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Potential Winter Storm This Weekend

A surface low will develop along the Gulf Coast and will move northeast Friday. There continues to be substantial Model differences regarding timing and exact track of the low, which has huge implications for the type of precipitation we will receive here in the NC High Country. Currently the models are showing a persistent "warm nose" aloft which would minimize snow amounts before the precipitation likely changes to sleet/freezing, then rain (see illustration below). If the current models are correct, the heavier snow amounts will be north of our area (Virginia/West Virginia).

Simulation below shows what happens to a snowflake when it travels through a layer of warmer air, greater than 32 degrees, approximately 1500 feet above the ground.

I will post a snowfall forecast map as we get closer to the actual event this weekend and hopefully the models will show more model run consistency. The example below shows how difficult it is to forecast snow amounts this far in advance.

European Model-Total Snow (Multiple-Run Trend-Boone, NC Airport

Highlighted in red are model snow amounts every 12 hours beginning 12/31/2023 until today (1/2/2024). Notice how the models snow amount YESTERDAY was 11" and 24 hours later (today) 3.9". This shows how a slightly different path of the surface low can effect snow amounts!


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