Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Update

Just took a quick look at the latest model guidance today. There appears to be a trend for less moisture with the early week storm system for North Carolina. This may suggest only some rain showers Monday night changing to a few flurries or light snow showers very early Tuesday morning with very little precipitation during the day. The storm still looks to a be big headache for folks in parts of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. Since we are still a couple days out from when this storm actually develops, we may still see changes in the forecast. We'll continue to follow the latest trends and fine tune the forecast as needed. Stay tuned to Weather on the Ones on News 14 Carolina through the weekend for the latest updates.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Storm System for Next Week?

Yesterday was another active weather day across our region with windy conditions and rain into the afternoon and evening. Peak wind gusts around our area included 40mph at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 41mph at the Fayetteville Regional Aiport, and 43mph at the Wilmington International Airport.

Our winds are much calmer this morning, and as I write this blog the sun is finally breaking out for the first time this week! We'll enjoy calm weather conditions through the weekend, but we are looking for an active weather pattern to return for the first of next week. By late Sunday and early Monday, we'll be tracking a developing storm system across the southeast. Find out how this storm may impact our area with the chance for winter weather by Tuesday in parts of the state, when you view this morning's video blog posted below...

video

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Storm 2009!


If you were watching News 14 Carolina last weekend you heard me mention there was going to be a HUGE winter storm for the Ohio, Mid-Mississippi, and Red River Vally's on the way this week. Sure enough the nightmare scenario came true for residents from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Southern Missouri and Kentucky.

The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky is reporting as many as 205,000 people in The River City are without power. Some residents may be without electricity for the next 10 days! At the moment, this same paper is reporting to its readers this storm has caused the second worst power outage in Kentucky state history. Want to know the seriousness of this ice storm? My Mom sent me a picture message from her cell phone that drives home this point (top of page). It shows a 15-20 foot tall tree that's fallen over on the drive way- crushing the fence to my childhood home! If you look closely you can see the basketball goal where I would shoot hoops. This is the same goal I used to imagine that I was a member of the Kentucky basketball squad playing against a Roy Williams coached Kansas team! That's how long it's been since I shot a basket on this hoop. Nostalgia aside, this is a terrible storm that's going to take weeks to dig out from.

Be sure to tune in to the Weather on the Ones Forecast Center on Thursday as we talk about a potentially tricky situation early next week.

So, what are some of the snow and ice totals from Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky? Here's the list from 7pm Wednesday evening. Snow is listed first, followed by ice accretion- both in inches.

LOUISVILLE METRO...     4.5 TO 6 INCHES      0.5 TO 0.75 INCH.
LEXINGTON-FAYETTE... 1 TO 2 INCHES 0.5 INCH.

Active January

I was just looking over our blog posts this month, and it reminded me it has been an active January when it comes to our weather. A front on January 7th produced tropical storm force wind gusts across the state. The middle of the month featured an Arctic blast that brought our area some of the coldest weather we have had in a few years. Then just last week we saw the first measurable snowfall central and eastern North Carolina has seen in a few years. Snowfall reports topped out as high as 6 to 7 inches near Raleigh.

Today, the active January weather pattern continues. Just this morning a warm front is passing through the state bringing temperatures into the 60s to near 70 in some spots. A cold front will bring rain and windy weather later in the day. Wind gusts as high as 35 to 40mph are in the forecast this afternoon.

Once the storm passes, we do look for quiet weather to round out the rest of the month. However, February may get off to an active start with a storm system expected to impact our area the first of next week. Stay tuned through the rest of the week for the latest on that forecast...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Final Snowfall Totals from January 20th



Here's the total snowfall from the Inauguration Day storm of 2009 for Central and Eastern North Carolina. Many areas have had total snow melt, but in recent days I have been able to spot some shady places where remnants are still visible.

This week our attention turns to rain that will be sticking around from Tuesday through Thursday. Be sure to stop by the Weather on the Ones Forecast Center for more details.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day Storm of 2009


After hours of live coverage from News 14 Carolina, we can look back today to see the body of work that was compiled on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.


It all kicked off a little after 3 am as Lee Ringer brought you the first initial rains changing to snow for the viewing area. I met up with him around 5am and was ready to hit the air at 6 for what turned out to be a tag team event over the following 6 hours! Outside reports from Ilin Chen and Amy Davis only helped to bring the outstanding coverage to you at home. Not only did our coverage hit the Triangle, but viewers were watching updates along the Coast from our office as well.


