Today’s Winter Weather Event
It is too late in the game to really make a new map, so I will just repost the one from yesterday as I have no major changes to it.
We are seeing mostly light freezing rain this morning across Tennessee, with freezing rain and sleet across southern Kentucky and now spreading into SW NC. Looking at spotter storm reports in KY/TN, we see reports of slick roads and freezing rain accrual up to 0.1 already occurring. This is the type of impact that will spread east today. Again, it doesn’t take a lot of ice to make things very slick even with QPF amounts mostly under 0.25 inches.
I still expect a significant ice storm over SE KY and NE TN, in the area D that was outlined yesterday. With freezing rain and sleet already occurring in those areas and reports of up to 0.1 inch accrual already in SE KY, I think this area looks to verify.
So to sum it up, I do expect ice to be a problem for extreme N Ga, east TN, SE KY, and much of NC away from SE sections. Outside the mountains of WV/VA, the biggest snow accumulations may fall in SE Va and the NE Corner of NC, where potentially amounts could be more in the 2-4 inch range than the 1-3 inch range I currently have there. Keep an eye out for that.
I will update as I see new information and follow radar/surface trends through the day on twitter @RaleighWx.
Raleigh Weather Discussion
It is going to be an icy afternoon and evening across the Triangle. I think sleet/freezing rain could begin by lunchtime and last through the dinner hour and into the early evening. Right now, I expect a period of sleet that will change to freezing rain and end as freezing drizzle tonight. Roads will be very slick once the precip begins, so I would make sure you have plans to not be on the roads much this evening. Temperatures will climb into the 40s tomorrow, so I think by mid-day most of the roads will be fine, but it is probably a good idea to not travel tonight. Again, I will update throughout the day on twitter on this event.
We will warm up significantly early next week with 70 not out of the question on Tuesday. However, another polar cold front will pass through the area by mid-week and although the timing is still up for grabs, it will likely happen during the day Wednesday or Thursday morning at the latest with a round rain associated with it.
The big questions arise by late next week. The 12z run of the Euro yesterday was a nice snow storm for the lower mid-Atlantic for next Friday, but the 00z run is a January 7th, 1988 redux for the Southeast with heavy snow for much of the southeast and a huge snowstorm for NC next Thursday night and Friday. The operational ECMWF has some support from the ECMWF Ensemble, but the GFS and Canadian models do not show the storm. Much depends on how the models handle some energy in the SW US and if it hangs back or kicks out. For now, it is anyone’s guess but the potential is there for a big winter storm late next week into the weekend. The pattern in general looks supportive of winter weather events into February, so we may be in for an active pattern over the next few weeks. More over the weekend if the trends towards a storm continue.
National Extended Weather Forecast/Discussion
In general the weather pattern looks to remain colder than normal for much of the US especially the Midwest, Lakes, and East. We even take on more of a split flow look to the pattern later in the 11-15 day period which would portent some winter storms to go with the cold.
The euro weeklies from last night do suggest the pattern could break down by the last 1/3 of February, which would make sense if the MJO wave progresses into phase 2 in 2-3 weeks. However the CFS weeklies remain cold and have overall done a fair job this winter.
So in general, count me onboard for a cold next few weeks in the east.