Forecast Blunder: There's no denying or dodging this subject and we won't hit the ignore button on this. Also, this post isn't meant to spin what was forecast in a way that makes it look like the forecast was correct because it wasn't. We'll own up to what was forecast and stand by it because it's weather and strange stuff happens. However, some things below should be stated and explained.
North Carolina's snow forecast for high accumulations busted as mainly minor accumulations happened. The all-day rain event and forecast for a brief one to three hour changeover in the Upstate/NE Georgia was a bad call, but we mentioned the chance of this system remaining rainy rather than changing to snow in the Upstate.
You, as a viewer, are better served knowing we do not copy and paste a forecast. Rather, we put detailed work into figuring out these systems and the nuances which go into forecasting them. Any forecaster out there (willing to put in the work) has enough technology to figure this stuff out at a high percentage. But, of course we have no "control" over the end result. Barring volcanic ash blocking out the sun or some sort of ridiculous setup unforeseen, we do have the charts and technology we need to predict weather conditions accurately and shouldn't just throw our hands up because "we aren't in control of what ultimately happens in any given setup."
Hind-sight is 20/20, especially with upper-level lows as Kendra mentioned last night. We explained that this setup was challenging in terms of a less-than-expansive area of cold air in the critical middle-levels (in a dynamic cooling situation involving heavy precipitation rates). At the same time, our area was close to dealing a heavy snow situation and areas in Mississippi & Alabama did deal with heavy snow. The potential was presented and mother nature rejected that potential like Manute Bol used to block shots (basketball) for the Washington Bullets (NBA) back in the 1990s.
I should have reminded myself (for the 113th time this week) that yesterday's upper-level system was just barely expansive enough or cold enough at those critical levels to cause problems, even with heavy precipitation rates. In addition to the slimmer core of this system, the cold temps because disjointed to the southwest of where the heavy moisture was within the system to the north and northeast of the pin-wheeling upper-low. It was messed up.
Western NC received spotty 1-5" accumulations. It was good to hear reports from spotty portions of Western NC which did get snow. One of those was Haywood County, NC of 3-6" of snow according to a couple viewers, but most locations didn't get close to what was forecast.
It's fair to keep in mind that we were looking at the same charts and information available to folks responsible for the Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings. And, by all means, I completely stand by those folks and the reasons the advisories and winter storm warnings were issued as ALL information pointed toward a rain to snow transition, regardless of the end result.
This was a valuable, small-scale system to archive for future reference as a learning experience. It clearly shows what can happen if one or two things go wrong in a situation, while multiple other variables were locked in correctly and were setting up to our west as snows fell in Mississippi, Alabama and portions of Georgia.
High Rain Totals & River Rises: Between 2" and 3" of rain fell over the last 48-hours according to our automated observation stations. However, much higher totals were recorded in some communities in the northern Upstate and also Western NC. River rises are the result of all this water. River and stream rises continue to occur after the rain has stopped. A River Flood Warning has been posted now extending until Sunday night for Henderson & Transylvania counties for the French Broad River Valley. Stay aware of high water in some areas.
Slowly Warming Today: After a cold morning with spotty ice patches on area roads, those areas will quickly improve. We'll have plenty of sunshine through the day along with a blue sky. Temperatures won't warm up very quickly, but the sunshine will be the difference in how comfortable it feels this afternoon. Highs will range from the upper 40s to close to 50° for the Upstate with upper 30s and some low-middle 40s in Western NC depending on elevation.
Weekend Best of the Next Seven Days: This weekend will feature some cold mornings, but also some warmer afternoons as highs reach the middle to even upper 50s for the Upstate/NE Georgia. Western NC will have sunshine as well with highs reaching the middle 40s to around 50° by Sunday.
Cold Snap Next Week: We're talking cold. The type of cold that we haven't felt in a while. Heavy coats will be needed with highs in the 30/40s and lows in the teens and 20s. I wouldn't be surprised if Western NC high elevations drop into the single digits.
Dry for a While: No rain or systems are showing up during the next week. This is some real good news for a lot of people who have yards that resemble lakes and ponds rather than yards. It's not often we mention the phrase "we need to dry out," but this is an exception! Lake levels should RISE which is a positive aspect from this past week's heavy rain events.
We hope everyone enjoy the weekend sun, slow warm up and more comfortable conditions!