes temperatures down colder than what the models indicated. Right now, it looks like the actual dewpoints are very close to the model-indicated dewpoints.

For the Charlotte metro, I still like the chances of a burst or brief period of snow Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. How long the snow lasts is still anybody's guess. I think from I-85 west and north, the potential is there for a quick, slushy inch or two of snow. Then it all depends on surface temps as to whether or not we have icing problems due to freezing rain. I THINK any significant icing problems will be more up toward the foothills, but that will not be evident until we see the conditions as the event starts. I don't think this is a major event, but I do think there is still a decent possibility for a messy commute Thursday morning.

For the Triad, I think 2-3" of snow are possible, possibly a little more, especially west of the Triad itself. Then, there is greater potential for icing of at least a tenth of an inch, more if snow switches to freezing rain sooner than indicated. This event looks a little more significant up in this region, but still, this is not a huge storm. But I do think travel problems will develop as Thursday unfolds.

In short, the better chances of snow and ice accumulation will be the farther west you live in the state. There will probably be an area up in the foothills that picks up 3-5" of snow with this, but the amounts look lesser here in the Piedmont.

I should also add that evaporational cooling is very important in an event like this. The heavier the precip is as it first moves in, the colder we see the airmass become, and therefore, the more wintry weather we wind up seeing. If the precip is on the light side, we obviously see less precip initially, but temps would rise above freezing quicker as well.

Hope this all makes sense. This is a complicated setup, and this outlook might very well need to be refined one way or another as times rolls along. To be honest, I have less confidence than usual in this forecast...quite uneasy.

Thanks for reading!


GSP Conference Call....

I just finished up a conference call with the National Weather Service in GSP. They relayed that a Winter Storm Watch will be posted for the Triad region back through the should include Rowan and Iredell counties.

They are not very bullish on snow chances for the Charlotte region. Their current thinking is a sleet/snow mixture at precip onset, changing to some freezing rain and then rain. Ice accumulations for the CLT metro on the order of a trace to 0.10"

They expect higher accumulations in the foothills up toward the Triad area. For the Triad itself, the NWS is anticipating the potential for 0.25" of ice accumulation.

Again, that is the NWS thinking.

I will be out for a while this afternoon, but sometime this evening I will give you my thoughts on this system.


Tuesday morning...

At this juncture, everything still looks like a 'go' for a wintry weather threat Wednesday night into Thursday.

For the Charlotte region, I still think snow begins by daybreak Thursday, and could fall pretty heavily for a period. As the upper levels warm, many locations see the snow change over to a mix of precip.

I am concerned about some icing potential, especially from Charlotte westward. If the in-situ wedge is a tad colder than currently indicated, then there would be potential for some decent icing.

In terms of precip amounts, the NAM is a lot heavier than the GFS. The Canadian is also on the heavier side. And, I also should point out the Canadian is indicating a significant winter storm from just west of Charlotte on westward.

So, basically, I contiue to grow more confident of a winter event for us here in the area. I still think the heaviest accumulations will occur the farther west you live in the area. And by the way, my thoughs are basically the same for the Triad, just delayed a couple of hours.

I think there is a good possibility the morning commute Thursday morning could be a mess, mainly in the southern Piedmont with travel problems spreading northward as Thursday morning unfolds.

I will try to post some more information sometime by this evening. Today is my off day, and I need to spend some time with my family instead of staring at this computer like I have all morning! Weather is not just my job, it is my hobby and passion, and times like these tend to absorb my attention!


Monday Evening...

>> Monday, January 14, 2008

Above is the video I just it I explain my thinking with the Wednesday night into Thursday event, as it stands now.

In short, I really see no compelling reason to change my thinking. I think the GFS has a pretty good handle on this system at the moment.

AS IT STANDS NOW, it looks the Charlotte and Triad regions will see a period of snow Wednesday night into early Thursday. How long that snow would last is still in question, but I think several hours are a good possibility.

As Thursday morning unfolds, we will have an in-situ wedge set up, and how quickly that wedge erodes will determine precipitation types. The upper levels will warm with time, making snow more unlikely. However, we will probably see a period of snow/sleet/freezing rain mixture before kicking over to some light rain Thursday afternoon. As is usually the case in this type of scenario, the farther west you live, the more accumulation potential you have.

Accumulation amounts are still in question. And let me remind you...we are still a couple of days away from this, so some wholesale changes to this outlook might have to be made in the future.

But, as it looks now, I do think there is potential for travel disruptions for the Thursday morning commute. Be aware of that.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday afternoon....

I have continued to watch all of the latest data today, and I still think the western Carolinas have good potential for a period of wintry weather Wednesday night into Thursday morning at least.

Lots could still change, but my thinking has not changed as of now.

I will have a new video cut and posted here sometime later this evening....


Weather Video


Sunday Evening....

>> Sunday, January 13, 2008

I don't have a lot of changes to my thoughts regarding Thursday's storm system. The GFS continues on with rather amazing consistency in indicating the Gulf of Mexico low pressure developing Wednesday night and moving to near the Carolina coast by Thursday. The 12z Euro model has now trended toward the GFS with its timing of the system, and almost all modeling is indicating precip moving in either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Taken verbatim, the GFS continue to show (for the Charlotte and Triad areas) a period of snow changing over to sleet/freezing rain and probably eventually plain rain.

How exactly this all plays out will remain up in the air for a couple of more days.

Model trends will be important to watch. We do not want to see the dreaded 'northwest trend' develop with the low pressure this time. The farther west the low winds up tracking, the less wintry precip we would see.

So, as of this evening, I still think the potential is very much alive for some wintry precip in the western Carolinas Wednesday night into Thursday.

Remember, things can and probably will change at least somewhat between now and then.

What I try to do here on the blog is basically open up my mind and throw out there the possibilities I am looking at and how I see them as of now. I hope you folks find it useful and at least a bit interesting.


Sunday morning....

Our potential Thursday event is still there in most modeling this morning. It is still way too early for details, but the possibility of wintry weather over the western Carolinas still exists with that system.

Not much time this morning....getting ready to eat breakfast and head to church.

I will have more posts later today. The bottom line this morning is hope is still alive for snow lovers....nothing definite, but hope.


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