Gradual moderation later this week...

>> Monday, December 27, 2010

Here is today's edition of the Carolina Weather Video....

Lots of snow still on the ground around the region after our Christmas weekend snow event. I am very happy that so many folks that wanted snow got it. And I also think it is incredibly neat to get snow on Christmas weekend.

Today will still be very cold with Piedmont highs struggling to make it above the freezing mark. It will also be breezy, adding insult to injury in terms of how it feels. Lows will be bitterly cold tonight....teens for most in the area.

Gradual moderation will take place later this week with some highs actually above average by New Years Eve. Some spots could be in the 60s for the first day of 2011. However, I don't think this is a prolonged warm-up with cooler air ready to move back in by Monday of next week or so.


I see no sign of a 'warm' pattern coming for the eastern US. This is the week that pattern seems to be kind of reloading. However, the NAO and AO will remain negative, and we might even see the PNA spike toward positive. All of this, to me, indicates that more cold air is on the horizon.

It is very early in the winter season, so chances are, we have not seen our last winter weather potential. In fact, most of our winter weather events occur during the second half of winter, so tons of time to go.

What did we learn about the models from this most recent system?

First of all, the European model is still the model of choice in the medium range. It was the first to latch onto the idea of a big east coast storm. It had this idea while the GFS was indicating this to be a weak system that rode along I-40.

Admittedly, the Euro lost touch with the system a bit in the 2-3 day range, but it never completely lost the overall was just later with less impressive with any phasing.

The NAM is still clueless. Granted, I used it to verify the Euro ideas in the 60-84 hour range, but it totally lost touch with reality as the event neared.

The Canadian also had the idea of a big east coast system 4 and 5 days ahead of the event, but it too then lost the idea and never really got it least in terms of the global model.

So, all in all, the Euro still led the way. And although it has its biases and can never be blindly trusted, it definitely means if we see something on the Euro for a few runs in a row, that idea probably has at least some merit.

But here is the thing that I think gets lost more and mote in meteorology today. The models are just tools for the meteorologist to use. So few times nowadays do people look at the actual weather and compare that to experience from the past. That is where real meteorology comes in.....not just reading models.


Anonymous 6:21 AM  

Matthew while I or any one can say that the arctic cold air is done for a while we can say warmer times are ahead and also looking at both EC and GFS OP runs and Ensemble means it looks like the arctic cold air wont make much of a come back for a while as of now, what do you say as Im just going by the models and NAO/AO index (although that says mostly neg but not as low)


Matthew East 7:49 AM  

Just discussed that in the post I put up...

(By the way, Nic posted this before I put the text of the discussion up).

jtomlinwx 8:17 AM  

I COMPLETELY agree with you on that statement at the end. Models are only GUIDANCE for us to go off of not the end all be all. Too many people take the models verbatim and say "yep thats exactly what's going to happen." If that was the case we there wouldn't be a need for forecasters! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

wgbjr 8:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:18 PM  

Thanks Matt, glad to hear we've got more cold on the way because frankly, I was a bit disappointed in our event for Charlotte (can't get over that 3 inch threshold). I don't want to complain, beggars can't be choosers and all, but with all the potential then to get about 2 inches was a downer; Didn't even stick to the roads really. Congrats again to the I-40 corridor.

I'll be keeping an eye open for more systems with colder temps at the surface (that'll be my first question from now on)!! Thanks for all your efforts in keeping us informed.


wgbjr 1:01 PM  

Matthew, how did Stormcast@News14 handle this storm? I remember it doing quite well with weather events in the past. I don't remember the time frame when it starts analyzing systems headed toward us.

Anonymous 4:16 PM  

Matthew, I thought everyone was predicting a milder winter this year? So far it has been the complete opposite with historical lows, snow fall, etc..? What has happened since the predictions? Thanks

Anonymous 5:54 PM  

Yes thank you Matthew for letting people know that I posted that BEFORE you wrote your thoughts, btw to the person about storm cast, I remember on Christmas morning seeing it and overall I think it did well it showed show from about noon till the wee hours of Sunday and while some people from weather on the 1s (not Matthew) but some said it was over done I believe it nailed it.


Anonymous 11:59 PM  

I am ready for another snowstorm - hopefully we'll get 8 inches or more next time - in Charlotte.


Matthew East 5:43 AM  

Brad....yep, the Charlotte metro was essentially the min around the state (away from the immediate coast) in terms of snow totals. But, like you said, snow is snow, and I think most people, if asked before-hand, would have taken a couple of inches of snow Christmas weekend and ran to the bank.

Stormcast did relatively well Thursday indicating the snow moving into the region Christmas Day. I was off Christmas Eve, so I don't know specifics, but overall, I think it did pretty well.

Well, a lot of seasonal forecasts (including mine) indicated the possibility of below average Dec temps....although nobody predicted it to be THIS cold and snowy. It has been a fun pattern, and a fairly rare one. Big-time -NAO/-AO/-PNA.....tremendous blocking in the higher latitudes.

Now, my winter forecast had above average temps for Jan....that might be in jeopardy...we will see.

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