Monday, January 13, 2014

Cold returns ... and what will happen Saturday?

Our break from last week's bitterly cold weather will end Tuesday night with the arrival of a fairly strong cold front.

That will put us back in the deep freeze, but it won't be anywhere near as cold as last week. However, our return to chilly weather will be accompanied by a couple of interesting developments.

The first is minor. A weak low pressure system is expected to bring light precipitation to the area Tuesday night and early Wednesday, and some of that could end as a rain-snow mix in the foothills and Piedmont. That would be most likely up along the Interstate 40 corridor, and it would happen around daybreak Wednesday, as the precipitation is coming to an end.

Of more interest is what happens Saturday.

For starters, precipitation is likely. And what else is new?  It has rained on a Saturday or Sunday in Charlotte every weekend since early December.

But the precipitation could fall during some rather chilly weather, and that raises the possibility of snow in the forecast.

The European computer model is bullish on this. These models (basically, computer-outputted forecasts) are run a couple times each day, and the last three runs show snow falling in the Piedmont on Saturday. The National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., has noted these forecasts and mentioned them in the technical discussion earlier today.

According to the European, a low pressure system would pick up enough Gulf of Mexico moisture as it slides across the Southeast, and temperatures would be cold enough for snow (especially in the northern half of North Carolina).

But as the Weather Service also notes, the European model is alone.

The Global model shows the moisture shunted off to the eastern part of the state.

We'll watch this come into focus over the next few days.

Either way, two things look obvious.  We're returning to colder weather. Our daily high temperatures will be in the 40s, and we might struggle to get out of the 30s on Saturday. Our morning lows will drop into the lower 20s on several mornings.  Once again, this is all relative.  Low 20s sound cold, but that's a world of improvement over last Tuesday morning's 6-degree low in Charlotte.

The other rather obvious part of the forecast.  We're facing yet another wet weekend.


Anonymous said...

More nasty weekends to come! Hope the muck and saturation from last Saturday's lovely weather will have receded by then.

Anonymous said...

What's the old wives tale about snow after a thunderstorm? Is it in 10 days?

Had at least 2 thunderstorms in Charlotte this weekend.

Thunkit said...

Who can you depend on more for weather forecast accuracy...old wives, or Brad P.?

Unknown said...

Not sure what the deal is, but the older I get, the more heat-sensitive I get. That leaves me running for cover (or A/C) from May-September and begging for snow all winter. Come on, snow!!!!

agFinder said...

I'm not surprised to find snow forecast after the thunder last weekend. Nine days to two weeks is what I've always heard and seen happen three times. Steve surely you've heard this? To take it out of 'old wives tale' territory I've read of a meteorological basis - a jet stream oscillation which produces first a system with enough energy to generate lightening then one some 2 weeks later with more arctic air.
BTW Steve I'm a weather nerd and love your articles :).

Anonymous said...

James I am more cold sensitive; the older I get, the colder I get. If it's below 45°F it's too cold. I would like to know, however, when the last time we had 10-14 consecutive days of sunny precip- free weather!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing will happen Saturday. You may stop holding your breath now.