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January 8th-9th threat


BullCityWx
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6 minutes ago, NorthHillsWx said:

These ULL situations are modeled so much better than so many other winter storms. Details certainly have changed run to run and if you’re living and dying by snow maps you’re probably on about you last thread by this point but the storm track and most other synoptic features have been locked in for several days. Forecasting the mesoscale environment and features will be the challenge for sure and that’s ultimately what will define this storm but overall I can go back 3-4 days and models don’t look much different than they do now

I think the most critical part of this storm for the N&W areas of the Triangle(I am speaking of Orange/Durham N of 40 and Wake N of 540) are between 1-5PM tomorrow. Can we: 

A. Hold off the changeover while we wait on the back end snow as modeled
B. If we do changeover, limit what falls during the changeover

If we can do either of those things, I think we could end up with a decent event. I think we stand to do okay in the morning. Snow ratios start increasing with the back end band up to 10:1 with some of the stuff I'm seeing. 

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2 minutes ago, NorthHillsWx said:

These ULL situations are modeled so much better than so many other winter storms. Details certainly have changed run to run and if you’re living and dying by snow maps you’re probably on about you last thread by this point but the storm track and most other synoptic features have been locked in for several days. Forecasting the mesoscale environment and features will be the challenge for sure and that’s ultimately what will define this storm but overall I can go back 3-4 days and models don’t look much different than they do now

Will we ever have the technology to accurately and reliably forecast this?  Find me a met who can absorb and analyze the data, plus using institutional knowledge of weather-forecasting in this region finger point these areas for me on a map 72hrs in advance and we'd have ourselves a real keeper.

Of course I believed in Santa Claus probably way later into youth than most of you.  But that was back in the early 70s when I'm sure longer range weather forecasting demands were quite less stressful :P

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8 minutes ago, BullCityWx said:

Also if the NAM is right and we get heavy snow first thing tomorrow morning, it's a very real possibility we fend off the changeover. A couple of events that I am thinking that went similarly: 

February 1999
January 1987
November 2000

Yea that switch over will be crucial. It's good though on the NAM has a clear deformation zone is showing up, that's very promising. Also most are pretty north of the low. Someone will be left with a lot of rain while about 30 miles in another direction it could be all snow....but what else is new in the south? 

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16 minutes ago, CaryWx said:

Will we ever have the technology to accurately and reliably forecast this?  Find me a met who can absorb and analyze the data, plus using institutional knowledge of weather-forecasting in this region finger point these areas for me on a map 72hrs in advance and we'd have ourselves a real keeper.

Of course I believed in Santa Claus probably way later into youth than most of you.  But that was back in the early 70s when I'm sure longer range weather forecasting demands were quite less stressful :P

Haha. I doubt we will ever be able to accurately forecast where they will setup in advance, but we can nail down the most likely areas for them to do so given the placement of the ULL. Beyond that it’s all now casting and I guess that was my point that overall this system has been very much locked in for days now

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My thoughts are NWS Raleigh will issue a WWA from Randolph through Durham and up to Vance county tonight at some point for 1-2” of snow. East of there I doubt anything gets issued unless a deform band sets up and it will be a quick fire issuance. I’m actually feeling better about most areas in the triangle getting at least a coating of snow which is a win and some areas could have a few surprises. 

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Gsp short term. Not putting catawba and iredell into the warnings yet. 

 

As of 1015 am: Water vapor imagery shows upper low centered near
Ark-La-Miss junction. Associated cirrus shield will continue
spilling over the downstream ridge into the forecast area throughout
the afternoon, resulting in generally mostly cloudy/partly sunny
conditions. Filtered insolation will likely result in max temps
around 5 degrees below normal across much of the area this
afternoon.

Model consensus carries the surface low south of the I-20 corridor
late today through Friday morning, with the core of the upper
low moving near the southern border of TN and NC during this
time frame. This will place most of the CWA just on the cool side
of the warm front. Most of the area will start off well above
freezing in the early evening; moisture will quickly deepen as
the sfc/upper low encroach on the area before midnight, bringing in
precip chances from the SW. The strongest dynamic forcing will
precede the upper low into the area, peaking in the predawn hours
Friday, with the better moisture lagging the forcing somewhat. The
best frontogenetic forcing will occur nearer the warm front. Precip
type still looks quite tricky, mainly east of the mtns, and perhaps
across the mountain valleys of southwest NC. There will be a lot of
midlevel dry air to overcome early in the event, and the WAA gives
us a weak warm nose as well (though not as strong as we often see
with these sorts of systems). The higher mountains likely will see
snow through most of the event, but lower elevations and areas
further south will see some period of sleet, or perhaps even
freezing rain where the warm nose (along with evaporative cooling
diminishing it at least locally) is present. Confidence is
sufficient such that all zones in the Watch were converted to a
Warning earlier this morning with the exception of Catawba, Iredell,
and Davie Counties in NC. This area will take longer to see
accumulation reach any criteria, and with the potential for
accumulations to go one way or the other, we have held off on
upgrading there. These areas almost certainly will need an Advisory
or Warning depending on where their final forecast total ends up.

With the upper low crossing the area during the day Friday, even as
winds turn more downslope and moisture becomes more shallow, there
will remain support for significant precip as the deformation zone
scrapes the NC Piedmont. Temperatures will be held nearly steady in
the 30s where the precip is ongoing, and many areas will continue to
see snow during the day, possibly mixing with rain. Strong lapse
rates under the low may allow enhanced precip rates and snow will be
more likely during those periods. The event will transition to
northwest flow late Friday across the NC/TN border area as PoPs
continue to drop off east of there.

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Canadian looks much more appropriate with precip field. Low track just outside of Hatteras or right over usually bodes well for I-40 north, with thermals cooperating of course. Hoping for a surprise here but won’t go off into a JI rage either. Would be nice to get some southeasterly flow to enhance moisture with low still to our south and aid in isentropic lift. 

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