Milder for the system on the horizon...

>> Friday, January 14, 2011

Here is today's edition of the Carolina Weather Video. I talk about the next week's worth of weather, and why the GFS is likely wrong next week.

What a frigid start to our Friday. Most Piedmont spots were in the teens, and many mountains spots were in the single digits. In fact, several spots in north Alabama were in the single digits. Brutal!

Temps will moderate over the coming weekend with Piedmont highs in the 40s....maybe even around 50 in some spots Sunday.

System next week...

In today's video, I showed you why I thought the 0z run of the GFS was way wrong with its handling of things next week. The 6z has stepped in the direction of the Euro and Canadian with much more emphasis on the coastal system, and a colder CAD scenario.

The bottom line here is that at least a brief period of wintry precip is possible in the favored CAD areas, especially the foothills. It seems to be that the quicker precip gets into the region, the higher the chances will be for any wintry precip.

The Euro quickly changes almost everybody over to rain as it blasts the low up the coastal plain. At this point, it doesn't look like a huge problem with wintry precip, but often times the trend is colder in CAD scenarios, so we will see.

And, don't look now, but there are signs of another system around 9-10 days from now.

The basic idea is the same general pattern looks to continue for the foreseeable future.


Still in the deep freeze...

>> Thursday, January 13, 2011

Here is today's edition of the video. I take a look at what's ahead as we go through the remainder of January.

Check out this shot from Charlie's Beech cam up in Beech Mountain, NC. Looks like something from the arctic tundra...

Cold air remains in place for the next couple of days. Piedmont highs will be in the 30s today with upper 30s to around 40 tomorrow. Tonight should be the coldest night of this cold blast for most....lots of teens in the Piedmont.

Milder conditions will return for the weekend with 40s for highs Saturday and Sunday...maybe even a few folks clipping 50 Sunday.

Our next system will roll in by later Monday into Tuesday. I think the GFS is likely lost once again (losing the southern stream feature), and a solution more similar to the Euro and Canadian is the way to go. If that is the case, there will likely be some fairly healthy cold air damming as the system arrives (even though the parent NE high is not particularly strong), so I suppose at least a brief bit of wintry precip is possible in the favored CAD areas as the precip initially moves in.

But aside from the higher elevations, I am still leaning toward a mainly liquid system. But we will keep an eye on the CAD.

Overall, most indicators continue to point toward more cold air as January unfolds. I see no sign of any prolonged above average temps anytime soon.


Arctic air in place...

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Here is today's edition of the Carolina Weather Video. Give it a look. I take a look at the good, bad, and ugly with my ideas for the last winter storm. I always want to show what went right and what went wrong with the forecast and see what we can learn from it. I also look at another big snow event in the mountains and the New England states, plus we look at the pattern ahead as we get deeper into January.

Please see the video for a run-down of the good and bad with my forecasts leading up to our latest winter storm. Many of the overall ideas were good....snow, ending as a period of freezing rain with a glazing of ice on top of the snow. The heavier totals, as forecast, were from the southern Piedmont into the Upstate of SC and north Georgia, with amounts tapering off the farther north and east you went. The Triad did eventually get into the 1-2" category for snow accums, while the northern foothills eventually eclipsed 2" in most areas. The Triangle got very little snow, but I always had verbalized the Triangle as being right on the line for precip types. I was way underdone on snow totals in the Sandhills over to the southeast coast of NC....they did quite well! And certainly the Triad verified on the lower end of or below the ranges I listed.

As I mentioned in the video, the modeling that ramped up the QPF to over 1" in the southern Piedmont wound up being way overdone. Looks like CLT wound up with about 0.5" liquid equivalent....around 0.75" for GSP and around 0.25" for GSO.

So, in future systems, I will be skeptical when I see the NAM or the hi-res WRF rapidly ramp up QPF within 24 hours of an event.

Going forward....

Another huge upslope event for the NC mountains continues today. Some areas will likely wind up exceeding a foot of new snow once again. What a winter the mountains are having!

And our low pressure has bombed into a huge winter storm for the Northeast. Some places in New England will again exceed two feet!

We stay in the deep freeze through the end of the work week with 30s for Piedmont highs and some teens for lows. We should see lots of sun though, so the roads that are not shaded should really improve.

Next system....

I am watching the next system...probably late Monday into Tuesday. There is a pronounced cold air damming signature with that one, so I guess I can't rule out a little wintry precip in the favored CAD areas at onset. But at the moment, this still looks like a mostly liquid event for the lower elevations.



>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Well, the snow finally did make it into the Triad and Triangle regions, although many amounts were on the light side. When the detailed snow maps are out, we will take a look at the good, bad, and ugly and see what we can learn from this system.

Speaking of maps, here is the model-derived precip totals from the Raleigh NWS. The normal, more accurate maps will probably be out tomorrow.

Many areas wound up with significant freezing rain yesterday evening into last night, and the freezing mist continued this morning. Most spots across the Piedmont have a layer of ice on top of all surfaces, except the DoT crews have done a fantastic job getting the main roads drivable.

It is going to remain cold all work week long with 30s for highs and 10s for lows. I think it is within the realm of possibility a few spots in the Piedmont could see single digits for lows Friday morning.

Temps will moderate this weekend with 40s returning for highs.

The next system swings in early next week. At this point, I am leaning toward that one being of the liquid variety, but I have frankly spent very little time analyzing that one to this point.

I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by the blog. It is incredibly humbling that you folks would care to know what I have to say. I greatly appreciate it! Let's keep watching the weather together!


Monday evening....

>> Monday, January 10, 2011

The southern Piedmont has switched over to a mixture of sleet and freezing rain in many instances. All surfaces around the Charlotte metro are frankly turning into a sheet of ice. I would strongly, strongly advise not heading out tonight or tomorrow morning.

For the folks that did not get the good snow amounts, I am sorry it worked out that way. That was the diciest area of the forecast, and you knew it was a matter of dry air vs. incoming snow.

All areas in the region are fair game for freezing rain and drizzle tonight into at least tomorrow morning. Again, I would strongly recommend staying in.



Just finished hours of live television hits, so the mind is a bit mushy at the moment.

For the Triad and Triangle folks, this has been painful to watch, but not really unexpected. The air was extremely dry, and it takes a while to moisten that up. All along, you knew amounts would generally taper off as you went farther north and east. There appears to be a boundary aloft near the NC/SC line, and heavier precip has had a really tough time making it north of that.

With all of that said, the short-term models are adamant that the best lift (and therefore best snow chances) will not roll into central NC until this afternoon. So, I will let the accumulation map ride (what's the point in changing now anyway) and see how it pans out. As I mentioned in the comment section, the largest bust potential is probably in the northern foothills, but I would not completely throw the towel in yet. Let's let the system play out, and then we will see how good or bad everything went.

I am very happy for the folks in the Upstate and into the Charlotte metro that have done well thus far with this system. That area has received the short end of the stick seemingly countless times over the past few seasons, so I am happy those folks got a good snow.

All right, for those that are seeing the precip they want....congrats! For those that wind up short-changed.....we will try again next time.

What a fun winter season this has been thus far!


Winter storm underway...

Snow continues to develop into the region this morning. All in all, looks like things are behaving according to plan. As of 6am, many areas just west of Charlotte have already seen 3" with some 6" and 7" totals down in the Upstate.

Here is the call map I am using on air this morning. As always, there will be some localized variations.

In time today into tonight, drier air aloft will work in, and the result will be snow transitioning to sleet and then mainly freezing rain. Not a huge ice storm for the I-85 corridor, but a glazing of ice sure seems possible. Down into the midlands of SC, a quarter to maybe even a half inch of ice is possible on top of the snow.


Call Map and discussion....

>> Sunday, January 09, 2011

The winter weather event is underway for the Lower Mississippi Valley into MS and parts of AL. Not a whole lot of changes to the ideas down that way.....going to be a very significant winter storm. Areas from Birmingham south to Montgomery, and in MS, roughly between Hwy 82 down through and south of the I-20 corridor, icing is a big concern with significant freezing rain accumulations possible.

North of the freezing rain area, north MS, north AL, and much of Tennessee are in for a good snow event. Widespread 3-7" totals looks likely, and some areas in the Tennessee Valley could sail past the 8" mark. Same general idea for north Georgia, although the closer you get to Atlanta, the more tricky is gets.

For the Carolinas, the model precip output has been on a general upward trend today for many areas, especially the short-range mesoscale models. The last couple of NAM runs have printed out over 1" of liquid equivalent precip for the Charlotte metro and even more for the Upstate of SC. I have not gone this bullish yet, but it does make me pay attention.

Here is the call map for the Carolinas. Keep in mind that everybody, except possible the northern foothills, is fair game to see a transition to light freezing rain or freezing drizzle by Monday evening or night, and a glazing of ice is likely. These are snow accumulations on the map. In the area of highest ice concern, 0.25" to even 0.5" of ice is possible on top of some snow accumulation.

These are general ideas, and there will always be localized variations, even on a perfect forecast map. And don't take the exact lines drawn as absolute truth.....give it some wiggle room one way or another. Also keep in mind there will almost certainly be some higher totals than indicated in some mountain areas.

Bottom line is it looks like travel will gradually become difficult (if not impossible in many areas) from later tonight in SC and through the morning and day tomorrow in NC.


Sunday morning....

Good morning! Quick post before church this morning.

No huge changes, and you can see the initial accumulation ideas I put out last night in the post below this one.

All seems to be unfolding about as you would anticipate to this point. I will put out a call map this afternoon. Looks like a good snow event for parts of Arkansas, about the north half of MS, northern AL along and north of I-20, much of Tennessee, northern Georgia, and into the Upstate of SC and parts of western and southwestern NC. I will say that back in the Tennessee Valley, some 8+" amounts appear a possibility. The amounts get trickier as you get into further north into NC.

I will say that the idea of the second disturbance diving in in time to rejuvenate precip again toward Tuesday morning in parts of NC has some merit. Of course, that could be in the form of ice for many.

As always with winter weather events around here, this is a tough nut to crack.

Keep an eye on the Gulf of Mexico convection....if that races out ahead of the rest of the precip, that will cut down on precip amounts farther north. You need that line of storms to lag behind the main precip area, at least a bit.

More this afternoon...


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