Friday, January 29, 2010


It has been interesting to watch not just this east-moving storm system, but graphics of watches and warnings as they were put out on the national map.  This is one nasty bowling ball of wintry weather that has held as straight a course as a large spinning mass of kinetic crud can:

The swath of pink is the winter storm warnings that now encompass most of North Carolina.  I wish I could show you a projected snow total map from a particular site, but it's built in overlays and I don't have a screen grab program (that I know of) to take the whole pic...saving the web page gives only each overlay layer.  The graphic below is another model data set, but gives you idea of what will have happened by 7p Saturday.  This one does not show the heavy amounts I see on other data sets, which I'll describe...

(click to enlarge)

In the mountains, just east of Asheville around Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway...pretty much east and northeast to Boone...east JUST north of pretty much the entire I-40 corridor through the Triad to Durham...that's all sitting in the 12-18" snow belt.  North of Durham, around Kerr Lake and along the VA/NC border through Emporia, VA, there is a potential hot-spot of 20"+ inches of snow.  Projected, mind you, but this model nailed the earlier one in December with monster totals that exceeded National Weather Service ballparks.  The graphic above shows less heavy amounts, but still levels that will shut people and businesses down.  Saturday wind fields could add insult to injury in areas where there is icing thanks to.....(quick digression ahead!):

Do you remember the old "Price Is Right" with Bob Barker?  One of the games was the "Range Game"....there was a rectangular bar that, when you thought it covered the actual price of something, you'd stop it...if the price was in that rectangle you'd win.  Well, the southern edge of this storm has a rather small rectangle...maybe 30 miles tall, maybe 40...the southern edge is 1-2" of sleet, rain, snow, and general crud....and the northern edge could be a full foot of snow.  Predicting where that narrow band will set up shop is the wildcard, here...except that this system is barrel in eastward in such a straight line.  Approximate to that band you would see a significant difference in types and amount of wintry precipitation.  Significant icing is the biggest threat in that narrow zone...1/4" of ice spells big trouble, and there is the potential for up to 1/2" in limited areas.  Not good.

Charlotte is on the southern edge....the Triad (which I'll be handling weather for Saturday and Sunday at my former station News 14) is in the "Pirates Plunder" zone of potentially heavy snow...Raleigh itself is in the 'game' band, but northern Wake County is in the dump zone.  Asheville will see heavy snows (12-15") in the higher elevations, but maybe just 7-12" in the lower.

There will be a recurvature northeastward Saturday as another low develops off the Carolina coast and helps push the heavier snow bands up into southern Virginia...and if there is any good news the storm doesn't tarry...Saturday supper-time should see everything pretty much done except in NE NC.  Then we freeze through Sunday before temps try to warm a little Monday.

Needless to say I'm altering my day's game plan per work and the weather, so Fried Fridays is once again taking a back seat.  Bread and milk time, Saddle Pals!

1 comment:

Lori said...

As of now,the snow at my house has completely covered the ground but the side curbs are still visible and the underneath of the bushes are still visible.
I'm one happy camper!Let it snow, let it snow... ho ho.