So...where's the winter storm? - | WBTV Charlotte

So...where's the winter storm?


Across our viewing area we saw everything from a foot of snow to plenty of rain, but nothing more. 

Nowhere in the western Carolinas did we miss out on the rain. 

In Charlotte, we decimated the old record daily precipitation total of 1.23 inches.  The official total at Charlotte-Douglas International was 2.38 inches.  But only a trace of snow fell.

Much of the viewing area was located right along the border of what we'll call the "favorable for snow" area and the "unfavorable for snow" area. 

Mecklenburg county happened to fall right along that favorable versus unfavorable line.  The main determining factor in this case was the temperatures. 

With a typical winter storm scenario, the colder air is already in place.  If temperatures had been ten degrees colder across the Piedmont by the time the system moved in, we would have easily seen several inches of snow accumulations. 

The high country and areas to the north of Charlotte were cooler, and therefore temperatures didn't have to spend as long "catching up" before it was cold enough for the changeover from rain to snow.

This system also produced an unusual set of circumstances in that pouring rain was falling for hours on the front end of the system.

That meant there were puddles of water everywhere.  If the front end of the system had been drier, the ground would have cooled off more quickly once the sun set and more snow that did manage to fall would have stuck. 

The other factor to consider was the speed of this system.  As quickly as the upper level low was moving, the window for snow was only about three hours. 

Sure enough, the changeover in the Queen City happened at around 9:00 and by midnight it was gone.

Plenty of snow came down in the mountains though.  Jefferson in Ashe county reported nine inches, and a foot came down on Beech Mountain.

If you're a fan of snow and that wasn't enough for you, don't give up just yet.  Snowfall in March is not uncommon.  In fact, the snowiest month we've ever seen in Charlotte was in March 1960, when over 19 inches of snow fell.

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