Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Some stormy days ahead

Don't expect any lengthy dry spells over the next few weeks.

We appear to be entering a stormy period over the eastern United States, and by the time we arrive at mid-March, many of us in the Charlotte region could be the beneficiaries of several inches of rain.

Is there another winter storm lurking out there?  It's impossible to say. There are no signs of a major cold air outbreak, and climatology increasingly makes that difficult. We're rushing headlong toward spring, and average daily temperatures are several degrees warmer than early January.

But the computer models are showing several rounds of storms during the next two weeks.

The first storm system will arrive Friday into early Saturday, and it could bring an ice storm for northern North Carolina and 1 to 2 inches of cold rain for the southern Piedmont.  Temperatures probably will be in the mid to upper 30s Friday while the rain falls in Charlotte, but there could be several hours of freezing rain during the morning to the north of Interstate 40.

Rain intensity could increase overnight Friday.

Then another -- weaker -- storm system will approach Monday.

The computer models keep pointing to a big storm around the beginning of March. That's nine or 10 days away, and the models are notoriously unreliable that far out, especially when it comes to exact storm tracks and temperatures. But that system, should it develop, would be capable of producing a couple more inches of rain.

We've had a couple very dry months of March in recent years, but it's normally one of the wettest months of the year in the Carolinas.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for very wet conditions in our part of the country over the next 10 days, by the way.

If you're a winter weather fan and want another chance at a big snowstorm, these forecasts of wet and stormy weather should make you happy.  We're not looking at very warm weather over the next two weeks. All it would take is some marginally cold air (i.e., last Saturday) and a strong low pressure system, and frozen precipitation would be a reality.

If your preference is for something like last March -- one of the warmest on record in Charlotte -- it looks as if you'll have to wait until the second half of the month, at the earliest.


Anonymous said...

"We're rushing headlong toward spring..."

We are? Is the rush to spring any quicker than summer to fall? What is the hurry?

Anonymous said...

"the models are notoriously unreliable that far out.."

That is obvious since forecasts are hardly ever correct further than a day. Why act as if they are?

Anonymous said...

"...by the time we arrive at mid-March, many of us in the Charlotte region could be the beneficiaries of several inches of rain."

And many of us (most of us?) will be thoroughly sick of it by then.