Monday, January 17, 2011

A near-miss for us this time

After getting clobbered with arctic air masses and winter storms the past month, the Charlotte region will miss the worst of what's coming in the next five to seven days -- apparently.

A storm system is tracking eastward today, delivering a belt of snow and freezing rain.

Since mid-December, the storm track frequently has been across the Southeast, with the Charlotte area on the north (cold) side of the system. The result: sleet on Dec. 17; snow on Dec. 25 and 26; and then snow, sleet and freezing rain last Monday.

This time, the storm's path is north of our area. That puts us on the milder side of the system, and it means any precipitation that falls today and Tuesday will be in the form of rain -- except perhaps in the higher mountain altitudes.

Instead, it looks like freezing rain could be a problem in places like Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and maybe the New York City area.

Then there's the matter of the next arctic blast, headed for the continental United States this weekend.

Originally, the computer models indicated the very cold air would push well into Georgia and South Carolina, much like the air masses have done in recent weeks. That would mean another round of far-below-average temperatures from Saturday into the early part of next week.

But now it looks as if the cold air will sweep over the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast. In the Carolinas, we'll be at the edge of the cold air mass. Our temperatures will turn chillier again this weekend, with highs in the low 40s. But we won't be looking at a string of days with 35-degree highs --hopefully.

Some of the advance forecasts show a trend of near-average temperatures for the next 10 days or so.

Given the history of this winter, I doubt that. There's still too much cold air in place over Alaska and Canada. But we'll take every day of "average" we can get.


Anonymous said...

We are surely in a wet pattern, not going a week or so without precip. When spring planting rolls around abd we need the rain, it'll dry up.

Anonymous said...

After summer 2007 and summer 2010, this frigid winter is a welcome relief. Quit yer gripin' about it being too cold! ;-)