Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Does this mean a cold, snowy winter?

The strong blast of arctic air roaring into the Carolinas on Tuesday probably will set off a lot of speculation over whether this is the harbinger of a cold and snowy winter.

After all, a weak low pressure system trailing the cold front is expected to set off snow showers Tuesday afternoon and early evening in the mountains and foothills, and the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., says residents of Rowan and eastern Davie counties could see snow flying later this evening and the impulse moves by.

In the immediate Charlotte area, there's a chance that the rain showers could mix with snow before ending this evening.

For those of you wondering what happened to the more significant snow that was being discussed last week, the answer is simple.  The European weather model, which favored a snowier scenario, was wrong.  It forecast stronger low pressure developing along the front.  The Global model had the precipitation forecast right -- very light.

So the winter scoreboard so far is Global 1, European 0.  I'll remember that, the next time one of the models starts indicating snow.

But back to the long-range picture.

The simple answer is that this week's taste of winter doesn't mean anything for the long-range winter outlook.

In fact, we'll see a warmup later this week, and after another shot of chilly air moves into the East next week (it won't be as strong as this week's), it could turn rather warm for the last 7 to 10 days of the month.  I noticed that Alex Sosnowski of Accu-Weather mentioned this morning that his company's meteorologists think temperatures could be quite mild in our part of the country around Thanksgiving.

In another week or two, I'll write about the various players on the field for our winter weather outlook -- and how meteorologists think it will all play out.

This week's cold:  It's coming, in a hurry. While the temperature at Charlotte Douglas International Airport was 67 degrees at 1 p.m. Tuesday, it was 44 degrees with a howling northwest wind in Asheville. Temperatures already had fallen into the 50s in the foothills and South Carolina Upstate, and you can expect the same to happen in Charlotte over the next few hours.

Record low temperatures aren't likely the next two mornings, but readings won't be far away from setting marks. The record for Wednesday morning in Charlotte is 25, set in 1911.  Thursday morning's record is 22, set in 1986.

On second thought, tomorrow morning's record isn't really too far out of touch.  Forecast lows overnight are in the middle 20s.


James Edgar said...

As always, I'm cheering for lots of snow. I have become much more heat-sensitive as I have aged.

What I hope we can avoid this winter is the irritating screaming about how the weather on any given single day proves or disproves global warming and the inevitable insults hurled at other commenters who have an opposing opinion.

Anonymous said...

James, you are hoping for the impossible.

Anonymous said...

I'm with James...More Snow!!!! Impossible...not with prayer!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Snow is not what is impossible, but rather, as James writes, avoiding screaming about whether or not "global warming" is proved by any single day.