A wintry weekend is expected for some in NC this weekend, unfortunately, this will not be a nice snowfall winter storm for NC. The threat for lot of mixing of snow, sleet, and Freezing rain looks likely. Lots of questions if this storm will be the same as the December storm? No one storm is the same so it will not be the same, will have the same trends. Lots of hype regarding this storm before I get started, models are changing each run and no one really knows exactly how it will set up yet.
WHAT: Not much has changed regarding the setup for the storm, pretty much the same as yesterday. Double low storm is likely at this point meaning a low pressure system over TN and WV and a low along the coast. Due to this a nice snowfall is not expected other than the mountains, lots of mixing which could potentially lead to icing. Most of the wintery precipitation will fall from i85 North and West. Models are starting to show more of a freezing rain/ sleet event for areas along and west of the Triad to Roxboro. Starting as snow and switching to ice. One thing you need to have a good snowstorm is cold air in place first, we will have that but lots of other things come into play. The real unknowns per usual start. The exact track of the low? Is there two or one low pressure? How much moisture? Rain/snow line location? All of these questions will be ironed out in the next day or so. The system we are watching is just now coming into California now data will be collected and sent into models to get a better handle on the situation.
MAP: Below is my updated map based on a verity of models of where snow, sleet mix or just rain will fall will have a first call snow map out tomorrow. I feel pretty confident that accumulating snow will fall from Greensboro and points west. East of Greensboro will be a battle ground of snow, sleet, and freezing rain and just plain rain. Raleigh and east will be mostly rain. The Triangle and points east, models remain very unsure exactly how the rain/snow line will set up or occur, some areas could see snow starting changing to rain and or freezing rain for a period of time before all rain. The trends for today have been a North and west shift in the wintery precipitation more changes expected. East of Raleigh sorry looks to be just plain old rain. This can change over the next few days as of right now this is the best map.
TIMING- Precipitation moves in Saturday afternoon and evening, event lasts through the day Sunday ending by evening hours.
ICE THREAT: Since yesterday, something that has changed among the models is warmer aloft moving in and changing the snow over to sleet and then freezing rain. Freezing rain is definitely a concern from the Foothills to the Triad at this point, a glaze to more than a glaze is possible. Power outages and tree damage will be a real concern if this happens, no one wants ice trends are being watch. This is an uncertain part the amount of ice build up that occurs, it is important to bring this to the attention though. Here's my best map regarding the ice threat.
Many ingredients are coming together will ultimately impact our storm. The questions, of course, are what track will it take, how much cold air is available, what type or types of precipitation will we see, and how much. These details will be tough to nail down until we get a little closer. Let me remind you, many snowfall amounts maps are being rapidly shared. Snowfall maps greater than 3 days out are simply wrong, no one knows how much snow or ice will fall yet. Thursday short range models come into play which will give us a better idea.
HOW MUCH: I know the real answer everyone wants to know is how much snow/ ice will come down. Be patient here, with it being 4 days away and different solutions among models. Lots of time to go and lots will change, no real to panic or freak out, this system is very complex and changing thus no reason to hype it. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week you can also message our facebook page too!
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Pages posting snowfall maps and models are just trying to get likes and clicks, major news channels across the state are also doing that. Don't fall for hype most winter storms in NC change before they actually occur, number 1 rule 3 days out usually the most accurate.
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week you can also message our facebook page too! https://www.facebook.com/ncweatherauthority/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel