January 15: More Wintry Weather This Week
It’s hard to believe that less than 72 hours ago we had temperatures in the low 70s…the cold air made itself right at home over the weekend, and we’re in for more of the same through most of this week. Temperatures started off this morning in the teens and low 20s:
Today won’t be as cold as yesterday, but this afternoon’s highs will still be about 10-12 degrees below-average:
Fortunately, the wind won’t be as much of a factor, and we should see a nice amount of sunshine mixed with a few clouds.
Temperatures tonight will be cold again:
We’ll warm up to the upper 40s Tuesday afternoon, much closer to “normal” for mid-January:
A fast moving “clipper” system will bring us a chance of snow late Tuesday night and Wednesday. The various forecast models have come into better agreement regarding the timing of this system, but there’s still some uncertainty about how much moisture will actually be available to produce accumulating snow. Here’s what the RPM model is showing on the radar simulation Tuesday night and Wednesday:
Any rain that mixes with the snowflakes as the precipitation starts would help to limit snow accumulations…but if it falls as ALL snow, we’ll see higher amounts. The same forecast model shows generally 0.5″ to 1″ of snow adding up — less to the south of the Triangle, more along the Virginia state line:
That’s a pretty reasonable scenario — not a LOT of snow, but enough to mess up road conditions, especially Wednesday morning. There are other forecast models showing higher amounts, most notably the European forecast model:
The way things look right now, I think that’s the upper limit of what this particular system will be able to squeeze out. The National Weather Service’s forecast lands in between those two forecast models:
At this point, the NWS hasn’t issued any Winter Weather Advisories. It’s equally possible that a little more moisture will get fed into the mix and bump up the snow amounts…or that we end up with almost nothing. We’ll just keep a close eye on the latest data as it comes in, and keep you updated.
For now, here’s what you SHOULD do:
- Plan on a messy Wednesday morning commute, and be flexible with even local travel plans throughout the day.
- Have a child-care plan in place, in case schools are delayed or canceled. I’m not saying they will be, I’m saying they could be. (In other words, do your homework, kids.)
- Stay plugged-into the forecast for changes. Winter storms, even relatively small ones like this, are tricky — there will be adjustments to the forecast.
It’s a really short list of what you SHOULDN’T do: freak out. There’s absolutely no need to clear your local grocery store out of their supply of bread, milk and toilet paper.
The rest of the week is looking calm, as temperatures gradually return to normal levels by Friday…and we even get to enjoy some above-average temperatures this weekend!
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