Friday, December 24, 2010

Snow drama ... behind the scenes

If you've followed the news stories I've written, and those written on the TV websites in Charlotte, you can tell that there's been an awful lot of back-and-forth adjustments the past few days regarding the Christmas storm system.

All along, we kept saying it would be the final 24 hours before we really had a good idea where it would snow, and how much would fall.

The latest run of the Global (GFS) model has taken us back into Snow Central again.

It shows a more potent storm system, with a lot more precipitation than the computer had indicated in its runs Thursday night and early Friday morning. And while there are still question marks about the temperature -- it'll be close to freezing Saturday during much of the precipitation -- the chances for a significant snowfall are climbing again.

I just saw a GFS panel that shows potential snowfall accumulations by the end of the weekend, and it shows a solid 2-4 inches in our area, with 5 inches or more in a swath along the U.S. 1 corridor -- Raleigh-Durham, Sanford and maybe even Fayetteville.

That panel shows an inch of snow as far down as Atlanta, in fact.

Predicting this storm has been a real pain.

Initially, the European model predicted a monster storm developing off the Carolinas coast. The GFS showed a moisture-weak system moving across the Gulf of Mexico, keeping its moisture far south of Charlotte. Then the European began weakening the system, and it looked like the chances of a white Christmas in Charlotte were dimming.

Now, at noon on Christmas Eve, there's this latest GFS run.

Stay tuned ... this could be interesting.


Anonymous said...

Apparently there were problems with the GFS and NAM and the HPC says to throw it out. If you want to know if it's going to snow, you probably need to look out of your window on Saturday. No one knows.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow meteorologist, I've seen too many meteorologists rely on the models vs common sense in forecasting the weather. This storm was a monster on the west coast, and it was just a matter of time before it reorganized on the east coast. Regarding over-reliance on computer forecasting, the movie title "Lost in Translation" comes to mind. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

"Predicting this storm has been a real pain."

Really Steve. You guys made planning a road trip a real pain too because you all could not make up your minds what the storm would do.

How about weather forecasters use 1(one) reliable, dependable, trustworthy system to more accurately forecast a snowstorm.

Snöskottning nyheter said...

:( :( :( :( :(