Saturday morning...

>> Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well, the GFS continues to struggle, but the is nearly unanimous agreement amongst the other major models that a low will develop and move from the northern Gulf of Mexico and the strengthen as it moves up close to the Carolina coast. There are some differences in intensity and exact placement of the low, as you would anticipate a few days out, but really, if you discount the GFS, the agreement is pretty good.

The models that had taken a more inland track for the low yesterday, such as the Canadian and UKMET, have made a shift east to a track right near the coast. The Euro track on its 0z run is very close to, maybe slightly east, of its tracks the previous couple of runs.

In terms of ensembles, the Euro ensemble mean is pretty close to the operational track. The Canadian ensemble mean is a little east of the operational.

Here is the point where I will, as in previous systems, caution you not to pay tons of attention to QPF (precip) amounts. Suffice to say the 0z Euro is showing a major winter storm from northern Alabama and Tennessee east into northern Georgia, the Upstate of South Carolina, western North Carolina near and points north and west of I-85, western Virginia, and up into interios New England. The Canadian result is much the same.

The reason the GFS is different than the other modeling all has to so with the piece of upper level energy diving into the Lower 48 from Canada by later tomorrow. It brings the energy into the country around eastern Montana into the Dakotas, while the Euro is a decent bit west of that. The result is a stronger, deeper system on the other models compared to the GFS.

I will note that the Euro is farther east with this energy entering from Canada that it was on its 12z run yesterday. Don't know if that is a trend or the modeling just simply adjusting to the correct idea. That is the key to watch for this system.

So, no changes from me. The players are still on the field for a potential significant winter storm for parts of the Southeast. And for the Carolinas, I would still favor areas near and north and west of I-85.

Now is still not the time for towel throwing or celebrations. This piece of energy is coming in from a very data sparse area, so some adjustments are likely on the modeling. So, this could trend into a much weaker, less significant system, or it could remain a pretty powerful system. The devil is in the details, and those details will remain fuzzy for a little while longer.


Anonymous 8:44 AM  

Doesn't the Canadian keep everyone outside of the mountains and Northern foothills rain? Thanks

Matthew East 10:23 AM  

No. Verbatim, the 0z Canadian would bring a good deal of snow to everybody along and north and west of I-85....and a little to areas east of there.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

what does your gut tell you at this time Matt? Scott in Lincolnton

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

12Z GFS shows signs of life for us in the southeast, if you believe it.

Matthew East 11:22 AM  

Gut tells me this could be a good one for the I-85 corridor. But the gut is sometimes useless.

Now that all models are on board with the general scenario, now we watch to see if an east or west trend will result. Both are possible.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Thanks Matt for your prompt response. I have been viewing your blog since early winter this year. I view Skip Foster's blog on the Shelby Star and many people refernce you, such as Chris Enloe and many others.Thanks for your detailed blogs and posts each day... My family is looking for more snow... And we want a big one.
Scott in Lincolnton

Matthew East 11:54 AM, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate you stopping by.

I wouldn't take the snow to the bank just yet....still time for things to go horribly awry.

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

I notice TWC & Accu-Weather are pretty pessimistic about a big snow event for upstate SC....leaning more towards rain or wintry mix. Are they merely cautious and do they have a better idea that is system will be a "bust" for us ??
Drew in Spartanburg.

Matthew East 2:33 PM  

Drew....I have no idea why other outlets forecast what they forecast. I can only tell you what I see and my thinking. I just don't know about other folks....

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

Whats the latest modeling EMCWF and NOGAPS still give points north and west of I-85 a heavy snwo event CMC looks to take the center up over the mountains meaning no snow for nobody at all? Chris

Lynn 4:25 PM  

Is Charlotte considered "east of I-85 corridor"? Never understand where we are in the discussion :) We're in South Charlotte. Thanks for updating on your weekend, we all appreciate it!

Matthew East 6:04 PM  

Chris....the model fluctuations will continue.....we are talking about track adjustments of 50-100 miles 3+ days is to be expected.

Charlotte is part of the I-85 corridor as far as I am concerned....

Tyler Legg 6:41 PM  


Just wanted to thank you for bringing the folks over on Americanwx back to reality. Can't believe a lot of them are throwing in the towel. Absolutely crazy and not necessary this early. Thanks for all that you do! Here's to a snowstorm we can finally call "the one"!

God bless,


Anonymous 8:39 PM  

As a former forecaster...I see this as the battle between the inland track and more eastward track. One thing is that this storm may come down to the wire...similar to the Christmas storm, but it will be the rain/snow line and forecasting amounts with this one. Remember that the pattern this winter season has been more snow for the southeast than not. Don't give in to the extreme westward track. I think this will dig even farther south than some of the models and ensembles are showing...and hats off to Matthew for keeping an open mind

Anonymous 10:26 PM  

Time to throw a pity party now NAM is way to the west and gives us absolutely nothing but rain..Chris

Anonymous 11:14 PM  

Now its really time to throw in the towel the 0z GFS is in line with everything else what a major rain event coming for us now forget the snowstorm possibility now if te 0z EMCWF comes in showing no snow than we hang our hats up and put the shovels away what the BIGGWEST HOAX THIS WAS

Jonathan (Hickory, NC) 11:35 PM  

You guys are so fickle. The 00Z GFS shows an excellent path for those west of I-85, especially in the foothills and/or mountains. I still like my chances...

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

Matthew, where is the cold air going to come from to produce snow with this system? Evap. cooling? because the storm will move in too late to have any help from CAD from the high (or at least that's what I see on models). So regardless the track we would end up with rain? maybe you can clear this up for me. Thanks for all you do to keep us posted!

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