Another one. If your warped from Friday’s storm there is another Nor’easter developing that will be impacting the region on Tuesday night-Wednesday time frame. This coming storm won’t have the same elements as the last storm. First, it won’t be as strong. Second, the major winds might be confined to just the immediate coast and not as strong inland. The wind field won’t be as expansive. Yet, it is what it will be. And I won’t get into specifics as to snow amounts because we still have plenty of time for that.
Graphic #1: We have a high-pressure block in Greenland so any storm that wants to cut west into the lakes cannot do that. So, a low pressure will develop off the North Carolina coast. That will be the secondary low that will produce the storm. Plus, it locks in the cold air or any available cold air will trap it at the surface. For this storm, we will have marginal cold air in place but more cold air than the last storm. Finally, the tracking is key. If it takes a classic NE track then more cold air will be pulled into the storm. If it tracks closer to the coast or coast hugger we get more rain.
Graphic #2: Always in March we have temperature issues. So, to get accumulating snow during the day it has to snow very hard and temperatures at all levels of the atmosphere have to be cold enough for a mostly all snow event. Of course, where we live on the coastal plain, unless it gets arctic cold at the surface we are will always have marginal temperatures. So, this graphic shows temperatures at 850MB which is WAY up in the atmosphere. The lighter/darker blue indicates about -3 0r -4 degrees below freezing. That’s good. Yet, that translates into about 33-35 degrees at the surface. That’s marginal for the P-type to be all snow. It might be a mix much like Friday’s storm. Plus, we have winds pushing down from the north which will push boundary level temperatures down as the storm is evolving. So, we could have a mix changeover to snow as the low pushes forward.
March storms are notorious for surprises. You can have a coating to an inch in one spot and 4-5 in another. The further inland of the coast, the colder it is, and the more you will have. It’s that simple. Yet, these storms make their own cold air. Much like Friday’s system as the storm ramped up the colder it got. Sun angle and all of that has some effect, but I go back to simple intensity. If it snows hard enough it will accumulate everywhere. Sun angle won’t have anything to do with the force of Mother Nature!
Right now, it’s Monday. We still have time to figure out details so expect that everything is on the table from a coating to six inches to a wet snow, rain mix. It’s March!