Will it go Round in Circles?
Posted December 5, 2005
More locally, we've had a challenging forecast over the past two to three days, with one of those classic Carolina scenarios that involves enough cold air nearby to be concerned about wintry precipitation, but enough variation among computer model projections regarding the strength, speed and direction of movement of a low pressure wave that the transition area between rather heavy rain and more wintry weather has wavered northwest and southeast to a significant degree. For a while yesterday it appeared we had a pretty good chance right into the Triangle area to see at least some pockets of sleet and snow, and maybe a burst or two enough to whiten the ground. However, later runs have increased the amount of warm air in a layer from around three to eight thousand feet above the ground to the point where it appears any snow or sleet around Raleigh would be unlikely, and confined to a short time frame very late this afternoon or evening if it does manage to occur. By that time, most models indicate drier air invading the region at mid levels of the atmosphere, including the layer where the primary groth of snow crystals is supported, so that even as we turn plenty cold for snow all that may remain is some sprinkles or drizzle, maybe a patch or two of sleet. In addition, accumulations, even a little north and west of the Triangle where a transition is somewhat more likey before drying begins, should be limited in part due to soil temperatures that remain in the mid 40s to around 50, especially in the wake of yesterday's big warmup (68 for a high at RDU).
Regardless of how the brush with wintry weather turns out, we can be happy for another very substantial dose of "anti-drought medicine," in the form of what should total up to be around 1-2 inches of rain for much of the region, the third time in a row we've kicked off a week with a nice widespread moderate to heavy rain on Monday and/or Tuesday.