Saturday morning...

>> Saturday, January 30, 2010

The event will slowly wind down, although some light precip could linger for a while. As is always the case with winter weather event, some folks are happy, and some are disappointed. As I normally do, I will review what was good and bad with the forecast (probably Monday morning) after all of the totals are tallied.

Roads will be very tricky today and tonight.....temps will really only hover all day, and then we plunge well down into the teens tonight.

Be careful, and enjoy your day!


Quick 4pm hit....

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

Watching some healthy action on the radar in Mississippi and Alabama. That will move through here later tonight. Light snow has developed a little ahead of schedule, and some accumulation is occurring on some grassy surfaces. All in all, I still expect any accumulations in NC to be light until later this evening.

There is also a dry slot near the Mississippi River....we will have to watch how that impacts us carefully....those can ruin a good forecast at times....

I have taken a look at things, and I have decided to leave my accumulation map from this morning unchanged. I was tempted to pull the 5-10" area further south into Cleveland, Gaston, and Meck counties, but I will leave it alone. Just be aware the totals right along I-85 could wind up higher than the 3-6" and lean more toward the 5-10" in some spots.

In the northern Piedmont, the 7-12" from roughly I-40 northward still looks pretty good, although there is a good chance that area could wind up on the upper side of that range.

I appreciate all of your kind words greatly....they are humbling. Thanks for checking in. I will put up some hits on twitter from time to time.....but I will also be away from the computer at times.

Enjoy the weather, and be careful!


Midday update....

System behaving pretty well to this point. Precip might be a touch ahead of schedule, but not much. Morning models have come in a bit wetter, but again, we are kind past model watching time at this juncture.

Wedge looks strong...most Piedmont dewpoints are in the teens and dropping. Winds a picking up out of the northwest.

Will not adjust my accumulation forecast as of now....if changes are made, it might be to expand the area of 5-10" southward a bit. Also, depending on moisture, much of the Triad could indeed verify more toward the upper end of the range outlined.

For my friends over in the coastal plains....hang tight. Your area remains a very tough call, but feel you will see some wintry precip in many cases.


Major winter storm on schedule....

Above is this morning's video....give it a watch.

All in all, things loon on track for a major winter storms across much of the region. The details continue to slowly come into focus, and I see nothing to change my thinking that this will be a widespread and disruptive winter storm.

The one potential fly in the ointment is thunderstorm activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes in system like these, those storms can move in a way that cuts off the transport of moisture into the Carolinas. However, at this point, I don't expect those storms to orient themselves in a way that will disrupt the moisture transport too much.

Heavier precip will settle into this evening and tonight, and at least light precip could extend right into Saturday evening. Temps will hold steady or drop all day tomorrow, and wind chill values will be in the teens at best in many spots.

With all of that said, my accumulation map can be seen below and in the video. No huge changes from yesterday, just some minor adjustments.

For the Triad, this still looks like primarily snow. However, the farther south you go, the more likely sleet it to become involved. For the Triad itself and point northward and northwestward, I expect a widespread 7-12" snowfall. Accumulations will decrease as you head south due to the sleet mixing in.

The Triangle is much the same as the Triad, with RDU and points northward remaining primarily snow, although some sleet it possible. And accumulations will likely extend right over through the northern coastal plain.

You can see the accumulation areas on the map below that I have painted for the Charlotte region. The farther north and west you go from the city, the less likely sleet becomes. So, therefore, higher accumulation amounts. East and south of the city, just the opposite....more sleet, less total accumulation.

I remain concerned about significant icing potential from the Sandhills into the Midlands of SC.

Travel will become difficult if not impossible later tonight, and it will remain tough all weekend. It will be very cold behind this system....temps in the 20s at best tomorrow with some single digit lows possible by Monday morning.

You need to make preparations in the event power is lost at your home. Have a few days of food and drink on hand, batteries, flashlights, and a good way to stay warm.

Also, plan on travel being very, very difficult all weekend long. I would recommend not traveling, but if you must, take along supplies with you in the event you get stranded.


Thursday evening winter storm update....

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

I am going to stick with the accumulation map I put out this morning for tonight. In the morning, I will take a good look at things and make any adjustments necessary. But as of now, I don't see a big compelling reason to change things overall.

With that said, many spots in the Triad region could very well wind up in the upper end of the 6-12" range I put out. It still looks like a vast majority of the precip in that area will be in the form of snow. Some sleet possible at times, but mainly snow.

I have no changes for the time being for the Triangle area either. And the snow/sleet mixture will likely spread over into the northern Coastal Plain as well.

The Charlotte region continues to be a big challenge. Wintry precip is on the way; it remains a question of what type. If you take the 18z NAM and GFS verbatim, Charlotte and points west and north remain mostly snow for a good chunk of Friday night before temps aloft warm enough that either sleet or freezing rain becomes the more prominent precip type. From Charlotte and points east and then south into northern-most South Carolina, freezing rain and sleet will likely be the primary precip type for a large portion of the event.

