All right.....

>> Thursday, December 17, 2009

0z NAM is in house, and the 0z GFS is rolling as I type. Time for some accumulation ideas.

For the Triad, this looks big. The one concern that I still have for this area, and I outlined this on my video this morning, is that it still looks like we could lose moisture overnight Friday night in the snow growth region. If that occurs, then the precip would become primarily sleet, which would cut down on total accumulation amounts.

However, with that said, this sure has the makings in the Triad and foothills of a big winter storm. For the Triad itself, I am going to stick with my 5-10" outlook that I used on the air this morning. However, I think many spots will likely end up in the upper end of that range. I feel pretty confident that there will be some parts of the Triad and northern foothills region that see over a foot of accumulation. Some sleet could become involved, and again, the longer any period of sleet lasts, the lower the total accumulation will be. But this looks like a significant winter storm for the Triad viewing area.

The outlook for the Charlotte region remains considerably more difficult. I have to say...I still have little confidence in exactly how this plays out. It looks like as the precip initially moves in, there could be a brief period of rain, but then many folks will likely see snow for a while. Then as temperatures aloft warm, it gets even trickier, and anything from sleet to some snow or rain (even freezing rain, as temps could be close to or below freezing) could fall. The precip will then likely wind down as another period of snow.

I will say from just east of Charlotte and points east through Union, Anson, and Richmond counties, total snow and sleet accumulations on the order of a slushy dusting to possibly 2". For portions of Gaston, Cleveland, Lincoln, and Iredell counties (especially the northern part), total snow and sleet accumulations of 2-5", but especially as you head into Cleveland county, amounts could certainly be higher than that. I would group the western Upstate of SC in the same category as these areas just west of Charlotte.

Now, let me say this. There will be tremendous dynamics involved with this system, and there is a strong chance that a healthy deformation band will set up and move through portions of the region. Snowfall rates will likely be impressive in this band, and that will almost certainly provide some higher accumulations.

This (the Charlotte region forecast) is about as tough as it gets in terms of accumulation forecasts. Like I said, confidence is low here. Many, many Piedmont locations will likely see temps at about 5000' within roughly a degree of freezing, one way or another. With that being the case, any heavier areas of precip that moves through could kick over to snow, and for many spots around the Charlotte area, it looks like an extended period of time where you could change precip types time and time again. On the other hand, if your back yard avoids some of the heavier precip rates, you could wind up with virtually no accumulation while it is a different story only a few miles away.

**Just got a good look at the 0z GFS....looks colder for the southern Piedmont and Upstate with the model finally picking up on excellent cold air damming. Will see if this trend hold in the morning.**

There is how it looks now. I will take a fresh look at things in the morning and make any necessary adjustments.


Ben 10:47 PM  

Stayed up to see this post... Your blog is awesome... LOL.

I was wondering what your thoughts were for my area -- I live just a smidge north of Chapel Hill proper, right near I-40. The Triad looks like it'll do great with this storm, and Raleigh not so much, but I seem to be stuck in the middle...
Thanks for your time and Merry Christmas!

Burgertime 10:54 PM  

GFS is playing games with our hearts in CLT.

Anonymous 11:07 PM  

Sounds reasonable matt...I hope GSP gets their forecast altered ASAP because given the data in front of us the chances of it verifying are between slim and none, especially for cleveland/gaston/lincoln and rutherford counties.

Matthew East 11:10 PM  

Ben, thanks for staying up! Your area is also tricky. Initial shot of snow or sleet up your way, then lots of mixing issues. Then probably more snow on the back side. Tough call.

Burger....yep, nice run for sure!

Anonymous 11:25 PM  

Hi Matthew i have a question it sure seem like that when ever it snow in Charlotte th South part of the City get more Snow then the rest of Charlotte.I am wondering if with this Strom this could be the case again where South Mack could get 4+8?

Unknown 11:27 PM  

Late night for you, considering you're cutting videos for us well before the crack of dawn. I'm new to the blog, but you're part of my morning routine now. Thanks for being out there, and for going above and beyond. Can't wait to see how this one turns out. (I moved here from Minnesota last year, so you can guess which way I'm rooting!).

Anonymous 11:52 PM  

Great blog, Mr. East. Loads of information. Bookmarked for multiple daily visits. I want to play in some snow with my kids Saturday morning!

Merry Christmas!

Mark in Greensboro

Anonymous 5:41 AM  

NOAA is forecasting 8-14 inches for Scotts, NC(west of Statesville)!!! Is this possible...I've never seen that much snow!!

Anonymous 6:09 AM  

Matthew.. It's already sleeting in Grover. Wow. This wasn't expected, was it?!


Ben 7:45 AM  

Woke up this morning to find Orange is now under a WSW. Hopefully this cold air damming that you pointed out from the GFS will happen in my area too...

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