Ever since last week, it looked like we were in a weather pattern that COULD produce snow across the Carolinas. The cold air certainly was here. We just need one other ingredient... moisture. Early this morning computer forecast models have come into better agreement that we may get that needed ingredient for snow. Accumulating snow is looking likely over parts of the Carolinas beginning Monday night and continuing into Tuesday.
We'll watch a low pressure system that will track across the Carolinas tonight. A disturbance in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere will race out of the north central US today to meet up with that low. That will cause the low to rapidly intensify tonight into tomorrow, and those are the ingredients for a significant winter storm for our area.
Snow totals will depend on just how much the low intensifies and the exact track of the low. Early forecasts this morning suggest much of the region will see between 2 to 4 inches of snow, but there will likely be a heavier band of snow that could be between 4 to 6 inches or even higher. The exact location of that heavier band will depend on the track of the low. For now, we will forecast that to set up somewhere near the I-95 corridor. However, if the low tracks further inland, that heavier snow band could be over the Triangle. If the low tracks closer to the coast or off the coast, that heavier snow band will be east of I-95.
Please keep in mind these are preliminary snow total forecasts, and likely will be adjusted through the day. If this low intensifies more than currently forecast, snow totals could be much higher. This forecast has some similirities to the record snow storm from January 2000 that dumped up to 20 inches of snow in the Triangle. That system only appeared in computer models just about 24 hours before the snow started. Early forecasts for storm were also between 2 to 4 inches but had to be adjusted much higher as it became evident that the low would become much stronger than expected. I don't point that out to say we will have another January 2000 snow, but just to say the forecast may change rapidly over the next 24 hours.
If you've followed winter weather forecasting in North Carolina, you know forecasting exact totals is very difficult. The only thing I am certain about in the forecast now is that the forecast will change some as we continue to follow the latest data. Count on News 14 Carolina for the most weather updates with Weather on the Ones. As time permits, we'll have updates on our blog, plus you can follow our new Twitter updates. Our Twitter links are available at the top right of our blog page.