Monday, March 1, 2010

Will the Roaring Winter Go Out With A Whimper?




I had high hopes that the low pressure system currently located over the four corners region would come east and go up the coast Nor'Easter style, letting loose one more sizable snow here in Cville. Alas, unless there is a serious last minute correction of the track of the low to the west, that will not be. The above graphic from the HPC shows the expected track. So those of you who have had enough of snow take heart, looks like we'll dodge one. That's not to say we won't see some snow flakes Tuesday night, but anything over 2" would be a serious deviation from current expectations.

For those in NC (Salisbury/Charlotte), you still have a chance of seeing more snow accumulate, but you also have issues to deal with. Primary limiting factor for accumulations will be warm lower-level temperatures. This means it needs to snow moderately hard for the atmosphere to cool (evaporative cooling) down through the whole column of air to have snow fall. This is compounded by the fact that most of your precip should fall in the daytime, which will keep temps warmer. So you will most likely see at least a rain snow mix initially, if not plain rain, before a change to snow. If it takes too long to switch, the total amount of precipitation left for snow will be minimal. Like most winter storms in NC, the last minute details will be most important.

So, after all that coffee inspired rambling, I expect around 2-3" from Salisbury to points south and west. It's likely that SC could see more, because they'll have more precip as they are closer to the track of the low.

As this storm pulls away from the coast on Wed/Thursday, it will be chilly and blustery here in Cville as High Pressure builds in. But, this weekend looks to be nice- maybe approaching 60 degrees by Sunday. I think this will be the last hurrah for you guys in N. Carolina, and climatology agrees with me. Here in Cville, the window is closing, but don't count us out yet.