Raleigh Weather Discussion
A cold rain across the area (snow in mountains) this morning will continue through the day. The rain should end by evening with a cool couple of days to follow, as a cooler than normal February continues.
A storm system will begin to affect the area early Friday and likely continue into Saturday. With a cold air mass in place, we could see some minor precipitation-type problems Thursday night into Friday morning across typical cold air damming regions east of the mountains. Partial thicknesses support the potential for a freezing rain/sleet/rain mix in areas of the piedmont although it looks like the changeover to rain will be rather quick and precipitation amounts are expected to be light through Friday morning. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sleet/freezing rain reports east of the mountains for a while early Friday morning. In Raleigh, it looks like a sleet/rain mix may be most likely before going to all rain quickly. It will be a cold day on Friday as the wedge locks in with most areas in the 30s with occasional rain.
Rain may continue into Saturday with warmer temperatures before ending. It then looks close to normal before another system approaches early next week. We could see a somewhat similar setup Tuesday as we see Friday with potential for a brief period of sleet or ice before a quick changeover to rain. Far out though, so I will monitor.
The pattern overall looks to be cooler than normal and unsettled. So we will have to continue to keep a close eye on the pattern into early March.
National Extended Weather Discussion
The pattern looks cold in the extended. All the ensemble guidance keeps higher than normal heights across Canada and lower than normal heights centered over the Ohio Valley/Southeast US. This is typically a cold and stormy pattern for winter in the Southeast. Therefore we could see winter weather threats continue into first 1/3 of March which has been atypical around here in recent years.
The ECMWF weeklies out last night show a cold pattern for most of the country lasting through mid-March. The CFS weeklies agree with this as well. It is interesting because the MJO wave is currently stout in phase 4 progressing towards phase 5. Typically composites show that phases 4-6 are warm one this time of year for the East and Southeast, but so far the models don’t seem to care about that. It will be interesting to see if warmer trends emerge as the MJO would suggest they would, or if there is something else going on that is outweighing possible MJO influences.
If the ensembles/weeklies are correct, winter is going to last a bit longer.