« Archives in March, 2013

30 Years Ago…

…a certain ‘Cinderella Team’ began its march to an unlikely National Championship.  But does anyone remember another significant Cinderella story during that run?

That was Raleigh’s last big late-season snow…over 7 inches on March 24th.

Here we are 30 years later.  I say it’s time for a repeat on both accounts!  Here’s to some wishful thinking!

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 11.46.57 AM

For fun…here’s one model’s snow accumulation ending 3/24/13.  Plenty of time to fret over this.  Just something to watch for now.  I’m sure I don’t have to remind you how difficult it would be to pull this off so late in the season…

But hey, if the glass slipper fits…!!!

Wide Left

…and not even by a little bit.  A couple of days ago this looked like a couple-hundred-mile near-miss.  Tonight, it’s kind of amazing to concede this system will go way north and concentrate the max snows north VA and MD then continue NE to the Northeast.  A Northeast solution seemed an outlier solution just last night.  That which befuddles me, intrigues me.

For NC, after tonight’s rain, we’re left with a passing snow shower tomorrow morning, at best.  The bigger story will be the wind.

Looking ahead, I’ll venture to say that a spring teaser warm-up follows end of the week, but after that there will be a cold snap.  Will the cold snap combine for a cold 40° rain or a little frozen mischievous?


Depending on your perspective…the good news is that this storm will be a blockbuster.  The bad news is that it looks to be busting the biggest blocks in VA rather than NC.

The track of the storm and upper-level closed low will ultimately determine who’s in the money (north) and who’s not (south).  There has been lots of shuffling hither and yon with the low track among the models and between run cycles over the last several days from extremes of a SC/GA track to a Jersey track.  Now though, as the upper-level energy that will spawn our storm has just this AM entered North American, we should expect the various models to converge on a consistent solution.  We see that happening to an extent, but there is still a lot of waffling going on from run to run.  Especially, in light of the fact that 50 miles difference in the track might mean the difference in 1″ vs. 6″ or rain vs. 2″.

What can be said with a high degree of certainty is that the storm will approach from the west, and as it nears the coast, it will rapidly intensify.  As it does, a relatively large deformation band with moderate to heavy snow will form on the storm’s west in the cold air.  It is in this deformation band that some places will get whacked with 1 to 2ft of snow and a howling wind (think Jan 2000 storm).  As it appears now, central VA stands the best bet for heavy snow.  The Euro has been consistently farther south with it’s low track for the past day or two vs. the American, GFS model.  And remember that the Euro generally beats the GFS in mid-range skill scores.  So while there is still time to hope for a continued trend south, it’s unlikely that there would be that much change to put us in the sweet spot in north central NC.

First guess for Raleigh…rain arrives on Tues, tapers off for a while as we get dry slotted on Wed AM, then rain begins again, mixes with and changes to snow Wed afternoon and we end up with a trace to an inch.  Snow totals slope up as you head north toward Roxboro where they stand a better chance for appreciable accumulating snow to 4-6″.

More tomorrow…