N.C. Snow Today. Forecast Trends WetterFebruary 11th, 2014 at 9:01 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
If this blog were a homework assignment, it would be equal to a 3 page science paper. There’s a lot of data to sort through, and the forecast has been changing again. There is one dramatic change in the short-term, and one in the long-term. The short-term change for today is the chance for snow over northeast North Carolina. Snow moved down from southeast Virginia into North Carolina last night. It lingered over mainland Dare county to the Outer Banks.
The National Weather Service decided to put out a Winter Storm Warning for Dare county for today through Wednesday morning. That is where we could see 1-3″ of snow.
While Hampton Roads is dry today, a weak area of low pressure offshore from Hatteras will allow for the snow to continue in the warned area. It will be more of a rain/snow mix from Rodanthe to Hatteras.
This precipitation is the big update in the short term. I don’t think the models picked up on the higher amount of moisture down there yesterday. So there’ was an upgrade to a warning. While the rest of the viewing area will be dry. We will also be very cold. Lows were in the 20s this morning and wind chills were in the teens. Winds are out of the north at 10-15mph with gusts up to 25mph.
Tonight the mini-low will move to the northeast. So the snowy areas will dry up. It will be cold enough to stay on the ground tonight. There won’t be any melting. We’ll drop to the 20s with partly cloudy skies. Tomorrow a second are of low pressure will develop and move up along the southeast coast. The latest models have this area of low pressure generally moving right over southeast Virginia between Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.
Most of the day we will be dry. The rain snow mix isn’t expected to move-in until between 4-6pm Wednesday. Winter Storm Watches are in effect for parts of the area from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.
The mix will come up from the southwest and will be fully in place across the metro by 8pm.
The good news is that the models are all trending with more rain in the forecast. I’ll go into more detail on the models in a moment, but take a look at our Future Trak model for Thursday morning.
Remember green is rain, pink is the mix, and blue is snow. If the models are right, then a lot of the rain will have a chance to melt the snow in the region. Sorry snow lovers…But don’t count it out just yet. The system looks wet until Thursday night. Then it may wrap up as a brief band of snow. We’ll dry up by late Thursday night. Then we’ll be dry for Friday.
This is the nerdy section of the blog where I get a little technical. I typically do this for some of the bigger events in the area. If you like, then you can scroll to the bottom summary section where it gets a little simpler. So the latest models have trended much wetter than yesterday. The NAM model shows the Dare county snow today, then it keeps the whole region dry until tomorrow evening. It puts the second area of low pressure over Elizabeth City at that time. It has a brief mix at the start over some inland sections. Then it increases the precipitation during the overnight. Mostly as a mix. It puts most of the region as rain through Thursday morning. It does have snow from Richmond to points north and west. By the afternoon it has the low east of Atlantic City, N.J. It shows rain along our coast, but it does have a band of snow at the end. It could put down 1-2″ of snow, but this would fall on a very wet ground. So it’s tough to say how much would stick. The Eastern Shore could hold on to some of the snow in the evening according to that model.
The GFS model has even trended wetter. It also brings the rain/snow mix in during Wednesday evening. It turns a lot of the area into rain by Wednesday night, but it keeps a mix from Gloucester northward. It also keeps a moderate to heavy snow band going from Richmond northward at that time. The snow could really accumulate there if this verifies. By Thursday morning that model strengthens the low as it slowly moves offshore from Virginia Beach. It has almost the whole area as rain. Even towards Richmond. This is a big and new update since yesterday. By Thursday afternoon it has the low slowly pushing northeast. It keeps us mostly in a rain and sleet area, but it has heavy snow over western Virginia and North Carolina. It doesn’t have as heavy a band at the end like the NAM does. Rather it dries things up to just some flurries late Thursday night.
The European was a wetter model yesterday. It is mostly showing a rain event for the region. Even towards the Richmond to D.C. area. I didn’t look at the Canadian model this time. One model holds the mix area longer. That is the hi-res NAM. It keeps some of the snow around longer from Emporia to Urbanna to Tappahannock. It briefly pushes that snow band east around midday Thursday. So that is something to keep in mind. Especially since it is a higher resolution than its bigger brother (NAM).
So today we’ll see the snow accumulate a bit over parts of North Carolina due to the moisture in place and the low to the south. We’ll be dry, cold, and breezy in Hampton Roads. We’ll all be dry tonight through early tomorrow. Then later in the day a rain/snow mix area will move up from the south. This will start as some accumulating snow in some inland and northern cities. Then as the low gets closer to the region we’ll try to transition a lot of that area into rain showers. The exact rain/snow cutoff has been moving with each model update. But the consensus has the rain pushing inland as far as Richmond and as far north as the Northern Neck. Some models show a band of snow at the end of the system as it wraps up. However, a lot of that last snow will fall on a wet ground. So it’s hard to say how much would accumulate. The possible melt will make it very difficult to predict a snow forecast. Our model’s latest forecast shows the highest amounts over central Virginia.
Notice that it has barely any snow along the coast. There is a lot of agreement that there will mostly rain with this event in that area. For now I would expect some accumulating snow from Williamsburg northward. Maybe even Ahoskie/Franklin northward. It’s been mentioned that it could be a heavy/wet snow. So that could affect some power lines. But if the models keep trending wet, then you may have a lot of your snow melted. Keep in mind too that the above model only goes out to Thursday at 8am. So we could get a little more at the end than the above graphic shows.
We are not expecting any tidal flooding with this system, but winds will pick up as the low departs. On a final note. One model (GFS) does show some light snow late Friday night into Saturday morning. It looks like a sizable cold front that will cause it. Stay tuned for updates on all of these developing weather topics.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler