Weekend Winter Weather Update 12/3/18
Good Monday morning! The chance for a winter weather event is still very likely this weekend here in the county. Elements of the forecast continue to become more clear as we move closer to the event. The only real change to the forecast is the arrival of the moisture. We will see the moisture move in during the overnight hours on Saturday morning. With this appearing to be more of a Carolina Wedge type event where cold air gets trapped against the mountains and keeps areas on the piedmont and Charlotte metro areas cold and cloudy with the chance for a wintry mix throughout the event. Areas to the south and east of the Charlotte metro will likely see all rain from this event.
Let's take a look at how the model data is stacking up this morning. Again remember the models do a horrible job of differentiating between rain, snow and ice accumulations so totals in the models will be inflated overall. Here is how the GFS is seeing this event unfolding.
The GFS is showing this event starting around 1am Saturday morning with a brief period of rain. We will then see the precipitation transition from a variance of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain throughout the remainder of the event. There could be periods where the precipitation is all one type and other times where it is a mix. Overall the GFS is seeing this as mainly a rain and snow event.
The image above form the GFS is showing the likelihood of the different types of precipitation we will see during the event. Literally all types in play at this point. Most of the precipitation will be in the form of rain and snow at this point.
Please do not get caught up in accumulation totals that some weather outlets will show you over the next few days based on just model data. The models do a horrible job of differentiating the accumulation types. So they become inflated. The GFS data above is showing 10 inches of snowfall. This is likely to be overstated.
The European Model data above is showing accumulations of around 14 inches of snowfall here in the county. This is also likely to be very overstated. Let's take a look at the ensemble models which show more of a realistic idea od what we would likely see for snowfall from this event.
The ensemble models which is a mix of all the model data is showing the likelihood of 3-5 inches of snowfall around the county currently. This to me is a more likely scenario based on the warm air that could come into play in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Ice accumulations will also be a slight concern on the tail end of this event. I will have more details on those totals as we move through the remainder of the week.
This is still a very fluid forecast and it will start to become a more clear picture late Wednesday. I will provide updates right here and on social media as we move through the week. As always thank you for following Rowan County Weather!