Major Southeastern Winter Storm Early Next Week?

Well, the biggest and most widespread winter storm of the season is winding down today and tonight.  Parts of northeast AR, southeast MO, northwest TN and western KY were absolutely crushed by a major ice storm.  There is a lot of tree and property damage around this region, and it will be years before the trees recover and look full again.  Ice storms are really sad events in terms of the damage they do to property, as well as the trees.

Now we look to the next potential winter storm for the Southeast, and that is being forecasted by the models for next Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 2 and 3).  I guess we can call it the “Groundhog Storm of 2009″ if it comes to pass.  We have to be very careful buying onto any forecast model at this piont.  It was this time last week that the models were showing either a major winter storm or severe weather maker for the Southeast for the end of this week.  Neither of which is going to happen.  However, I do feel the models are now finally adjusting to the pattern evolution that has been underway for the past four weeks, and are now starting to come around in their ability to accurately forecast the state of the atmosphere in the 3 to 6 day range.  Even the NAM, which has not been a very reliable short-range model this month, did a decent job forecasting the current ice and snow storm.  So, I am mildly optimistic that the GFS, ECMWF and the ensembles may actually be on to something for early next week.  Plus, all month I’ve been forecasting a major winter storm to impact the Southeast along and north of I-20 and I-85 at the end of January or very early in February.  This MAY be my storm.  We’ll see.

It is still way too early to talk specifics, but IF this storm were to happen, there is a chance for significant snow impacting northern AL, north GA southeast TN, the upstate of SC and western and central NC.  This would appear to be more of a wet snow threat than an ice threat at this time, and temperatures will be very boarderline at the time most of the more significant, deep moisture is over the region.  It could very well end up trending toward yet another situation where the good moisture scoots out before the cold air moves in.  We’ll see.  At least we have something interesting to watch, and my gut tells me this will not be a system that the models taketh away, but one that remains intact, but shifts track a few times between now and the weekend.

This entry was posted on January 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm and is file

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