Afternoon thoughts....

>> Monday, March 01, 2010

Quick thoughts here.....the upper low is departing the NE coastline as expected, and our next system is looking very healthy in eastern Texas. Looking at the upper level features comparing what is actually occurring to the 12z 6 hour forecasts of the NAM and GFS, and frankly both models are doing a pretty decent job. The GFS is handling the current precip to our west better than the NAM.

Almost all modeling has come in wetter with the precip amounts. The NAM keeps the heaviest precip just south of a Charlotte to just south of Raleigh line. The GFS continued the trend I showed on the video this morning with its 12z run of increasing precip totals a bit further.

The reason the GFS is wetter than the NAM is its handling of the upper level features as we head through tomorrow. The NAM weakens the 850mb low for a short time before strengthening it off of the coast, while the GFS strengthens the 850mb low during its trek off to our south.

This will play a huge role in the total precip amounts for the I-85 corridor, especially in NC.

I feel the right idea at this point is to up the snow totals I had put out this morning.

Also, at this point, don't concern yourself with the convection near the Gulf. That is right ahead of the developing main surface low, and that is forecast to be there at this point. If by very early tomorrow morning precip is not blossoming in northern and central Alabama, then that is cause for concern for the forecast.

Many Carolina spots will likely see the precip begin as rain for a while before the rain/snow line establishes itself. Exactly where that sets up initially is tricky, but I would expect it to move eastward as we get toward late tomorrow afternoon and evening.

These are some general ideas.....

Charlotte: 2-5"
Triad: 2-4"
Raleigh: 2-5"
GSP: 3-6"
Atlanta: 3-6"

Now, it is very tricky as near ground temps will likely be a bit above freezing through the event. If the lower amounts of precip on some of the modeling verify, it will drastically cut down on snow accumulation potential. This is the type of event where it will take heavy rates of precipitation to get accumulating snow. So, if the precip remains light, significant accumulations will be difficult.

Like I mentioned this morning, of all of the winter weather threats we have seen this season, this one, in my opinion, is the toughest to forecast for a day before.


MagyarNc115 2:55 PM  

not so quick :p! I feel for you. I'm not a met, but looking at all the models, and all the predictions for temperature, and all the other forecasters forecasts, this is really a difficult one!

Tyler Legg 3:05 PM  

VERY difficult forecast...I would say the mets in CLT are among some of the best in the nation given how hard winter forecasting is here.

Thankyou so much Matthew for keeping us up to date. The first thing I do in the morning is watch your video...

Anonymous 3:19 PM  

Matt, what are your thoughts on the coastal plain?

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

Well Matt, if the temps are going to be above freezing the whole time, I think you're right to keep the numbers down. Probably be more toward the lower end of that all very familiar 2-5 range even though some are expecting higher accumulations.

I was hoping things would get colder; down to freezing. Hmmm tricky.


Anonymous 3:50 PM  

so how much you thinking for west iredell? My gut is saying 3-5" :)

Anonymous 3:54 PM  

Im saying 4-8 inches for Person County. Chris

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

I know you have your hands tied up with this current storm, but would you say or think that this may be our last winter hit for the season? Or do you think this could be one before the last before the season calls it quit and we enter spring?


Anonymous 4:42 PM  

Matt the 18z GFS is westward again some more rethinking of theses totals appear needed i think Roxboro and Greensboro and places gets 4-8 inches out of this do to the westward track that more than likely gonna happen as as all storms been this year no reason to change now. Chris

Jonathan (Hickory, NC) 4:45 PM  

Hi Matthew-

I appreciated the afternoon post. Like others have said, the 18Z GFS continues the strength of the precip across the foothills and NW piedmont. You didn't mention anything about Asheville, Morganton, Hickory, area. Currently the NWS is leaving Caldwell and Catawba out of the watch areas, like the Triad. Any thoughts on these places west of Charlotte and the Triad, or do we assume similar amounts as those regions?

Thanks, and if you don't have time to answer, I understand.

Matthew East 7:33 PM  

Thanks for the comments guys! For this evening, I will leave the ideas I have going out there. Looking at the radar and satellite data, all seems to be going fairly well right now.

Will obviously take a long, hard look at everything very early in the morning and put out a final forecast.

At this point, I would probably put Hickory in the 2-4" or so range. Asheville, maybe 2-4", but tricky forecast....

We are very deep in the season. Odds become pretty stacked against any additional snow systems, but I am not ready to definitely declare it over yet. But time is fleeting for this season....

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