Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter attacks from every side

Anyone in the Charlotte region who dislikes winter weather must feel besieged today, with snow and cold weather seemingly attacking from all directions.

After all, snow is expected to fall this afternoon in Charleston, and bitterly cold arctic air is pouring into the region from the northwest.

The big news for the area continues to be the possibility of a snowstorm Tuesday into early Wednesday, but there is more on the plate this next-to-last Saturday in January.

We still don't have a firm grasp on exactly what will unfold with the next winter storm expected for the Carolinas. The general thinking hasn't changed ... low pressure will form in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday and then move across the Southeast.

That low pressure will intensify and take a run up the East Coast, bringing absolutely awful weather to the big metropolitan areas that already have been clobbered several times this season.

But what about the Charlotte area?

Blair Holloway, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said Saturday morning the current guess is Charlotte will get rain to start Tuesday, but precipitation will change over to snow. Areas to the north and west of Charlotte would get mostly snow.

This might sound familiar, Holloway notes. "This would be similar to the Christmas day storm," he says.

Meanwhile, Accu-Weather is predicting some rain and some freezing rain for Charlotte, with heavier snow reserved for the foothills and mountains. One of the key computer models for weather forecasting, the GFS (Global), predicted Saturday morning that the storm would take a rather northerly track, bringing more warm air into the Charlotte region.

The other models have colder predictions ... and, hence, more snow.

Here's something else to ponder. Some of the models are hinting at a major storm next weekend. I haven't been paying very close attention to that, but my brother Michael -- who is very weather-savvy -- mentioned to me this morning that some weather professionals have been comparing overall conditions next weekend to March 1993 (the Superstorm).

In the meantime, let's look at the two current pieces of the winter picture:

Snow in Charleston? Low pressure formed off the Florida coast Saturday morning, spreading frozen precipitation onto parts of the coast. Light sleet and snow fell near Charleston, but more significant snow fell Saturday afternoon near Wilmington.

Up to an inch could accumulate in such unlikely places as Ocean Isle Beach and Wrightsville Beach this afternoon, before the storm system moves out to sea.

Cold air. Actually, the Carolinas were spared the worst of the nasty cold blast the past few days. Low temperatures Saturday morning in the mountains were in the mid teens, but the coldest air remained north of the region.

Readings were as cold as 11 degrees below zero in Zanesville, Ohio, not far from Columbus, and the thermometer fell to 1 degree at Lexington, Ky.

High pressure responsible for those cold temperatures will move over New England early in the week and pump chilly air into the Carolinas. That will set the stage for our winter storm Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

The 12z GFS today shows temps are going to be too warm for snow. As of right now, looks like a cold, heavy rain...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Christmas, isn't it about time to start playing Christmas music? After all, it gets earlier and earlier each year, so we may as well just keep it all year long.

Anonymous said...

So what the article is saying is another " We Dont Know" Nice.

Anonymous said...

The usual media hype. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

The last media hype closed school for three friggin days

Anonymous said...

Right now the coast is getting pounded. I live about 10 miles from New Bern. Just east of new Bern they are really getting it.
Here's a slideshow from Channel 12 WCTI

Anonymous said...

Forgot the site for teh slideshow

Anonymous said...
Got it right this time

Anonymous said...

Holloway says, "This would be similar to the Christmas day storm.

Sorry, but I can't equate the snow we got on Christmas day in Charlotte with the word "storm". I guess technically speaking, it was, if you compare it to every rain we get as a "rainstorm".

But really, less than 6 inches of snow doesn't qualify as a storm in my book. It's just snowfall. Accumulations getting up over 8 inches start getting into the "storm" category. Maybe.

Next week's snow (if we even get any) will be like the Christmas snow. Pretty, and a minor inconvenience for some people. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for global warming. Can you imagine how cold it would be without it???

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous posted January 22, 2011 3:56 PM - Actually global warming means hotter summers (record heat last summer), and colder temps and more snowstorms in the winters (coldest winter on record, and we have 2 months to go)...If you don't want to listen to the top scientist's in the world, that's your problem, but the facts are there.

Anonymous said...

@anon 4:37PM

What a load of fecal material. Warmer means warmer, not colder. The only reason "they" started saying "you know, global warming also means colder winters" is to cover their lying arses...

Anonymous said...

"Global warming" =

walk like a duck, talk like a duck