Brad Panovich: Challenging weekend snow forecast for Charlotte

Brad Panovich: Challenging weekend snow forecast for Charlotte

Print
Email
|

by Brad Panovich / First Warn Chief Meteorologist

Bio | Email | Follow: @wxbrad

WCNC.com

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 11:40 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- These are the types of forecasts I hate because there is a huge bust potential in anything I forecast for the weekend. So I'll just lay it all out there for our viewers. We will see some snow this weekend, but the million dollar question is how much?

Here are the two scenarios I think are most likely for the weekend.

Scenario #1:

We could see just flurries with little to no accumulation. This has been my forecast for most of the week. The system has looked moisture-starved and not very strong in most of the data I look at. I expect the Arctic front to cross the region late tonight with a few sprinkles changing to flurries or sleet Saturday morning into the afternoon.

There could be a few flurries in the evening as well. The warm ground and air temperatures around 43 degrees would keep anything from sticking. So the NAM model handles this the best. 

 Scenario #2:

The arctic front crosses the region just like scenario #1 and we get a few flurries or sprinkles in the morning. Then during the afternoon a second wave of low pressure tracks through central South Carolina and strengthens near Wilmington by evening. Just to the northwest of the track along I-85 and points south a quick burst of heavy wet snow forms.

This would dump 1-2 inches from Greenville, South Carolina to Charlotte all the way to Raleigh. Then the low cranks up on the coast and dumps heavier snow in Eastern North Carolina. The GFS has shown this for a few days. While it's the only model to show this so strongly, it has also been the most consistent.

What will really happen?

Likely something in between those scenarios and for that reason I look at the ensemble forecasts, which try to eliminate the extremes and gives us an in between forecast. I think something like 0.5" on grassy surfaces around Charlotte is more likely. Roads will be too warm and air temperatures too warm for much more than that.

Though if that heavy band does form, some localized areas east of Charlotte could get a quick burst to 1 inch. The biggest impacts will likely be Sunday morning as anything that melts will re-freeze overnight with lows Sunday morning around 23 degrees.

The Snow Meter is currently at a 3.

Ensemble forecasts:

Our Futurecast Model:

Print
Email
|