The Now and Later


From an accumulation point of view, a call of a dusting to an inch wasn’t too bad.  The better call was to bite on the later guidance suggesting slightly heavier amounts and call it 1/2 – 2″.  Today’s snow actually seemed like more than it was because…1) it was very cold this AM, which initially made for efficient laying on roads, and 2) all it takes it about 1″ to cover everything in white and it looks more impressive than it really is.  Snowfall reports around the Triangle were lighter towards Durham (1/2″) and heavier in Wake Co. (up to 1.5″).  Not much in the grand scheme of things…and not much compared to the potential of tomorrow night.

Aside…it has been really cool to see how the back edge of snow keeps regenerating over Wake Co.  As I write this at 4:30, it’s still happening.  And we’ll see another round train through over the next 30 mins.



Hopefully, you enjoyed today’s amuse bouche as a prelude to tomorrow night’s feast.  The situation still looks favorable for a significant snowfall in the Triangle and for a good portion of NC.  Not that everyone will get hefty snow totals, but a large swath will get some accumulation.  There is likely to be an axis of heaviest snows, and right now that band seems most likely to set up from Asheboro to Raleigh to Rocky Mount to Ahoskie.  Now you wanna know how much, right?

Having the storm track farther west is good to bring lots of moisture farther west, but it also means that the air will probably not be quite as cold as first envisioned.  For instance, expect ground temps to be above freezing for the first couple hours of this event tomorrow evening.  It will take some time to cool the surface to freezing and that will loose some snow to melting.  I can also see how initially the precip could begin as rain for a bit.  But then once the snow gets going it looks like it will come down heavily at times.

We do need to talk about the threat of the warm tongue knocking at the door of southern Wake Co. for a time. This could cause the snow to mix with or change to sleet at times and possibly near the end of the event have a little light glaze possible.  These are details to watch over the next 24hrs.

Before I give you what you want, I have to say that achieving a snowstorm of the magnitude indicated by this system’s potential is hard and rare.  There are several things to go wrong, any one of which could easily slash snowfall totals.  And to my point above about 1″ looking like a lot…really once you cover the ground, it’s really all bonus and there’s not much difference between 4″ vs 8″.  With all that handwaving out of the way.  The axis of heaviest snow looks to be along that line I outlined above with 6-8″.  North and east from Rocky Mount probably more than 8.  The totals taper down quickly south and east such that Fayetteville probably only gets 1 or 2″ with some icing or changing to rain.  Totals on the north side of that line will have a more gradual ramp down so that places in VA like Williamsburg still get a couple inches.  Snow will fly all the way back to the western part of the state with general 2-6″ depending on where you are.

More later!

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