Big snowstorm for Carolinas could be historic
December 06, 2018; 3:19 PM
December 6, 2018:
A large, early winter storm is headed for North Carolina and Virginia, with at least 2 feet of snow likely in the mountains and perhaps over 1 foot in the foothills or Piedmont. The current AccuWeather forecast is shown below.
The models have been fairly consistent in the last 48 hours... although maximum forecast snowfall amounts have come down a bit since yesterday, when both the high-res GFS and European models said 43 to 46 inches of snow could fall, and today's runs say "only" 24-26 inches would be the maximum.
If today's AccuWeather forecast for Charlotte, North Carolina, comes true, the city could get as much as 12 inches of snow, which would put this storm just under the top 5 snowstorms on record. (For what it's worth, the models have predicted even more for the area at some point this week).
For Asheville, North Carolina (where I went to school during the Blizzard of 1993), we are forecasting 15 inches of snow, which, again, puts it just below the top 5 snowstorms of all-time.
If you look at a map of each county in North Carolina, as is shown on WRAL's website, you can see that there are a few areas where the record snowfall could be broken by the storm, especially those counties where the maximum three-day snowfall is less than one foot, and most of those records are in the spring, so if nothing else, we'll likely see a lot of December snowstorm records perish this weekend.
Not surprisingly, one of the largest SREF "plume" forecasts I could find (which shows a variety of model predictions on one graph) was for West Jefferson in the northwest mountains of North Carolina, with a mean of 17 inches of snow and a range of around 10 to 27 inches.
Something else the plumes show us: Charlotte's mean snowfall forecast is only 5 inches; it's as likely that there will be rain (green), freezing rain (red), sleet or ice as there is snow, and this will likely cause snow amounts to be less, short of a historic nature.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com