« Archives in February, 2013

The Snow March Begins

Let the hype begin!

Now that we’re talking about day 6 in the forecast, you’ll see the media outlets feel like they can utter the dreaded 4-letter S word.  The modeling on this one has been remarkably consistent for a couple of days now for feature at the 10-day range.  Of course, the exact track will ultimately determine precip type and how much of it.  This storm will come from the west and intensify at the coast.  Lots of details to figure out, so at this point it’s just something to factor into your Wednesday planning contingencies.  Your next question is probably…”could this be a ‘good’ snow?”  The answer is…yes, there is potential there for a several inch event.  That being said, there is the potential for the classic NC 35° rain.  And I’ll add on that there is also actually the potential that the storm track is suppressed so far south that this turns into a SC snow instead of NC.

One last thing…yesterday, I was reminded of the difficulty of getting it to snow in March in NC when I got into my truck that had been sitting in the sun all day…hot.  The sun angle is getting pretty high now, so you have to have a steady supply of fresh cold air to make the magic happen this late in the year.  And if it does happen, a lot of times the snow comes, is pretty, and  then is gone before you blink your eyes….which is probably a nice thing for a lot of people.

Oh and I forgot to talk about this weekend…yes, there may be a sprinkle or a flurry Sat PM.  Nothing to worry about for that one.  Save your grocery money for next Wednesday 😉

Cold’s Coming, But Will the White?

Quick update…

First, sorry I couldn’t post on the non-event on last Friday AM.  I was on a mission trip and too busy to post on something that wasn’t gonna happen.

Now to the upcoming…a huge trough in the eastern US comes into play over the weekend.  We have the possibility of a couple of winter storms from late Sat thru Thurs.  Sat night into Sun, there is much uncertainty about the possibility a coastal storm will develop with the many-times-elusive wrap around moisture for snow.  At this point I’ll buy into a couple of flurries.

But then, things get more interesting a couple days later when a southern-track, Dixie-special could be on the table.  In my mind, this may be the end all, be all to cap the 2013 winter season.  Could be waaaay nice.

More on this later in the week, just a heads up for now.



Sticky Situation

It’s a beautiful snow here in Raleigh as the big wet flakes are now piling up on everything but the roads.  And that will continue to be the situation until late this afternoon and evening when the real cold air arrives.  The enhanced precipitation rates over Wake Co. in particular have done an excellent job of dynamically cooling the air temp to just above freezing.  So, as long as it continues to snow at least moderately, the accumulating snow will win the battle over warm antecedent ground temps and the diffuse insolation thru the clouds.  This first wave of snow should taper off this afternoon and then the debate really becomes how much if any precip shows back up late afternoon and evening in association with the developing low off the coast.  The likely bet for now is that it’s nothing more that a couple of snow showers, but it’s a situation that needs to be watched, especially for NE NC toward Roanoke Rapids and Va. Beach.

For now, enjoy the snow!

Split Decision

There’s more disagreement on this weekend’s snow than there is in the U.S. Congress.  And also like Congress, there may no deal cut until the final hour.

But…the trend has been to form the storm closer to the coast and therefore produce more precip farther west.  We’ll probably see the precip begin as rain and transition over the snow.  The best bet for accumulation in Raleigh is 1-2″ and I could see 3 happening.  Higher precip amounts NW and west could result in more snow toward Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids, but the cold air will take longer to get there.  So, you would be fighting that battle to balance the two.  As ground temps are high and it’s currently a lovely 61 at RDU, accumulation will happen last (if at all) on the roads.

As I said last night, this could swing either way on a dime.  And it’s this type of situation that feeds the fire that meteorologists are roasted over.  Here’s to some BBQ!

Call Me Maybe

I said earlier in the week that the weekend system would bring, at minimum, a good chance for a flurry, even as the extent of the coastal cyclogenesis was uncertain.  Well, here we are less than 48 hrs from the event and what I can tell you is…”well, there’s a good chance of a flurry and we don’t really have a good handle on the extent of the costal cyclogenesis.”  Hmm.

No need to bore you with the history of the evolution of the thinking from earlier in the week to now, but suffice it say, the trend of the models over the last couple runs has been to flip back to a stronger coastal storm.  So, i’m pretty confident the Triangle will see snow Saturday afternoon/evening.  Of course, the question is how much.  The trends favor at least a little accumulation.  But, you have to remember that ground temps are really warm, and it will be over 60 tomorrow.  That being said, we do have models coming in tonight with 4″ in Raleigh.  Ok, I shouldn’t have divulged that…calm down!

For now…let’s just say that we have a difficult forecast for Saturday.  And let me remind you all that cyclogenesis of any kind is one of the most vexing forecast headaches facing meteorologists.  But, East Coast cyclogenesis is particularly complicated and only maybe 90% understood.  It’s that 10% that still gets us in trouble.  Can you say January 2000?!?!  By no means am I say that’s going to happen, just this is a scenario where the margin of error is W – I – D – E.

More tomorrow…

Storms and Rumors of Storms

In hindsight, the blizzard in the northeast on Saturday looks to be the opening zinger in an Ed Sullivan-like parade of acts for the Eastern US over the next week to ten days.

What is clear at this point is the first shot will come overnight Wed in the form of a moderate snow event for northern VA and DC thru Jersey, maybe up to Long Island.  For NC, we’ll see more rain…a 1/2″ in the Triangle to an 1″+ south to ILM late tonight into Wed.

Then, things get murky with the potential for coastal cyclogenesis late Saturday into Sunday.  The numerical guidance is are all over the place to the range of possibilities.  It does look like there’s a decent chance that Raleigh could at least see a flurry, but as to ‘weather’ or not this evolves into a major East Coast storm or not…  It will be something to watch over the next couple of days.  Depending on how this evolves it could end up being an eastern NC special.  Unfortunately, the Euro is not in this camp.

Then, mid next week,  there maybe another wave that evolves into an East Coast storm…but probably north of NC.

So, it’s an active pattern.  Enjoy the snow? and rumors of snow!

Snow Shower

Looks like the flurry I advertised a couple days back will come to fruition this evening and then again with another impulse overnight.    Again, nothing to run to the store about, just enough flakes to be pretty.  There is a little snow in Greensboro and a broken line of flurries should move thru Raleigh by 6:30 or so.  Then, later on tonight, maybe 11-12, another band of snow showers rotates thru.  This band may be a little more impressive, but still nothing to get worked up about.  Enjoy!

Up next, late Tuesday into Wednesday, there is a remote chance that a northern stream disturbance would hook up with a southern stream wave for coastal cyclogenesis, but at this time it looks like they won’t phase, which leaves us seasonal and dry.