Possibility of a major winter storm around the region...

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

**Please note.....you might have to switch the video resolution above to 480p....the lower resolution seems to have developed problems this morning.**

Quiet weather will be with us today and tomorrow in advance of what could be a very significant winter storms for much of the region. Highs today will be in the upper 40s to near 50 with mid to upper 50s tomorrow.

Heavy wintry precip will break out in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles by early tomorrow and slowly spread eastward. That precip will begin to push into the Carolinas by later Friday, with the precip likely at its heaviest from Friday night into Saturday morning.

As is almost always the case, the dividing line between different precip types will likely wind up somewhere across North Carolina. While I am not ready to put out accumulation maps, here are my thoughts as of this morning...

For the Triad, this still looks like a mainly snow event, although some sleet could mix in at times. Accumulations of snow and sleet look to be very significant.

For the Triangle, I anticipate a mixture of snow and sleet, depending on the temps aloft. This could trend either way for this area....either more snow or more sleet.

For the Charlotte region, this is the trickiest call. At this point, I am leaning toward a snow transitioning to sleet/snow/freezing rain mixture and possibly then kicking back over to snow. Again, wintry precip amounts could be very significant, with both ice and snow accumulation possible.

As for the models, it appears the south trend seen in the models yesterday has halted, and I don't yet see a significant northward trend as of the 6z model runs. I do not believe the GFS is handling the upper level energy with this system correctly....see the video for more on this. I am in agreement with the HPC in thinking a blend of the Euro/NAM/UKMET is more likely correct than the GFS at this juncture.

I am sure some trending will happen one way or another. However, all of the cards remain on the table for a potential major winter storm across much of North Carolina into the Upstate of SC and possibly extending into northeast Georgia. It would take some MAJOR trending to remove possibilities of wintry precip from NC.

Those are the thoughts for now....feel free to post below, and I will reply as I can. Please don't pin me down for accumulation idea specifics yet....more on that later on.


Anonymous 6:49 AM  

Matthew, I live up in the Winston Salem area, what is your thought on the time zone for this storm getting cranked up around here? I know that you said Friday evening, are you thinking before dark or after?

Matthew East 6:58 AM  

Precip could begin by Friday afternoon with the heaviest likely being overnight.

Ralph 6:58 AM  

Ok, Matthew I want to know how much snow is going to fall on the very top right corner shingle of my dog's house in the SW corner of my yard 5 miles ESE of Statesville! LOL!!! Just picking....I can't wait to see this storm happen! I am ready to see accumulation maps, thats when it becomes reality! LOL! NWS said 4-8" along I-40 in there forecast discussion!

Anonymous 7:50 AM  

Matthew, will warm ground temperatures greatly reduce snow accumulations? I wish the ground were already cold like it was a couple of weeks ago.

Matthew East 7:57 AM  

Funny stuff Ralph....

As for ground temps, that could shave some off the total, but it is not like it has been 70 degrees for a week.....so that shouldn't play a huge role overall.

jdubluvsuncbball 7:59 AM  

Mr east i live in northwest cabarrus along 1-85 but off exit 58.k so even though its not all snow could it possibly b like 2003 or wenever i wasnt but like 10 then but the big ice storm where we got maybe 2-3 inches n then woke up to find that was covered in ice?so pretty much im asking n my neighborhood even though we r gonna change over is something gonna cover my road ? n do u think we can get our first winter storm warning in cabarrus for this yr tomm night??

Tarheelhombre 8:21 AM  

Matthew, which model tends to be best in this range, NAM, Euro, or GFS?

Tarheelhombre 8:21 AM  

Matthew, which model tends to be best in this range, NAM, Euro, or GFS?

Matthew East 8:54 AM  

Winter storm warnings will likely be required for many at some point.

This is still typically in the Euro's wheelhouse....and the old rule was when you had agreement with the euro and eta, you could take it to the bank. However, this is the new euro, so who knows...

DoubleJ 10:53 AM  

Looking more and more like Ice could be a big problem. Not really looking forward to that. I'm hoping we get mostly snow out of this, guess time will tell though.

Shane 11:02 AM  

Matthew i love in the Greenville NC area and i was wondering if you think its going to snow that far east. The weather stations here are all over the place with one showing big snow storm and one showing just rain

Shane 11:03 AM  

Woops typo on the last comment i meant i live not love lol

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

Matt, This is Courtney Johnson....can you call me when you get a chance....704-359-0036...I need to fly to Dallas, TX and they are talking winter weather too! Need your opinion!!!!

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

What in the world is going on here? I go skiing for a day yesterday and the world is upside down with all this winter storm talk. How dare you start a winter storm without me!!:)

Well, it's hard to believe that it's going to be cold enough for a winter storm a day after it hits 60 degrees, but that's kinda how it happens around here...that transition storm between the warm and cold gets us. Hopefully we'll get rid of all this ice nonsense and just get snow.

Matt what trends should we look for on the models come the 12Z runs for more snow in Charlotte versus ice? Stronger High pressure in the mid-atlantic? Further south track of the low? Thanks! Sounds like we'll have fun the next 3 days!!


Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Are the lastest models trending more toward ice?

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

Matt if this turn out to be a ICE storm for Charlotte do you think it could be just as bad as 2002 ICE storm ?

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

Matt, the meterologist in Eastern North Carolina are very cague and not really interested in the system. What are your thoughts for snow in the Coastal Plain, such as Hyde County?

Matthew East 2:09 PM  

Still trying to hone in on things this afternoon. Like yesterday, I will try to put up some updated thoughts by this evening. Nothing at this point really jumps out as a big reason to change what I outlined earlier.

Everything kind of holding serve overall right now....

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

Matt just post on his blog that he is concern about ICE Chances just went up for Charlotte. As of right now how much ice should we expect in Charlotte?

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

Matt Jeff just post on his blog that he is concern about ICE Chances just went up for Charlotte. As of right now how much Ice should we expect in Charlotte?

Anonymous 2:56 PM  

I was looking at the 12z Nam and it shows accumulations of 3-8" for the Triad, Triangle North, west of HWY 1, and along and north of HWY 264 in the Coastal Plain.

Anonymous 3:10 PM  

I don't get it GSP has just issue a Winter Storm Watch But Charlotte is not in the Watch.Matt if Charlotte is going to get ICE and also snow why is Charlotte not under a Winter Storm Watch?

ArlingtonDude 3:12 PM  

Matthew, your blog has become very popular. You do such a good job of breaking down the models. Even those of us in Northern Virginia keep an eye on your forecasts. Do you think Northern VA/DC will get something out of this too?

Anonymous 3:14 PM  

Some models are saying portions of the Triad could get a foot!

Anonymous 3:18 PM  

Im assuming it is pretty safe to say the triad will see mainly snow and not sleet and freezing rain?

Anonymous 3:43 PM  

Matthew Do you know why GSP has not put Charlotte under the Winter storm Watch?.Please Don't tell me that Charlotte will only get Cold rain with very little ICE or snow

Matthew East 4:23 PM  

Charlotte is not in the watch as of now due toe uncertainty over precip type/amounts. GSP stated their is a strong possibility, if not a likelihood, that the watch will need to be expanded southward.

I am still thinking snow/sleet for the Triad.

Wow, thanks Arlington! Glad to have you watching! Northern Virginia is a tough call. Odds are at least a little snow will make it up there, but that is fairly low confidence.

Anonymous 4:45 PM  

matt, the nws still says the coastal plain will see rain while a few models show snow. what is your take on the coastal plain? i really want snow!

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

Wow Matt, this may be some sort of record for amount of posts on your blog!

Kinda getting worried about bust potential here for Charlotte.....NAM trended warmer, EURO trended a little warmer, who know what the GFS is doing. That county watch pattern for this thing looks CRAZILY similar to the December storm. We know how that turned out for Charlotte. Come on EURO, hold that snow line south of Charlotte!!!!


Anonymous 5:32 PM  

29 comments as of 5:30pm today (Wednesday) + 37 comments yesterday (Tuesday) = 66. I think that's most in 2 days... and that's 44 comments shy of 100 comments.

Anonymous 5:36 PM  

Jeff put Snow for next Tuesday as well, do you see this?...Also, are you going to put out accumulation maps tomorrow?

Matthew East 5:59 PM  

Traffic has obviously been high, and I greatly appreciate it!

Yeah, CLT right on the line for about every type of precip with this one.....extremely tough call. Ice remains a concern in parts of the southern Piedmont.

There is the possibility of some wintry precip with this right to the northern part of the coastal plain, but it is tricky.

Yep, had precip in for Tuesday in my forecast package this morning. Have spent a small amount of time on that one, but with the modifying arctic airmass, some wintry precip is possible.

Anonymous 6:17 PM  

I am really starting to worry that this could turn out to be one of those terrible ice storms for the area (cleveland, gaston, meck.)I know that we always seem to be on this proverbial line when it comes to winter weather so maybe we will get blessed with mostly snow, but the trend is not looking too good today.

DoubleJ 6:36 PM  

Over in the University area, haven't seen one snowflake so far this year. I guess the only thing worse than a very cold rain is an ice storm, and I'm not ready for that, especially if its a big one that knocks out power.

Anonymous 6:51 PM  

I live in the coastal plain area along hwy 264. Our local meterologist finally showed a model indicating all snow north of that line. I really hope that model is right! I hope we get some good accumulations near Hyde County! Also, the NAM 18z run still indicates pretty good accumulations. Does anyone know what the Euro is saying?

Snow Fanatic 7:06 PM  


I just posted this on Jeff's blog and thought I'd relay this to you..wunderground.com has Gaston and Meck counties receiving possible heavy snow accumulations..does this seem weird seeing as though most others are predicting ice for the Charlotte metro area?

Austin 7:15 PM  

Great blog. It reminds me of James Spann's blog that I monitored in Birmingham before I relocated to Charlottesville for law school. Thanks for the great work and send some snow to C'ville.

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