Winter Weather Update – 1/16/18

Written by on January 15, 2018 in Winter Weather

Another round of wintry precipitation in store for ENC as we move through the middle of the week. The good news here is it will not be like the store we received earlier this month.

Clouds will begin to overspread the on Tuesday from west to east ahead of the cold anafront that will push through the region. On Wednesday morning, the front will have passed through the region and precipitation will be pushing through central North Carolina. This area of precipitation will work its way into our region during the early afternoon. Temperatures at the surface will be in the mid to upper 30s over the western portions of ENC to lower 40s along the coast. Forecast sounding from the Greenville, NC area shows levels below the 850mb level above freezing resulting in rain at the onset.

18Z GFS forecast model at 7:00am prior to frontal passage.

During this time, temperatures aloft will begin to cool from evaporation cooling. Eventually the lower levels will cool enough for a transition from rain to snow. This transition will occur first over the northern and western portions of ENC and will push southeastward through the afternoon and evening hours.

18Z GFS forecast model sounding shortly after frontal passage (indicated by the one wind barb from the northwest at the surface) at 1:00 PM with the upper levels becoming more moist and colder.

Once the transition occurs, there will be a short window of opportunity to see small accumulations especially in the northwestern sections. The exact amount will depend on how quickly the rain transitions to snow.

18Z GFS forecast model from the Greenville area shows the entire column cold enough to support all snow by 7:00PM.

This is how things stand at this point. Confidence is increasing as the models begin to become more in agreement. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Winter Weather Advisories being issued at some point tomorrow (but will leave that up to the experts). Temperatures will drop into the 20s Wednesday night increasing the chance of ice forming on the roads.

Update: Forecast thinking hasn’t changed today. I did however update the forecast map to reflect on new forecast guidance. Precipitation to begin as rain, rain/snow mix inland during the early afternoon hours and will transition to all snow shortly afterwards. Precipitation will move eastward and arrive near coastal sections by late afternoon and into the evening.

Update (Wednesday morning): Forecast still looks on the right track. I made some slight adjustments to yesterday’s forecast. I increased the forecast amount along the coast as surface low will develop closer than previously forecast (these amounts may end up being too low). I also trimmed bank the line between 1-2″ and Dusting – 1″. I also increased the forecast amount in central North Carolina to 3-6″ with locally higher amounts. The timing of the precipitation onset has been delayed a couple of hours with precipitation moving out of the area overnight from west to east.

Update (Wednesday 11:00am): Forecast still looks to be on track. Do not see a reason to make any changes to the forecast at this time.





This forecast is not an official forecast from the National Weather Service or other agencies.

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