Thank goodness Pati Darak came in to assist behind the scenes from 9am-11:30am as we were seeing snowfall reports climbing inch by inch in the Triangle! At 11:30am we shifted attention to the history making event that was not to be upstaged by Mother Nature- Barack Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States. After stepping out of Inauguration coverage we were back on the air as Pati took over updating viewers as the storm started to wrap up across Central North Carolina and continued to produce snow over the Coast.


I finally took off as Gary Stephenson arrived at 2pm. Pati and Gary saw this storm off the Coast and took viewers through the official totals along with what would be a tricky night ahead as icy spots developed across the region.


Thanks to all the viewers who took time to share your snow pictures. It made our coverage more accurate and timely. Your viewership is appreciated and we try each and everyday to bring you the best forecast as well as the best coverage during severe weather. Thanks again for watching and stay tuned, winter still has two months to go!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1pm Update

Almost 5 inches of snow measured in Fayetteville submitted by viewer KJ Westmen.
Here's a look at other snow totals as of late this morning midday from around the region...
  • Pittsboro: 7.0"
  • North Raleigh: 6.0"
  • Clayton: 5.5"
  • Bunnlevel: 4.8"
  • Carthage: 4.0"
  • Fayetteville: 4.0"
  • Wilson: 3.5"
  • RDU Airport: 3.4"
  • Butner: 3.0"
  • Oxford: 2.5"
  • Chapel Hill: 2.0"

Light snow continues to fall across parts of the area. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for Weather on the Ones updates every 10 minutes.

We also continue to receive hundered of your weather photos! Thanks for sharing! Because of the volume of photos, we can only show select photos during Weather on the Ones. However, we are attempting to post as many photos as possible on news14.com.

You can share your snow totals and pictures from your neighborhood by e-mailing weather@news14.com.

You can also leave your snow total reports in the comment section of our blog.

8am Update

3-4" of snow now reported across parts of Wake County.

How much have you seen in your neighborhood? Let us know in the comment section below or send an e-mail to weather@news14.com

7am Update

Above photo was taken by a viewer in the 6am hour from Holly Springs. They reported 1.5" of snow so far there. There have been reports up to 3" so far around Raleigh.

Send your photos and reports to weather@news14.com or leave a comment on our blog.

Snow Pictures


The first snow pictures of the day are starting to come into the Forecast Center. You can share yours by e-mailing weather@news14.com. We'll show some during Weather on the Ones and on news14.com.
As of 5am, snow was sticking on road surfaces across the region. There were also reports of up to an inch of accumulation on grassy surfaces.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow!

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.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Start Temps!

We knew it was going to be cold! Here are some morning start temps from around North Carolina on Saturday.

Raleigh: 11

Fayetteville: 12

Lumberton: 13

Wilmington: 16

Asheville: 4

Charlotte: 9

Greensboro: 10

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Morning Lows

Here's a look at the hourly low temperatures this morning from around the Triangle, Sandhills, and coastal regions of North Carolina:
  • Oxford-Henderson: 12
  • Southern Pines: 14
  • Chapel Hill: 15
  • Raleigh-Durham: 15
  • Louisburg: 16
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 16
  • Laurinburg: 17
  • Erwin: 18
  • Goldsboro: 18
  • Smithfield: 18
  • Elizabethtown: 19
  • Fayetteville: 19
  • Jacksonville: 19
  • Kenansville: 19
  • New Bern: 20
  • Lumberton: 20
  • Havelock (Cherry Point): 21
  • Beafort: 22
  • Wilmington: 22
  • Whiteville: 23
  • Southport

We look for an even colder temperatures for Friday night into Saturday morning. Lows should be back in the teens area wide around daybreak Saturday. We are forecasting 10 degrees around the Triangle with some single digit lows possible The last time a single digit low was reported at RDU was in January 2000. That was after a record snowfall dumped over 20 inches of snow across parts of the Triangle.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Preparing for cold temperatures and very dry air!

As we’re expecting some of the coldest weather in years to visit, albeit briefly, our North Carolina neighborhoods, its still important to keep some cold weather measures in mind for tonight and into the weekend.

This information is compiled from the National Weather Service and the University of New Hampshire.

1) If you have external pipes, wrap them to keep them from freezing. Be sure to disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets, as keeping them attached will promote freezing. Water lines in unheated recreational vehicles and out buildings should be winterized.

2) Be sure to have enough fuel on hand if you plan to use alternative heating sources. Also be sure to use the proper fuel if using a gas or kerosene heater, as many house fires result from fueling errors involving liquid or gas fueled heating equipment.

