Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend storm could hit Christmas travelers

Many people will begin their Christmas travels this weekend, and anyone planning to leave Saturday for destinations north of North Carolina might encounter bad driving conditions.

The first of what is expected to be three Christmas season storms will cross the South on Friday and Saturday. The storm almost certainly will bring a chilly rain to the Charlotte region, but the N.C. mountains could get a substantial amount of snow. And areas farther to the north appear headed for a snow or ice event.

There still is considerable disagreement in computer guidance about the weekend storm.

The Global computer model depicts a weak storm system with not much in the way of precipitation. The European model shows a stronger storm that crosses the Carolinas as it curves up the East Coast. Temperature profiles for Charlotte and the rest of the Piedmont are a bit too warm for anything frozen.

John Tomko of the National Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C., said Monday that a cold rain is likely for the Piedmont and foothills, with the snow threat reserved for the mountains.

But Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania would be in the cross-hairs for heavy snow -- should the European model be correct. Precipitation likely would end in those areas by late Saturday, so postponing a trip up north for 24 hours might not be the worst idea.

The second storm system, which would arrive sometime around Christmas or the day after, hasn't really formed yet and is just an area of disturbed weather in the Pacific Ocean. But some of the long-range computer guidance in the last day or two indicates temperatures once again will be a bit too mild in Charlotte for anything other than rain.

But that's 10 days away, and a lot can change by then.

Christmas fun facts ... Today we'll focus on meteorology again, with NOAA's report on chances of a white Christmas in various parts of the country.

NOAA's report, issued a few days ago, doesn't take into consideration computer modeling for the next few weeks. It's based on the past, and records show the chance of a white Christmas in Charlotte is less than 10 percent.

But if you're headed into a potentially snowy area for the Christmas holidays, check out NOAA's report on the chances of a white Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Never let a day go by without weather hype.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 11:17 - Never let a day go by without your shutting up and getting a life!

Anonymous said...

Never let a day go by without offending Steve's groupies! Hype, hype, hype! The "big storm" predicted here a week ago will result in no more than drizzle. Hype, hype, hype!

Anonymous said...

As it turns out, there was NO storm. This was all hype. These mountebank guessers know not shame.