Monday, February 17, 2014

More winter weather ahead for Carolinas

Mid and late February has marked the start of spring in the Carolinas a few times in recent years, but that doesn't seem likely in 2014.

A winter that has produced frigid temperatures and four days of snowfall last week is not finished. The long-range computer models seem almost unanimous in predicting a return of cold weather -- and possibly stormy conditions -- before the end of the month.

For sure, we're getting a break from winter this week. Temperatures will be near 70 at midweek, and Friday could bring thunderstorms along a cold front.

The models indicate, however, that a strong dome of high pressure will build this weekend over western Canada. At the same time, a trough of low pressure is predicted to develop over the eastern United States. This is the same combination responsible for the cold weather outbreaks we've experienced on a regular basis since early January.

By early next week, the computers send an unmistakable signal -- very cold air will be pouring into the central and eastern United States. Some of the models show near-record temperatures at the end of the month in the East.

It's not clear how long the cold will last. I've read some meteorologists' predictions that the cold will relent around March 5-7, followed by another warming trend. But other forecasters say the cold will continue into March.

So we have agreement on colder air returning.  What about storms?

The computer models show a couple of storm threats next week -- the first around Tuesday or Wednesday. Temperatures probably will be above freezing in at least part of the Carolinas for that system, but another system later in the week could have enough cold air available to bring frozen precipitation to some part of the Southeast.

Snowfall update: It snowed last Monday (a trace in the evening), Tuesday (1 inch in the afternoon), Wednesday (4.6 inches) and Thursday (2.8 inches). Some parts of the Charlotte area also got a trace of snow and sleet early Saturday morning.

The total this winter is 9.3 inches at the airport in Charlotte, and that makes it the snowiest winter in a decade, since the 14.5 inches that fell in 2003-04. In that winter, 13.2 inches fell in a late-February storm.


Anonymous said...

This winter compensates for the past three of four mild and wimpy ones. Enjoy or detest.

King Lincoln Bomba said...

Good to know. We need another "full team coverage" crew out to stand in the snow and tell us to stay inside.

James Edgar said...

This big snow satisfied my "snow Jones" for now.

Anon 2:38 - I agree. And considering last summer it rained for 2 solid months and it never got above 90 until August, I suspect this summer will have 80-plus 90-degree days and at least 7 days over 100. At least I'll have this winter's snow memories to hold on to while I'm passing out from heat exhaustion...

Anonymous said...

Good. I hopes it's another ten years before it snows like this. By then I might be retired and won't have to drive in it. I can actually enjoy it then.

Anonymous said...

Cue the Cold Weather Crybabies.

Jazzman Lincoln said...

Aint nobody got time for dat.