3) If possible, have your fireplace or wood stove inspected, especially if this is your first use of the season. Creosote buildup in chimneys resulting from years of use can promote chimney fires.

4) Use a sturdy screen or door in front of your fireplace when in use.

5) Burn only wood in fireplaces, never burn paper.

6) When using electric heaters, be aware not to overload electrical outlets. Also be careful of electrical cords that present hazardous walkways.

7) Keep heating sources at least 3 feet from curtains, bedding and other combustible objects. Failure to do so is one of the main causes of home fires involving space heaters.

7) Never leave children unattended in a room with a burning fireplace, running heater or lit candles.

8) Have you checked your smoke detector or changed the batteries lately?

9) If you have a fire extinguisher, make sure it is not past its effective date and that you know how to use it. Most fire departments will provide training on how to use them.

Your Vehicle…
1) Make sure your car has a good battery that is charged and charges well when the car is operating. Weak batteries are susceptible to cold temperatures and lose their charge easier. Also make sure you have that antifreeze in the radiator.. that is something that can easily be overlooked in our milder climate.

2) Keep some basic items in your car – Scraper, jumper cables, blankets, flashlight, and some munchies like granola bars.

Also:Be sure to bring pets in or provide shelter for them from these very cold temperatures. Some of the coldest temperatures will occur Friday and Saturday mornings when lows will fall into the lower teens. Wind chills could fall into the single digits as well, so make sure you’re well bundled-up when headed outdoors.

Regarding dry, cold air and dehydration, a study by the University of New Hampshire shows that while we still get dehydrated in cold weather, our bodies’ cues to hydrate are different.

When weather is hot, the body cools itself by directing fluid away from its core via a process called vasodialation. Your veins are opening up and taking heated fluids away from the body’s core and you sweat, thereby cooling you off. In colder temperatures, the veins constrict (vasoconstriction) to keep warm fluids near the body’s core and keep you warm. However, anytime you see your breath on a cold day, know that you are losing fluids, even if in small doses.

“People just don’t feel as thirsty when the weather is cold,” says Robert Kenefick, UNH associate professor of kinesiology. “When they don’t feel thirsty, they don’t drink as much, and this can cause dehydration.”

Yet the loss of fluid from our bodies, which triggers thirst in warmer weather, does not elicit the same response when the temperatures dip. It’s not simply because we don’t feel hot, Kenefick says. His 2005 study shows that cold actually alters thirst sensation.

Kenefick recommends that you follow the same advice in cold weather as in warm when it comes to keeping yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water, especially when exercising or working outdoors. A good way to monitor proper hydration is to examine urine output – the color should be nearly clear.

Here Comes the Arctic Air...

The Arctic air we have been talking about for days is now arriving in the Carolinas. As of 9am this morning, the temperature had dropping into the upper teens and Boone and light snow was falling. Look for tempratures around the Triangle and Sanhills to reach our highs around midday and then drop into the afternoon. The wind will pick up as well during the afternoon making it feel colder with wind chills in the teens. The actual temperature should drop into the teens tonight with wind chills potentially in the single digits Friday morning.

We'll stay cold through the weekend with Saturday morning temperatures possibly just a little colder than Friday morning. Then, the interesting weather may come late Sunday... computer models are now showing a system working its way through the Carolinas late Sunday into early Monday morning. It may be able to squeeze out some light precipitation. Highs on Sunday should reach the 40s, but as the temperatures drop Sunday evening, light snow cannot be ruled out. If you've been following winter weather in North Carolina long, you know a lot can change when there is winter weather in the forecast several days out. As of now, this is only a slight chance and any precipitation should be light. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and Weather on the Ones for any changes to that forecast over the coming days.

Stay warm too!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Take a Look...


Here's an infrared satellite image I grabbed from Wednesday evening at 6:45pm. You can see a line stretching from Maine, West Virginia, through Kentucky, Missouri, all the way past Montana. South of this line the satellite shows a darker image revealing the Deep South, Texas, west to California. However, north the view becomes hazy. Almost opaque. What's happening over the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest that could be causing this differential in appearance?

