BLOG: Timing, placement is critical for Monday's winter weather - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Timing, placement is critical for Monday's winter weather

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

We are still looking at a significant winter weather event starting on early Monday morning and lasting through early Tuesday morning. Precipitation at this point is a lock but precipitation type and the duration of snow, freezing rain and just plain old rain is the continued forecast concern.

Here is the first given - a cold dome of high pressure will set up over our area for the weekend.  Afternoon highs will only be in the mid thirties and morning lows Sunday will be down in the mid teens.

The second given is that a strengthening area of low pressure will develop Sunday over the Mid Mississippi River valley.  That low will start to funnel moisture into the Carolina by Monday morning.

The latest model runs have started to track this low a little farther west than they did on Thursday. This will allow for warmer air aloft to more quickly move in to the Carolinas.  

So the thinking right now is that precipitation across the piedmont will start at snow and then transition to sleet and freezing rain late Monday morning. By Monday night it looks like a rain event, except for the higher mountain elevations. 

Monday's storm:

  1. Cold High Pressure will shift to our North and East and lock in some very cold temperatures across the Piedmont Saturday and Sunday.
  2. A low pressure center will develop across the Gulf Coast states… and usher moisture into the Carolinas for Presidents day. Latest guidance suggest this low will be west of the Charlotte metro.
  3. This will aid in a quicker switch from snow to freezing rain and then to all rain. It’s early, but if the forecast track holds snowfall amounts would likely be less than two inches around Charlotte.  But expect higher amounts in the foothills and the mountains.

The timing is critical.

  1. At this time is looks as if cold air at the surface and aloft will allow for this event to begin as a snow storm.
  2. Warmer air moving in aloft from the south (A warm nose) will allow for melting of precipitation before it falls to the ground.  And with sub freezing temps at the surface… this is the set up for freezing rain.
  3. Models showing some of the strongest energy with this storm will arrive on Monday night.  That will likely usher in a period of heavy rain across the piedmont.  In there is also the potential for a few strong thunderstorms pre-dawn Tuesday morning.

Again we will continue to evaluate this storm system as it evolves through the weekend. 

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