THURSDAY-FRIDAY WINTRY MIX EVENT: 5PM Tuesday Update
OVERVIEW: Low pressure will begin to form in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. At the same time, bitterly cold high pressure will be anchored in New England, sending cold air into the Carolinas. This "Gulf Low" will head up the coast late Thursday into Friday, spreading moisture into the Carolinas. The question is how much cold air is in place, what type of precipitation do we see, and how much.
- With cold air at the surface, and some warm air above the surface, freezing rain looks to be the most likely threat with this storm, but there is some potential for sleet and/or snow as well.
- With temperatures above freezing during the day Thursday, and during the day Friday, a good portion of the precip with this storm will fall as plain old rain.
- While a brief period of snow can't be completely ruled out, snow does not appear very likely for the immediate Triad.
- THURS AFTERNOON: Precip starts, most likely beginning as rain with temperatures above freezing. A mix can't be ruled out areas N and W.
- OVERNIGHT: Temperatures drop even farther, and may fall below freezing. Freezing rain is most likely, but if enough cold air is in place, sleet or even some snow could mix in. Significant icing possible.
- MID-MORNING FRIDAY: Temperatures slowly rise, and wintry mix will transition into plain old rain.
- Simply put, it is TOO EARLY TO TELL. I repeat, TOO EARLY TO TELL.
- IF we see an extended period of freezing rain overnight Thurs into Friday, significant ice accumulation WILL be possible.
- Some computer models suggest 1/4" of ice or more is not out of the question.
(Look below at the ice probability graphics)
- I expect any snow accumulations to be light, but they can't be completely ruled out at this time.
- Plain old rain at the beginning and end of the event will help to limit any accumulations we see.
- Right now it looks like difficult travel Thursday night into Friday morning is a good possibility.
- IF we see significant icing power outages will be possible, if not likely.
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL: I do think that winter weather will be a problem for us Thursday night into Friday morning. Freezing rain is my biggest concern right now, as I just think there will be too much warm air above the surface to support snow. A best case scenario would be that temperatures stay warm enough that we barely see anything. A worst case scenario would be that we see an extended period of freezing rain that creates widespread ice and widespread power outages.
Soon it will be spring.... I hope!