Monday, December 19, 2011

3 storms in next week; snow in the North?

Get ready for a week of unsettled weather across the Charlotte region, with a chance of three separate storm systems affecting the area between now and Christmas.

The last of those low pressure systems could be a snow-maker to parts of the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and New England on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

If you're planning holiday travel, you're likely to encounter rain, no matter when you hit the road (or fly) before Christmas.

The situation is difficult to pin down, because the computer models are having a tough time getting the timing right.

But the main thing to remember for the Carolinas is the word "mild." Unlike last year, it will be far too warm for any snowfall. The chilly weather of the past few days will transform into another round of above-average temperatures for much of this week.

High temperatures will be in the 60s from Tuesday through Thursday, and it will remain in the upper 50s Friday and probably Saturday. Sunday is a bit of a question mark, because Christmas could turn out to be a chilly, rainy day.

If you're planning travel, here's the rundown, as of mid-afternoon Monday:

STORM #1: This is the system responsible for the blizzard warnings across parts of the Southwest and southern Plains. This storm will dump heavy snow in that area later Monday and early Tuesday, then make a run northeast. Rain will fall in most areas, for the heavy snow in parts of New Mexico, the Texas panhandle, western Oklahoma, southeast Colorado and western Kansas.

This system will bring moderate rain to the Mississippi and Ohio valley areas and then into the Great Lakes later Tuesday. It will bring showers to the Charlotte region from Tuesday evening into early Wednesday afternoon.

STORM #2: This will be a weaker system, coming out of Texas on Wednesday and crossing the South on Thursday and early Friday. It will produce scattered showers, including a chance of showers Thursday evening and early Friday in the Charlotte region.

STORM #3: This might be the news-maker, because of the snow potential. Some computer models indicate low pressure will swing south from the Rockies, move into Texas and intensify, and then cross the Southeast and swing up the East Coast. If you're traveling Saturday, this system could bring a considerable amount of rain from Georgia up the East Coast.

The highest chance of snow would be in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, along with much of New York state, much of Massachusetts, western Connecticut, most of Pennsylvania except the Philadelphia area, and extreme western Maryland. The East Coast's big cities would get a cold rain.

If everything develops as indicated, it could mean a rainy Christmas Day in Charlotte -- especially early in the day -- with temperatures only in the 40s.

But some of the computer models are slower with this system, and some show it being weaker.

Tune in again tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I'm driving up to Cleveland on Thursday. I will be anxiously waiting to read your predictions each day this week. Thank you!