Hope your Monday is off to a great start. It’s a beautiful day out there today.
High pressure in firm control of our weather today. A cold fro t will sweep through the area tonight and Tuesday leading to the return of snow chances for Jonas Ridge, Black Mountain, Little Switzerland, Blowing Rock, and Edgemont. High pressure returns for the mid week.
A very nice day underway out there today and temps will reach 5-10 degrees above those that we saw yesterday, likely topping out in the low to mid 50’s. Light westerly breezes will help give a little boost to those temps this afternoon. One limiting factor on getting the temps any higher is the snowpack across the region and the melting ongoing across the foothills. Another strong cold front will arrive overnight into Tuesday. This will bring a round of clouds to the area Tuesday Morning all while putting snow back I to the forecast for the mountains. 1-3 inches of snow can be expected up there through the day Tuesday. Cold air and clear skies will be the trend for the lower elevations. Wind will be a problem into Wednesday Night for areas along The Blue Ridge Parkway. A few gusts could reach 45 mph that will blow around the snow and limit visibilities. Temps Tuesday will shave 10 or so degrees off today’s high and we don’t expect any issues outside the mountains.
Late week model discrepancy is too great to know exactly what will evolve. So we will wait to go I to any detail on any systems impact on our weather for Friday and Sunday. Confidence is high enough to indicate more NW flow snow for the mountains though but it’s to be seen on how much. Stay tuned.
looking back over Friday and Saturdays System. The cold front didn’t make it off the coast as models had projected and instead it stalled just inland. As forecast several waves of low pressure developed along the front and moved NE from The Gulf. I feel like our team did a great job portraying what we knew would happen and what we didn’t know. It was a tough forecast for sure. Also a factor was the cold air advection coming in. There imitation coupled with that cold air aloft to dynamically cool the lower half of the atmosphere. Upslope flow off the Gulf and Atlantic also played a role in how the precipitation developed. One thing we were very slow on this time was that we were slow to put out accumulation forecast. The reason being is that we saw that the front had stalled inland. Models kept taking precipitation East all while we were using experience to know that we would get something. Our first snowfall map was put out only 12hours in advance of the precipitation’s arrival. Those totals were low balling it too. The weather enterprise forecasters were all abuzz on the potential. The weather enterprise tries to work together as much as we can. To the real meteorologists it’s not about being the first predict an event, it’s about getting it right to provide safety to the public. We were slow with this system to get information out to the public in time to prepare with this event. Hindsit is always 20/20though. One thing that our team did very well was to update the forecast as it evolved every 4-8 hours starting Thursday Night. I think that helped you more than anything. With a system that didn’t carry the characteristic of most weather systems around here the forecast was rapidly evolving. Even though we were playing catch-up our team did an excellent job to stay on top of changes. As the storm eveloved so do our storm overview. This is the overview that was put out Wednesday.
And our Winter Weather Index as here...
Here was our first accumulation forecast issued at Noon Thursday.
And here is where we were at Friday Morning just before the event started.
As we bumped up totals we knew the potential for higher amounts existed but the possibility outweighed the probability. You know something though. This is why we love weather forecasting though. Trying to predict Gods next move and him showing everyone who is still in control. In summary looking back our lead times were bad but our updates were great. No deaths occurred in our area due to the storm and that is good.