As we all know there is a massive blizzard in the middle of the country slamming a large section of the heartland. We will stay on the “warm” side of this storm but won’t escape all of it’s impacts entirely. There are extremely strong winds associated with this storm. As the combination of strong jet stream level winds along with the pressure gradient between the storm, a 990mb low, and the arctic high 1055mb, to the west will create damaging winds. High wind warnings will likely be needed in the mountains with wind advisories for the piedmont tonight and tomorrow. These winds and the combination of possible thunderstorms could bring major problems tonight and tomorrow for the Carolinas. These winds will be from the southwest which means a warm wind but still dangerous. Let me show you why.
Here is the NAM model sounding showing the core of highs winds moving in early tomorrow morning. 2am-8am.
I’ve highlighted this high wind core with the yellow arrows but notice the legend on the left how close to the surface these winds are. Often times with mixing at the surface these winds “mix” down or are transported down to the ground pretty easily. This mixing is what causes the gustiness of the winds.
Now for the mountains this is a even bigger problem because…well the elevation puts them right into the high winds. This means no mixing is even required for 70-80mph gust to occur at higher elevations.
With the snowmelt and wet ground many trees will be coming down tonight through the day on Wednesday. Be prepared for power outages and tree falls especially in the mountains. Plus I bet Grandfather mountain breaks that wind gust record again this week.