Make no mistake...I see nothing to sway me from thinking that a major winter storm is on the way for a large portion of the is just the details that need to continue to be resolved.

So, I will stick with the general accumulation areas outlined early today and adjust as necessary tomorrow morning.



Quick thoughts.....the 12z models all shifted things slightly north, but that trend might be pausing with the 18z runs today. The north trend is not there on the latest SREF, which was the first to pick up on the north trend earlier, and the 18z NAM now looks slightly colder again.

All that to say I am not changing anything with the accumulation ideas I have out as of now. I will re-evaluate things again this evening and see where we stand.

I see nothing to change my mind about this being a major winter storm, with generally the same precip types I have been mentioning for the various geographic areas. See the morning post below. The Charlotte region remains the toughest nut to crack.

You need to prepare for the likelihood that travel will be difficult if not nearly impossible by later Friday night and Saturday. Also, power outages are a concern, so make preparations for that as well.


Major winter storm appears on the way...

All eyes are on our next storm system. Today, that system is a major winter storm for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. This will spread eastward tonight and tomorrow and arrive here by later tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Ahead of the system, we will actually see a mild day today with highs in the mid to upper 50s.

Clouds will roll in and thicken up tonight and tomorrow. Any precip should hold off until later tomorrow afternoon, and in many spots, tomorrow evening.

There is still some uncertainty with the very small scale features that play a big roll in winter weather around here, but the overall ideas remain unchanged from the past couple of days. The foreign models are overall slightly colder than the GFS, and that adds to the uncertainty.

For much of the Triad region, I am still thinking this system will be mainly snow, although I can't rule out some sleet mixing in. Snow amounts looks quite significant, and while it is still a little early for specifics regarding accumulations, I am going with a widespread 6-12" snow event.

For the Triangle, I am thinking much the same as the Triad, especially from RDU northward, although a little more sleet could be involved.

For the Charlotte region, still a very tough call. See the video for details, but for the time being, I am going with 2-6", accounting for the chance of some sleet and freezing rain being involved. IF there is little in the way of sleet or freezing rain, that 2-6" would have to be raised significantly.

Travel will likely become difficult to impossible by later Friday night and Saturday morning. It is also going to get very cold behind the system with lows in the lower teens Sunday morning and likely some single digits in a few spots Monday morning.

This is a changeable weather situation, and we will adjust these accumulations ideas as necessary. Stay with News 14 Carolina....we will keep you completely up to date through the storm.


Wednesday evening....

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

For those that asked, I will likely put out an accumulation map tomorrow morning.

Well, here we are on Wednesday evening. Throughout the day, the models have done some expected adjusting, but there were not any overly wild swings. Really, the NAM had the most radical change in keeping the southern stream disturbance much stronger as it approached the region. In response, it really cranked the precip amounts. However, it is an outlying solution for the time being.

The overall setup here is relatively clear. There have been no wild swings in the modeling...just some adjustments, as you would expect. However, some of the very small-scale details remain tough to resolve. And, in these situations, the devil is in the details. For instance, for the Charlotte region, the difference in snow and sleet or freezing rain is a couple of degrees several thousand feet aloft.....48+ hours from now. So, it is tricky.

For the Triad, this still looks like a lot of snow with some sleet possibly mixing in at times. And this still looks quite significant in terms of accumulations. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect.

For the Triangle, I am still leaning with a snow/sleet mixture for the most part, although some freezing rain can't be ruled out. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect.

Charlotte remains very complicated. Adding to the complication are the forecast surface temps. The cold air damming is not as pronounced on recent model runs as it was on many prior runs, and therefore, it might take a little longer Friday night to get temps below freezing. This would not really be enough to matter if we are talking about snow...however, if it kicks over to rain, it could mean the difference in freezing rain or rain.

With that said, I still expect a wintry mix for the Charlotte region. From Charlotte and points west, I would lean toward a snow/sleet with some freezing rain scenario...however, freezing rain could become the primary precip type, especially from Charlotte and points east. Don't hold me to this is about as tricky as it gets for the Hwy 74 corridor. I am concerned about ice potential....if freezing rain were to be the primary precip type, it could be ugly. While The Hwy 74 corridor is not under a Winter Storm Watch as of this typing, the GSP NWS has stated that is it possible, if not probable, that the watch could be extended south in the future.

Total liquid precip amounts on most modeling continues to run between 0.8" and 1.5"....and that is the range this will likely wind up.

For our friends in South Carolina and Georgia, it remains quite challenging. The lesser cold air damming issue I mentioned in the Charlotte section above definitely applies here, and that lessens the threat to Georgia especially.

That is how it stands now...I will take a fresh look at things in the morning, and we will go from there.

Thanks so much for checking in....keep the comments coming, and I will answer as I can.


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

**Please 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.


Tuesday evening....

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just a few quick thoughts this evening....I see nothing to really change what I have put out there thus far. And will repeat the quote here that I have used for the past couple of days....

"All in all, I still think this system has good potential to produce significant wintry weather across portions of the Southeast."

Please notice I said 'potential'....I have not put out a forecast of a major winter storm as of yet....we are still in the potential department. I get the feeling that people think I have gone and said 'Snowy Death 2010 is about to exert its wrath on us.' I have not.

Now, with all of that said, I still feel somebody, and probably a lot of somebodies around the Southeast, will get a good winter event out of this. Who gets exactly what and how much are questions I am not ready to answer yet. The Triad continues to lean more toward the snowy (possibly some sleet too) side of things. Charlotte continues to lean toward the mix category of some snow/sleet/freezing rain. Some models indicate pretty much all snow...others indicate snow to freezing rain and sleet.

Is the dreaded north trend about to commence....
We are approaching the territory now where if there will be a north trend with this system, it should begin to show on the modeling fairly soon. The trend has been south on most modeling today, but I don't think it can go too much farther south. There is room for it to trend north, but it would likely have to be associated with the northern branch energy phasing in sooner that currently indicated. However, with the massive polar vortex to our north, there is only so far north it can trend as well.

So, that is where I will leave things tonight. NOTHING is set in stone, but most signs continue to point toward the potential for some significant wintry weather across much of North Carolina...and possibly down into northern South Carolina and northeast Georgia as well. But let's leave it in that potential category for now....


Potential for wintry weathero n the horizon....

We will enjoy cool and quiet weather today, tomorrow, and Thursday. Highs today and tomorrow will be in the upper 40s with mid 50s for Thursday.

A back-door cold front will move through Thursday night into Friday, and that will push arctic air into the region. At the same time, our next precipitation maker will be arriving from the west.

All in all, I still think this system has good potential to produce significant wintry weather across portions of the Southeast. While there are differences in some of the smaller-scale details, most modeling is in fairly good agreement with this scenario.

Not, we are still 72+ hours away from this event, so a lot could change. But at this point, the potential for winter precip across the region looks very real. What type and how much for each location are questions I can't answer right now.

Now, there is always the chance this trends away from a winter weather hit...again, we are still a few days away. But at this point, things look good for winter weather fans for much of NC down into at least the Upstate of SC and possibly even NE Georgia.


Breezy today....chillier tomorrow....watching the end of the week....

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Our powerful system that brought flooding and severe weather continue to pull away from the region today. In the wake of it, it is a breezy and relatively mild day with highs not far from 60 and winds gusting to 30 or 35mph at times.

Tomorrow will be chillier with highs in the upper 40s and lots of sun. Look for lower 50s Wednesday and Thursday.

Our next system will swing through Thursday night through Friday night. The 6z GFS looks like it has finally caught onto the right idea and is quite similar overall to the 0z European model. It is far too early for specifics, but it sure looks like this could produce some wintry weather around the upper Southeast.....Tennessee over into North Carolina especially....maybe parts of South Carolina before the event ends.

We will see how modeling trends in future runs, but it bears watching for sure....


Severe and flooding threat tonight

>> Sunday, January 24, 2010

I posted most of this in the comment section in the post below, but I wanted to post it here to make sure everybody could see.

I am quite concerned about the flooding potential tonight, and the severe weather threat is real as well.

Temps and dewpoints have risen to the lower 60s in many spots, and I see a tornado warning has been issued for a couple of counties in western NC. Severe weather could definitely be a problem, with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes possible.

And flooding looks like it WILL be a problem. The ground is completely most of the rain will immediately get into runoff mode. I expect some flash flooding and river flooding problems around the region tonight folks....please be careful.

And yep, the end of the week system looks interesting. For snow fans in NC, I would actually be more concerned about the system trending too far south as opposed to too far north. Much more on that in the coming days....


Flooding and severe weather potential...

Powerhouse storm system is rolling our way, and already we are seeing some warm air advection showers this morning. The thoughts on this one really remain unchanged from earlier last week. I expect a rather slow-moving band of moderate to heavy rain to roll through. Widespread 1-2" rain amounts are likely, with localized amounts higher than that. With saturated soils, flooding could easily become a problem.

Secondly, I am still concerned about the possibility of severe weather from late this afternoon into tonight. Instability will be lacking, but the dynamics will be fierce. This still looks like a set up for low-topped thunderstorms, and with the degree of shear and the wind fields in place, damaging winds and a few tornadoes look possible.

Still watching the late-week will hopefully be easier to begin to get a handle on that one once our current system clears the board......


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