The devil is in the details, or how much news you've been watching. Look at the key at the bottom of the image. This is a temperature scale. Infrared imagery isn't a true view of clouds like the visible satellite is during the day. IR relies on cloud temperatures to show Meteorologists where clouds are located. Typically clouds temperatures in the atmosphere can fall to -40 to -60 making them easily seen by the coldness of their temperature aloft. However, in this image we're seeing not only clouds, but air temperatures! Yes, the Arctic Blast leaving a trail of cold air from Canada to the United States is so cold that it's able to be detected on IR images! Using the scale we can see that temps of -10 to -25 is being felt from Chicago to Northern Minnesota.

Coldest Air in the Last Few Years?

During Weather on the Ones this morning, you have heard me mention that the Arctic blast for the end of the week is expected to bring some of the coldest weather we've had in the last few years. Highs Friday may not even make it out of the 20s in some spots and morning lows should drop to the teens Friday and Saturday morning. So when is the last time we've had temperatures this cold? Here's a look at some information passed along by the National Weather Service Office in Raleigh...

Most recent dates at RDU with highs below 32
  • December 14, 2005: 31
  • January 19, 2005: 30
  • January 18, 2005: 30

Most recent dates at RDU with lows in the teens

  • January 21, 2008: 15
  • January 20, 2008: 18
  • February 19, 2007: 19
  • February 17, 2007: 19
  • February 7, 2007: 15

Last dates at RDU where the low was in the single digits

  • January 29, 2000: 7
  • January 28, 2000: 1

A couple of notes about some of those past cold temperatures... The single digit lows in 2000 occurred following the record January 2000 snowstorm that dumped over 20 inches of snow on the Triangle. The most recent high of 30 at RDU on January 19, 2005 was set on the day that about a half of inch of snow paralyzed the Triangle. Snow that accumulated on roadways that day created gridlock around Raleigh trapping motorists on areas highways for hours. Some school kids even had to spend the night at school because of the road conditions that afternoon.

Fortunately, this week's cold blast looks to be a dry one. Yesterday, there were some hints in the models for a slight chance for precipitation on Sunday. However, Sunday now appears to stay dry.

Stay tuned for the latest weather updates with Weather on the Ones only on News 14 Carolina!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold for the End of the Week, But Not Record Cold

For a while now, we've been talking about the frigid temperatures that are on the way for the end of the week. It certainly will be much colder than normal. Average highs for this time of the year run int he upper 40s with lows in the upper 20s around the Triangle. We are expecting lows Friday and Saturday mornings to drop to the teens. Afternoon temperatures on Friday should only reach the 20s to near 30.

Now, all of that is certain quite cold, but it will not set any records. Here are how the record lows stand for the rest of the week...
  • Wednesday (January 14): 12 in 1969
  • Thursday (January 15): 9 in in 1994
  • Friday (January 16): 3 in 1994
  • Saturday (January 17): -1 in 1977
  • Sunday (January 18): 3 in 1977

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cold Week Ahead

The week is starting with near normal temperatures for January, but by week's end we could have the coldest weather so far this winter. In fact, we may have some of the coldest weather we have seen around here in quite a while by Friday and Saturday. Check out what's on the way in this morning's video blog update posted below...

video

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Morning Update on the Chance for Colder Weather Next Week

If you've been following our forecasts or our blog this week, you know we have been discussing the potential for an Arctic blast across much of the United States next week. As of Friday morning, there is still a good bit of uncertainty on that Arctic blast and the timing of when it may arrive. Earlier in the week it appeared that the very cold temperatures would arrive here in the Carolinas for the middle of next week. Some of the latest weather guidance from late yesterday and early this morning now suggest that the bitterly cold air will arrive more toward the end of next week.



I discuss those changes and how it impacts our extended forecast in this morning's video blog posted below.




video

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Arctic Air for Next Week?



The temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska this morning is around -45. Yep, that's 45 degrees below zero. Of course it's cold in Alaska, but that is very cold for even Fairbanks this time of the year. So, why do we even care how cold it is in Alaska this morning? That is the location for a frigid Arctic air mass that could come racing into the United States all the way to the Carolinas by the middle of next week. Now that air will modify some as moves our way, but there is still the potential for very cold temperatures here around the middle of next week. I have more on the forecast for an Arctic blast in this morning's video blog posted below.


video

Peak Wind Gusts from Wednesday

A look back at some of the peak wind gusts from around North Carolina on Wednesday from various reports passed along by the National Weather Service...
  • Garner: 64mph
  • Goldsboro (Seymour Johnson Air Force Base): 63mph
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 62mph
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 59mph
  • Topsail Island: 56mph
  • Wrightsville Beach: 56mph
  • Pope Air Force Base: 55mph
  • Fayetteville Airport: 53mph
  • Laurinburg: 52mph
  • Chapel Hill: 51mph
  • Lumberton: 51mph
  • Wilmington: 51mph
  • Fort Bragg: 50mph
  • Holly Springs: 50mph
  • Greensboro: 49mph
  • Burlington: 48mph
  • Clinton: 47mph
  • Whiteville: 46mph

Rain, Wind, and Rainbows?

