Weekend Winter Weather Update Posted 5;25am 12/5/18

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 5:57am

Good Wednesday morning everyone. As we continue to get closer to the weekend winter weather event that I have been posting about throughout the week. My concern for more of an icing event continues to grow. The model data continues to suggest heavy snowfall accumulation is several of the models. The issue is models do a horrible job differentiating between rain accumulation, snow accumulation and ice accumulation. There will be rain on the front side of this event that will take away from the potential snowfall totals. We will see snow move in for a period of time during the event and it could be heavy at times. Then on the back side of this event we will see ice from where a warm nose of air pushes into the upper levels of the atmosphere. The ice accumulation will also take away from the snowfall totals. Let's take a look at the model data as of this morning.


As we move into the daytime hours on Saturday we will see precipitation begin to move into the county in the form of rain. The air above the ground and at ground level will be to warm for anything other than a cold miserable rain at this point.



We will likely continue to see rainfall throughout the daytime hours on Saturday with a wintry mix starting to. build in as we move into the evening hours on Saturday night. During the overnight hours of Sunday morning I believe we will see a transition to all snow which could be heavy at times as the heart of the system begins to move through the area.



Sunday afternoon the models are indicating we will start to see another mix of snow and ice as a warm nose of air makes its way in to the atmosphere above us. This is where my concern for ice accumulation comes into play.



By Monday morning we will be dealing with the potential for a rain snow mix with the possibility of sleet or freezing rain included here. If you have to head out Monday morning I would call ahead to see if your place of business or school is open. 



As we move into the afternoon and evening hours on Monday we will see the system begin to move out of the area. During this time we could continue to see a wintry mix. There are several disturbances that will be involved on the back side of this event that could last into the early morning hours on Tuesday. I will continue to monitor the models and provide updates on the potential for this. Now let's look at the accumulation totals the models are forecasting.



The GFS model is calling for a whopping 24 inches of snowfall accumulation here in the county. This is very inflated based on the rain and ice totals that will likely come with this system. I will summarize my forecast at the end of this blog post.



The European Model is showing 10 inches of snowfall for the county from this event. This is slightly inflated but more realistic based on the rain and ice accumulations that will likely come with this event.



The Ensemble Models are showing 7 inches of snowfall accumulation for the county. That is more in the ballpark of what we will likely see based on the arrival of rain first then a mix with a period of possible heavy snowfall in the middle of the event. 



We will see the potential for rain, snow sleet and freezing rain during this event. All with varying accumulation totals that will have impacts on the roadways. 


My forecast at this point breaks down like this.

  • Rain will move into the county during the day on Saturday.
  • Saturday evening will start to see a mix of rain and freezing rain or possibly sleet.
  • During the early morning hours of Sunday a period of snow that could be heavy at times as the heart of this system begins to move through the area.
  • Ice accumulation starts to become a threat during the day on Sunday as we could see a snow sleet mix with a warm nose of air moving into the atmosphere.
  • As the system begins to pull away we will likely see periods of a wintry mix to all rain at times as cold air and warm air begin to fight over the air atmosphere above us. 
  • Accumulation totals I am forecasting at this point.
    • 3-5 inches of snowfall
    • we could see a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation from this system.

I will continue to keep you updated right here and on my social media outlets as we continue to move closer to the weekend with what to expect. As always thank you for following Rowan County Weather! 

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