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"Livin' on the Edge!" -- Another close-call winter storm

"Tell me what you think about our sit-u-a-tion
 Complication - aggravation
 Is getting to you ....

 We're Livin' on the Edge"  

- Aerosmith, "Livin' on the Edge"

Yes.. that little diddy by Aerosmith has crossed my mind more than a few times this winter when looking at the computer models. In fact, as we head into this week it's the "Same Old Song & Dance" as we're staring yet another winter storm head on. At this stage in the game, there is still a lot that we do not know -- but let's take a look at what we're dealing with heading into Thursday.

As it works out, a weak low pressure system will pass through the area on Monday, clearing the area by early Tuesday. Once this system passes on through it "clears the way" for some colder air to filter into the region. Now, this cold air is not bitterly cold like we've dealt with at times this winter, but it will send temperatures into the 20's Wednesday morning. This is important to the forecast.

If we look back at all the winter weather events we've seen so far this season, the cold air in place before the storm is a key ingredient to the forecast. In fact, this holds true for nearly all snow-making storms in Wilmington history. With this system, we can say that the cold air will be here before hand. Oh boy!

The Low that would be our winter storm is still coming ashore in the Pacific Northwest, so we really don't have a good handle yet on it's strength and intensity until we can start to collect some data over land. However, it does looks like it will track through the Rockies and really start to take shape in the Southern Plains on Wednesday.

From here there are a lot of factors that can go wrong.

  • How much moisture is fed into the system from the Gulf?
  • How fast does it move?
  • Where is the exact track, to the north or to the south?
  • Does it interact with a coastal low here in the Carolinas?

In other words, it's many days out -- too early for details. With all that being said, here are some of the ideas we're thinking right now with the current forecast track.

- A brief period of mixing precip early Thursday morning, especially inland areas.

- Mainly a cold rain event for our coastal counties Thursday, inland areas could see a mix throughout.

- The back edge of the storm Thursday night could end as a brief period of snow for some if temperatures drop fast enough and precip is still falling.

Again, there is a wide range of possibilities - but we can say with some certainty that there will be a storm, and it will be a close call for more winter precip in the Wilmington area this year. We just continue to be right on the edge of rain and snow with these storms, which makes them extremely difficult to forecast far in advance.

We'll fine tune this forecast as we get more information over the next few days. Stay tuned!

If this is just bumming you out, there is a ray of hope in our future. The weekend looks sunny and warm - and next week is starting to look really nice with some warmth!

- TB 




By: Tim Buckley


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