CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There is a favorable pattern for wintry weather in the Charlotte area this week, including the possibility of snow before Christmas.
Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich is tracking models that indicate the Carolinas could see some wintry precipitation this week. In following his rules for winter weather forecasting, Panovich says we're now within the 7-10 range that allows for some more accurate predictions and agreement between models. It's not until we're within 3-5 days of a storm that it becomes pretty clear what type of storm it will be, whether it's snow, ice or sleet.
"We are in that pattern where it is favorable for us to see wintry weather somewhere in the Southeast," Panovich said. "Not necessarily on Christmas Day, either. I think anywhere from Friday, Saturday, maybe even Sunday. There's actually probably better chances going into next weekend."
White Christmas? Probably not.
You can dream, of course, but as of right now, Panovich thinks Christmas Day will likely be cold and dry. A white Christmas is pretty rare in these parts, anyway.
In fact, it's only snowed four times on Christmas in Charlotte, according to Panovich. That's measurable snow, which we haven't seen in more than a decade.
"Last one, 2010, that was an epic one," Panovich said. "Even though we had about half an inch in Charlotte, it snowed over in the western part really early in the day and then through the evening and the 26th it snowed across the entire state, so that was crazy."
Statistically speaking, Panovich says there's a better chance of it being 70 degrees -- that's happened six times -- than of it snowing on Christmas. As of Thursday, Dec. 15, Panovich is forecasting temperatures in the 30s with lows in the upper teens and mid-20s. No rain is expected and snow chances are a little higher than usual, but still a really low shot, as in 3-6% low.
One thing is for sure: It will be cold!
Panovich can't promise there will be snow, but he can guarantee we're going to be chilly. Much colder than usual.
"It's going to be cold Christmas weekend. There's little doubt in that," Panovich said. "Whether it's upper 30s or low 30s, there's about a 10-degree range. But that's all about 10-15 degrees below average."
That cold air means if we do see some precipitation, there's a good chance someone sees snow. But you need the moisture for that wintry weather to happen.
"Right now, as I said earlier, I do think we are favorable for wintry weather next Thursday and Friday," Panovich said.
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