Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter storm could strike area Monday

There might not be anything pretty about the winter storm system predicted to affect the Charlotte area at the beginning of next week.

In fact, we might be dealing with the much-dreaded mixed bag of precipitation that includes ice on Monday.

A huge dome of polar air that dropped temperatures to near minus-80 degrees Fahrenheit last week in Siberia is expected to send a piece of that system crashing into Canada and the United States over the next few days.

Over the next two weeks, additional pieces of that incredibly cold air are forecast to move into the United States.

With cold air in place early next week, a low pressure system is predicted to form in the western Gulf of Mexico, move along the Gulf Coast, and then swing up the East Coast early next week. The Charlotte area would be on the cold side of that system, which means wintry precipitation.

The last time, temperatures in Charlotte were above freezing when the storm arrived, so the precipitation fell as rain for a few hours on Christmas Day, until the atmosphere cooled sufficiently and the rain changed to snow.

It's still four days from the arrival of the storm system, but meteorologists say the computer models are indicating layers of air that are above and below freezing. Specifically, some of the models (including the 6Z GFS) show a layer of warm air above a layer of freezing temperatures near the ground. That would support sleet or freezing rain.

People disagree about snow. Some folks like it, some don't.

There's no disagreement about sleet and freezing rain. Everyone hates it. Sleet turns roads into ice rinks. Freezing rain knocks out power.

Mike Dross, a meteorologist who used to work for Duke Energy and now puts his forecasting skills to use with the energy industry in Houston, says he sees a scenario where some parts of the Charlotte area receive 1/4 inch of ice. That's enough for power outages.

"This will probably change with future (computer model) runs," Dross says, but he adds that the freezing rain-sleet forecast is what the computers are projecting now.

And this might be just the start of a stretch of bad weather. Temperatures seem likely to remain below average for a week or more, so if any other low pressure systems develop in the Gulf, they could bring more trouble to the Charlotte area.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its winter. Who can I complain to.

Anonymous said...

On my way to Cabo next week, Yeah

Anonymous said...

Darn that Global Warming...

Anonymous said...

must get bread and milk. must get bread and milk. must get bread and milk.

Anonymous said...

What about the coldest air in 2 decades you were teasing the other day?

Anonymous said...

Going to the Caribbean Sunday. WOOOHOOO!

Anonymous said...

Maybe we need to drive more SUVs.

Anonymous said...

Only the thriod comment in before the tin foil hat global warming is a hoax type made an appearance. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Weather Geeks rule!

Anonymous said...

1) The model runs this morning painted a picture that we'd be using yardsticks to measure the snow on Monday.

2) It is WAAAY too early to think that model is accurate. We'll know more by Saturday....

Anonymous said...

Let the hype begin. Can't wait to see Eric Thomas and Brad Panovich do their Chicken Little impersonations.

Anonymous said...

do their Chicken Little impersonations.

rofl I know, right? You never hear headlines about a summer, or fall "storm". Occasionally a spring storm, but NEVER hyped like in winter. People who write stories somehow don't get it...it's WINTER! Did you expect different??

Anonymous said...

Cold winter weather in Charlotte NC has not one damn thing to do with Global warming, you sorry teabagger.

Anonymous said...

It's winter? What do you expect? As for global warming hasn't that already been exposed as a FRAUD!

Anonymous said...

...ever notice how the people that believe the Global Warming fraud resort to name-calling due to no intelligent argument or facts?

Anonymous said...

......and if it does snow I'll dance in it wearing nothing but a tin foil hat.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between Climate and Weather. Climate change can and does cause larger storms during winter and hotter temps in summer.

Anonymous said...

Let it snow, Let it sleet, Let it freeze... la la la I'm still going to have to drive to work.

Anonymous said...

I'm mad at NOAA for saying this winter was going to be warmer and drier!
http://www.news-record.com/content/2010/10/21/article/noaa_warmer_drier_winter_expected_in_nc

Anonymous said...

Funny that its call Climate change now, something we have always had. Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer is a change in Climate.

Anonymous said...

Dam_ globle warming. Rain, snow, ice or cold weather in January must be the cause.

Anonymous said...

If you can not that climate change seriously, please do not post. The earth as we know it is going to be gone in 10 years if we do not change the bad habits of the use of fosil fuel asap.

Anonymous said...

who let Ted Turner in here? "We'll be resorting to cannibalism in 10 years!"

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have fun for the next ten years if that's all we've got.....

Anonymous said...

As to the "Planet Worshipper" and their "Yeh, drive more SUV's" comment. Yes, please continue to drive your little tin can, Mickey Mouse cars so I can just flick you out of the grill of my truck when you slide in front of me and not lose any work time. Imagine being in a wreck in one of those little death traps? "Yeh, he saved a ton on gas but after the wreck they finally decided it was just eaiser to bury the car rather then get him out."

Anonymous said...

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