Sunday, October 28, 2012

Snow, damaging winds, cold ... and we get off easy

Meteorologists continue to believe that parts of western North Carolina will be hammered by the southern side of circulation around Hurricane Sandy and the developing super storm to the north.

And the forecast still mentions a chance of snow showers around daybreak Tuesday in the immediate Charlotte area.

Meanwhile, heavy snow and winds strong enough to topple trees and cause power outages are predicted for the North Carolina mountains, from Monday into Tuesday night. It appears as if the worst of it will come Monday night and early Tuesday.

High wind and winter storm warnings have been posted in some mountain areas, with the heaviest snow predicted above 2,500 feet. Forecasters expect 4 to 8 inches of wet snow at and above those altitudes, but heavier amounts are possible.

Even Asheville is forecast to get an inch or two from the system.

The best guess is that we'll be looking at thousands of power outages by Tuesday morning, with some of those problems as far south as the N.C. foothills.

Here's a look at what to expect:

N.C. mountains ... from 4 to 8 inches of snow above 2,500 feet, but amounts of up to 2 feet are possible along the Tennessee border. Northwest winds will increase to 25 to 35 mph from Monday into Tuesday evening, with gusts of 60 mph. Winter storm warnings are posted for areas above 2,500 feet, but winter weather advisories -- for 1 to 2 inches of snow -- are in effect for Asheville and some other mountain valley locations.

Charlotte, the Piedmont, and the foothills ... A weak impulse of low pressure will cross the area Monday evening or Monday night, adding to the already fierce storm to the north.

Northwest winds of 20 mph, with gusts to 35 mph, are likely Monday. Those gusts might reach 40 or 45 mph Monday night and Tuesday.

A few showers are possible Monday, but when the weak low pressure area moves across early Tuesday, it could trigger a few snow showers. Temperatures will be a few degrees above freezing, so accumulations are not expected. But I'll note what I wrote yesterday -- if snow accumulates on grassy surfaces at the airport long enough, it will count as "trace" accumulations of snow. That Oct. 30 snow would break an all-time record for the earliest snow ever in Charlotte. The current mark is Oct. 31.


Anonymous said...

But around here, a prediction of a trace of snow is usually enough to cause natives to panic and attempt to purchase enough bread and milk to last until spring.

Obviously it's too early to expect a big snow, but I hope it is snowing when I leave at 6 AM to catch my bus. I just think it would be fun.

Anonymous said...

This "news" is four days old. Why is it even still here?