Thursday, February 28, 2013

No snow Saturday; next up: Wednesday

The possibility of snow Saturday in the Carolinas' Piedmont has nearly disappeared, and now the focus of attention moves to next Wednesday.

Some snow fans had been hoping a weak disturbance expected to cross the Carolinas on Saturday would imitate the system which brought 2 inches of snow to Charlotte on a Saturday afternoon two weeks ago. But computer models point to a much weaker system.

Temperatures will be very cold for this time of year, but "this time of year" is early March, and average temperatures are 10 degrees warmer than in early January. So even with cold air dominating the eastern United States, the forecast highs Saturday are still in the mid 40s.

Mid 40s and snowflakes don't mix well together.

Actually, precipitation is expected to be very light. Some snow could mix with rain showers in the foothills, but Saturday's system largely will be a non-event.

Keep in mind that the mountains are in an entirely different situation over the next few days. Temperatures are plenty cold enough up there for snowfall, and the northwest flow, coupled with a procession of weak low pressure systems, will bring several inches of snow to the northwest mountains.

So we're left with next week.

That low pressure system is expected to be considerably stronger than anything arriving Saturday. Once again, temperatures will be a few degrees too mild for snow, but that could change -- depending on the track of the low pressure system, its strength, and the location of high pressure over New England (which helps determine how much cold air is funnelled into the Carolinas).

The thinking among most meteorologists is the precipitation will arrive as rain late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Cold air could funnel into the region as the low pressure system begins pulling away. And that could mean a period of snow, even in Charlotte, as the precipitation ends Wednesday morning or afternoon.


Anonymous said...

and in other news there will be no raining of cats and dogs thursday or friday as well.