The Trend Is Your Friend

…but do we have a trend?

This afternoon’s Euro shifted the storm track significantly westward, and closer to the NAM 3km.  One run doth not make a trend, so we wait to see what the next cycle shows.  NC probably gets most of its moisture rung out as snow from confluence forced by an inverted trough and costal baroclinic zone to the west of the eventual storm track.  It’s a highly dynamic system that will lead to a spectacular storm.  And the questions remain just where all these fireworks take place from the novel winter storm in the FL Panhandle northward to most all areas along the Eastern Seaboard.

For NC you’ve got two things going on: 1) moisture coming together ahead of the storm that will produce light to moderate snow in the eastern 1/3 of the state, and 2) the storm system really beginning to bomb out as it approaches NC’s latitude on it’s race northward to Newfoundland.  The extent to which rapid cyclogenesis occurs, how close the low is to the coast and what the precipitation shield looks like will all dictate how much bonus snow eastern NC will tally.  If the low tracks a little farther west under more influence of the coastal trough, then NC snow totals will edge higher.  Obviously, the opposite is also a viable option, resulting in just light accumulations.

I hesitate to throw around things like the Jan 2000 storm, but there are some similarities.  Again, it’s a highly dynamic situation and in these situations it’s best to see how the precipitation begins to blossom in the early stages before we write off one solution or another as implausible.

To summarize…this will be a storm where the accumulation gradient lines up mostly WSW  to ENE… i.e. this is not a Roxboro gets all the snow where everybody south gets nothing.  Highest snow totals should be found in northeastern NC.  My best estimate is that Wake county will see 1″ near the airport, ramping up to 2-3″ at the JoCo border.  Higher totals will be eastward in a band from say Greenville to Norfolk where they could be looking at 3-6″, possibly more.  Snow begins tomorrow afternoon.

Finally, need I remind you that it’s cold?!  And any snow on the ground will only make it colder.  Also, the breezy conditions behind the storm will make the cold bite even more.  Be prepared.

Update:  most 18Z guidance came in wetter and farther west.  we shall see if this is a trend.  if so, totals my be increased a category.


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