Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Storm Possible for Christmas Weekend

You've probably heard the buzz around town by now... North Carolina's chances for a white Christmas are much higher than most years. Yesterday, on News 14 Carolina and here on the weather blog, we discussed a couple of different scenarios with a low pressure system that will track across the southeast Christmas Day. The first scenario took the low on a more northerly route which would mean mainly a chilly rain for central and eastern North Carolina with a chance for light snow on the backside of the system. A more southerly track of the low was the second scenario. That would mean more snow for central and even eastern North Carolina. Based on most computer model data from late yesterday and this morning, it appears that second scenario (the southerly track) is more likely.

Here's a look at forecast maps from the National Weather Service for Christmas morning and Sunday morning --

This is a classic setup for a Carolina snowstorm. Keep in mind all the ingredients must come together at just the right time for a snowstorm in our part of North Carolina. At this point, it does appear mainly snow will fall across central and eastern North Carolina. Coastal locations would see rain at the onset of the precipitation, but it is possible for that rain to change to at least some snow at some point. The timing of the precipitation is still questionable at this time. Based on the latest data, it appears the precipitation would begin to fall sometime Christmas afternoon or evening and continue through the night. Snow will be possible into Sunday.

This set up would produce accumulating snowfall especially in the Triangle, Sandhills and points to the west. The forecast for coastal areas remains uncertain at this time. It is much too early to make any calls for snowfall amounts in central North Carolina. Computer models still vary from one extreme of light accumulations to the other extreme of a major snowstorm.

While a lot of folks are dreaming of a white Christmas, this storm has the potential to become a major snowstorm from the Carolinas to the northeast. This would create dangerous or impossible travel conditions. Keep in mind snowfall amounts are very uncertain at this time. This is just a heads up to continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

We'll be in the weather center through the week and the holiday weekend with the latest information. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for updates.
Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

1 comment:

weather said...

weather forecast from GFS, with snow maps

snow rain maps