Arctic Front This Afternoon with Snow Squalls

Bitter cold air arrives tonight behind the arctic front that will be accompanied by gusty winds and the possibility of a moderate to heavy snow squall for the lucky.  The sun has done a great job this afternoon warming up the boundary layer under beautiful blues skies.  This will all rapidly change over the next couple hours as the skies darken and clouds thicken up.

Radar trends and short-term high resolution models indicate that the snow bands should arrive in the Triangle about 4pm.  With a steep temperature drop in the atmosphere are you go up in height, we expect a cellular, convective appearance to the bands…more like what you would expect in the summer with a line of thunderstorms.  And just the same as with a line of thunderstorms, it is hit or miss as to who is under the heaviest cells.  There will be some places under the more vigorous cells that see heavy snow for a brief period.  It should be very pretty and satisfy those who were disappointed in the the sleet on Monday.  Under one of these heavy bands, there could be a quick flash accumulation of up to an inch (roads will be hard to accumulate on if they have been in the sun).  Don’t panic.  It will be over before you know it.  Taken literally, the latest short-term modeling suggests that after a couple lighter snow showers come thru Raleigh about 4pm, that a  heavier cell will head thru Wake Co. between 5 and 6pm.  Should be fun to see if that pans out.

Then bundle up!  Near 10 tonight and near 0 tomorrow night.

There could be a couple hours of light wintry weather on Sat before changing to rain.  Low confidence on this.

Then next week there are lots of questions about another winter storm.  Models are all over the place and not consistent from run to run.  Something to watch.


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