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Tar Heel Snow

One More Shot: Feb 20-21 Event

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So I wanted to make a few comments about the location of the surface high.  As Eric Webb astutely noted in his composite posted on a previous page, the climo location for the surface high during Miller A storms is over the midwest (Iowa, etc.).  Ideally, we would have dual surface highs...one to our north and another to our northwest.

But there's more to it than just the position and strength of the surface high.  Here's a comparison of this week's storm to the Jan 3, 2002 storm.....the surface high is located in a similar position.  Also, the source region for the cold air coming out of Canada is good in both images...it's actually colder for our storm this week.  However, look across Florida and the Gulf of Mexico where we have a much stronger subtropical ridge in place.  This ridge is offering a much stronger resistance in terms of allowing the cold air to sink south out of the high.  Accordingly, note how the heights are lower over the Carolinas during the Jan 2002 storm (558 dam in 2002 vs. 567 this week).  Everything else equal, heights = temperatures aloft.  Lower heights support lower temperatures aloft.

On the flip side, the tighter temperature gradient this week, could allow for a fantastic clash as warm, moist air collides with the cold air that is sinking south from the mid-atlantic (= heavy frontogenesis and potential for heavy, banded precip).

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6 minutes ago, Lookout said:

I imagine snow would be more widespread than what the icon shows. It did poorly capturing the surface cooling from last weekend's snow. For example, Guaranteed there would be a faster changeover in the upstate than what its showing. 

I'm assuming the same applies for the N GA Mtns? I thought the run looked good but for some reason it kept it as rain throughout. Seems to me looking at the thermal profiles on basically all the models, it feels like the main limiting factor in this area would be QPF, not temps. I really expected with it showing around 0.5 QPF it would have looked better. 

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10 minutes ago, lilj4425 said:

What needs to happen to get rid of that warm nose? 

More robust precip is going to bring a greater threat of warm nosing (850mb low or trough tracking too far north across northern GA/SC)...you want to see a weaker system with a more diffuse 850mb low with still the possiblity of the precip being noteworthy

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Looked at the column for my backyard(far western Durham county) and it looks safely isothermal for the entire event. There’s not even a question.

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4 minutes ago, mackerel_sky said:

Yeah, somebody posted a NAM qpf map a page back, with 2-4” of liquid

That's because it will rain for the next two days before the main event arrives   :P  

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GFS has the frontogenesis in practically the same location as the NAM but with much less precip. My guess is the NAM can better see where moisture can be squeezed out of the atmosphere.

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Trying to learn here. Is this going to be strictly rate driven? 850s look good with cold moving in . Not sure what to pull for here lol

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4 minutes ago, Blue_Ridge_Escarpment said:

The trend is our friend. Crazy that the long range NAM is going to score another win. 

Too early to say that yet. I think tommorows model runs will either make or break this for us.

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2 minutes ago, TellicoWx said:

If you trend the NAM, ICON, etc back, the westward trend each run on the modeling (with the SLP) is there.

It looks like the low is legit, and as you mentioned, getting stronger and closer to the coast, maybe we get some heavy precip and upslope and rates truly help more people get snow!

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