Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Weather update: Major storm looming?

As you probably know by now, the mountains got hammered with a nice snow today. A few stray flurries and snow showers even made it down to our neck of the woods.

Looming, however, is a potentially MAJOR storm. While it is not likely to impact us with snow (although not impossible) it could be a HUGE snow producer for the mountains of N.C./SW Va./Eastern Tenn./extreme NE Ga.

The main feature of this storm is a "cutoff" area of low pressure. These types of lows can be tremendous precip producers and come with a sort of "built in" cold air mechanism.

The big surprise snowstorm that hammered Charlotte and Rock Hill a few years back was from a cutoff low.

Here is a map showing the cutoff low at the upper levels (12z GFS run -- afternoon of March 5).
Obviously, there is tight temperature gradient.
Now, 6 hours later, the evening of March 5.

Now, here is the precip that has fallen, according to the 12z GFS during that span.

Amazingly, the European model shows a similar solution.

Now, a few points:

1) This would be an historic storms and historic storms that are projected on models 7 days out rarely verify.
2) We also are working against climatology -- March storms are rare -- not unprecedented, but rare.
3) It IS interesting that both the Euro and GFS are on to the same type of solution.

Bottom line: Way too early to even get excited about this a little bit, but definitely something to track. Whoever ends up just west of the path of this cutoff low -- if the low even materializes -- would potentially get hammered with many inches of snow. And if the low forms, wherever it tracks, drought-stricken areas of the southeast would likely see beneficial rains.

Stay tuned -- winter ain't over yet!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no snow storm 4 anyone on the horizon.