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Winter Storm Chances Increasing Friday

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The prospects for a winter  storm impacting the entire area are increasing for Friday. There are still large questions of the amounts of precipitation that will fall but a few things are becoming clearer today. Number one being this will likely be an all winter precipitation event and likely for a large part of our area. The air is plenty cold enough and dry enough to keep everything either snow/sleet or freezing rain. We aren’t looking at much of any rain at all right now.

Timing:

Right now I expect this to start Friday around mid morning in the mountains 8am-10am and around mid-day across the Piedmont 11am-1pm. I expect it to last well into the evening and slowly move out after midnight Friday night.

Precipitation Type:

This will likely start as all snow or sleet for most of the area. Even around Charlotte it will start as snow. There will be a change over to sleet mid-afternoon. Sleet will likely be the primary form of precipitation and the sleet could accumulate around .3″-.5 or so. Less than an inch but still messy. At the end we could see a mix of Freezing rain before it ends late around midnight.

Impacts:

No a very large amount of snow, sleet or even freezing rain all 3 on their own wouldn’t be a huge deal. The combination of a dusting of snow, .3″ of sleet and maybe .05″ of freezing rain could make for some serious travel issues Friday evening. The Friday evening commute will be the most impacted event all of Friday.

Model Data:

The NAM seems just way too aggressive with the moisture. It digs much further south and adds more moisture so going to discount it for now. The blend of the ECMWF and GFS looks good right now. The biggest issues as always is how much mix do we get? I really think this looks like a sleet storm at this point.

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1-23-2013 11-02-26 AM

1-23-2013 11-03-18 AM

SREF Plume Diagrams:

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Bottom Line:

I think we are looking at a small quick winter storm with light amounts of precipitation but it could have a large travel impact Friday evening. Start preparing now for possible travel delays and hazardous roads conditions Friday afternoon and evening.

Snow meter is at a solid 3 right now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.glenn.925 Ray Glenn

    thanks brad for showing us the maps for possible winter storms.