Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow? Yes ... but how much?

All right -- let's all join Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, and sing along ...

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.......

The National Weather Service's computer models -- all three of them -- are singing the song today. There is now unanimous agreement among the computers, and most meteorologists, that snow is coming to the Charlotte area on Christmas weekend.

The big questions:

1. Will it actually fall on Christmas Day, or will it arrive early Dec. 26?

2. How much?

Yesterday, the GFS (Global) computer model was predicting the major storm system in the West would move across the Charlotte area, bringing us rain. The other two models forecast a track along the Gulf coast, which would mean snow.

But the GFS model is singing the "White Christmas" song today, so let's move on to the other questions.

Forecasters say one of the computer models, the European, is leaning toward a slower-moving storm, which might not bring snow to the Charlotte area until late Saturday night or early Sunday. The Global model predicts snow will start Christmas morning, while the third model forecasts snow in the afternoon.

Why is the arrival time important?

For historic reasons, I guess. The last major snowfall in Charlotte on Christmas Day was in 1947, when 5 inches fell. There has been a trace of snow -- which means flurries or sleet pellets -- a few times since then.

As for the amount, meteorologist Pat Moore of the National Weather Service was brave enough to make a rough and very early guess -- 3 to 5 inches. However, Moore notes, if the slower European model is correct, snowfall totals could be doubled.

Naturally, this is exciting news for anyone who wants a white Christmas and loves snow.

But this storm will have a nasty impact for travelers. The snow will cover Arkansas and Tennessee on Christmas Eve, and when the storm departs the Carolinas on Sunday and moves north, it will spread heavy snow up the East Coast.

If you're planning to travel back toward Charlotte from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland or Virginia on Sunday or Monday, you'd better allow yourself an extra day -- just in case.

"If this forecast works out, it could be an event that will be talked about the rest of our lives," the Weather Service's Moore says.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

So you can run and tell that. Run and tell that, run and tell that, run and tell that. Homeboy. Home, home, home, homeboy!

Anonymous said...

Very exciting - but it figures that this is the first Christmas in 16 years that we have to travel on Christmas Day. But, go ahead, bring it on!

GK said...

Wow. I didn't see this coming at all. Last time I looked at the long range forecast for Saturday it said rain. I had a white Christmas last year while visiting in-laws in Minnesota, it would be pretty cool to have one at home though.

wgbjr said...

GSP's wording was dramatic in their forecast discussion this morning. When the GFS flipped, it seemed to be a game changer for them.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to come and confess

we lookin for you

we gon' find you

we gon' find you

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a prediction a month or two ago that there would be many misses in the forecasts this winter season?

J said...

The snow doesn't have to come Saturday morning, just as long as it comes on Saturday. And that there is enough to actually play in. 3-5 inches would be good. To us Midwest natives, that would constitute a good, medium-sized snowfall.

DonAnthonyRealty said...

Very Exciting! Though I'm not much of a fan of it, I know my kids are gonna be thrilled if we get some snow that sticks!

A Color Specialist in Charlotte said...

Looking forward to a great photo opp!

Anonymous said...

As a native Charlottean I know not to believe the hype when it comes to the white stuff. Charlotte always seems to be on that fine line between rain/snow, like there is some sort of heat shield over the city. I predict 4 inches of snow in Lake Norman, with nothing but rain in Charlotte. Thats usually what happens at least...

J said...

Anon 8:57 - The Weather Channel agrees with you. They still make no mention of snow in the weekend forecast, only rain. I'm going to hold out hope that they are wrong...

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy!
Front coming our way. Look out.



What will that mean to us
in the Three Rivers area?



One of these big blue things!
This cold, frigid, Arctic air.



This big mass out of the north.



It will meet up with all this moisture
coming out of the Gulf...



mix together at high altitudes
and cause some snow.



It won't hit us here in Pittsburgh.
It will push off and hit Altoona.



Close call.

Anonymous said...

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.

Anonymous said...

You want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

Anonymous said...

I'm driving to Richmond, Va and College Park, Md for the Christmas Weekend. Bring on the White Christmas. More snow, more merrier Christmas.

Mark

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone cared about having a White Christmas before Bing Crosby sang the song.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the 1947 snow, but I remember a snowfall in 1963-64, that was bad, for Charlotte...Must have been 6 to 8 inches...

Anonymous said...

I hate snow... living in West Virginia for a winter broke me of it.

Anonymous said...

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I've been looking at the GFS model last night and this morning and it takes the entire storm to our south. According to this model, we end up with nothing at all. I hope the GFS is wrong, but I don't think it can be discounted.

Anonymous said...

Hide ya Kids Hide ya Wife

Anonymous said...

No when it goes south of us it picks up moisture from the Gulf and that's when we get it really bad. The ones that come across north of us are the ones where we get rain and everybody north of 85 gets snow.

Anonymous said...

Figures it's gonna snow the one time I'm coming down South from Buffalo. But I'm still happy to see the snow.

Anonymous said...

GASP!! STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING **RIGHT NOW** AND GO BUY SOME MILK AND BREAD!!!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 1:08,

Get some new material. That's old!

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of snow... Just left Boone with a good foot of snow. Go to the mountains if you want snow. we do not need it in charlotte.

Richard said...

There will be no measurable snow in Charlotte. Just more media hype. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there snow on xmas 1969?

Anonymous said...

No fair...I now live in Denver (the one in Colorado) and it's snowed exactly ONCE this season; an inch back in November. It's been in the 40's, 50's and 60's most of December, and it's supposed to be like that for the next few weeks. I was actually hoping for a white Christmas here.

And to think of all the grief I got when I told people back there I was moving to Colorado...

Anonymous said...

This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype.

Laura said...

I love this blog. Such a weather nerd!