Yesterday was quite a day... a little rain and a lot of wind. Peak wind gusts topped out at over 50mph in many locations including a gust to 59mph at the Raleigh-Durham Airport and 63mph at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro.

Calmer weather is expected today, although there is a slight chance for a sprinkle of rain. A few folks from Raleigh to the north may even see a snow flake or two, but those chances are very slim. Meteorologist Joshua McKinney pointed out in the previous blog post that a sure sign today's weather will be calmer was a rainbow spotted by many of our viewers around the Triangle. Here's a look at more of those viewer photos....












The above three photos were taken by News 14 Carolina viewer Kitty Ashby in Willow Springs.

Photo from Arladean Emerson in Cary.

Rainbow spotted in Morrisville from Timothy Moeller.

If you ever have weather pictures to share with the Weather on the Ones Forecast Team, e-mail them to weather@news14.com.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Calming Down...


Jim Penny, a loyal News 14 Carolina viewer, sent us this beautiful picture at the end of a windy day in North Carolina. Wind gusts were as high as 63 mph in Goldsboro and 62 mph in Rocky Mount! However, as the winds continue to diminish overnight we will be left with damage over many counties in the viewing area. Numerous trees and power lines were brought down by destructive winds on Wednesday. From this point on we'll certainly see better, but cooler days ahead this week.

Rain and Wind


A front moving through North Carolina today is bringing us another round of wet weather. Unlike yesterday though, we'll have to deal with windy conditions today. Wind gusts as high as 40 to 45mph will be possible in some spots. With an already saturated ground from yesterday's rain, the wind could easily bring down some trees resulting in spotty power outages. Already this morning, there have been some power outages reported around the Triad. You can keep track of outages in our area through the following websites --

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Wet Again!

Rainfall totals through 5pm on Tuesday were highest from the Triangle to the Triad. Greensboro measured .092", while RDU gained 0.89" to its monthly total. While Fayetteville and Lumberton had 0.57" and 0.13" respectively, the Sandhills should see higher totals Wednesday.

This evening we are monitoring strong to severe storm across the Deep South. Parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina are under a Tornado Watch until 11pm. A thunderstorm risk is possible in North Carolina from Wednesday morning through Wednesday afternoon, but severe storms appear to be limited as most of the dynamics losing steam late Tuesday night.
As the cold front passes, winds will shift to the Northwest and colder air is due to arrive as we make it to Thursday. NW winds will increase to 20-30 mph during the day on Thursday. By Friday lows drop back into the 20s while highs struggle to reach the 50s.

Soggy Tuesday

Wet weather will continue in the forecast through Wednesday. For more on our rain chanes plus a preview of what could be ahead next week, check out this morning's video blog posted below...

video

Monday, January 05, 2009

Wet Weather Through Midweek

Don't look for much sunshine through the first half of this week. In fact, much of the area could see up to a couple of inches of rain through Wednesday. We do not expect to see a lot of that rain today, but a few light showers are possible late this afternoon. Look for the rain chances to pick up later tonight into early Tuesday.

The first chance for showers begins this afternoon as a cold front slips into North Carolina. As more moisture builds along the front, the chance for rain will pick up tonight. Cooler air behind that front will also aid in wedging cold air into central North Carolina. That will make for a wide range of temperatures Tuesday across the state. The Triangle and Triad will be stuck in the 40s through the day with highs near 60 to the low 60s expected in the Sandhills. Locations along the southeast coast may even get close to 70.

The rain from Tuesday morning should move to the north of our area during the day bringing a break in the rain chances Tuesday afternoon. The warm front you see across the state on the above surface map will lift all across the area Tuesday night causing temperatures to rise overnight into Wednesday. Then the cold front will move through our area Wednesday bringing another chance for rain.

Most computer models suggest central North Carolina could see anywhere between 1 and 3 inches of rain over the next few days. The above precipitation forecast image from the National Weather Service agrees with that forecast of on average 2 inches of rain in central North Carolina.
Look for the rain to end by late Wednesday with dry weather for the end of the work week. Rain now looks to return to the forecast by Saturday.