Wed. Jan 27th, 2021

Good Winter Solstice Piedmont!!! 

“And go-cart Mozart was checkin’ out his weather charts see if it was safe outside”… – Manfred Mann

This morning I got up, had my coffee and checked the European model. Yeah, i know…dude, get a life! Then this article struck me that was posted back in November. December Outlook and another posted on 12/2 Sneak Peek at Christmas, discussed some patterns that even I am amazed at today. The 12/20 winter weather “opportunity” and now the 28-30 “opportunity”.

The European this morning is suggesting that we may have some winter weather going into the New Year on or around the 28th followed by an Arctic Cold air shot.

The Setup:

First this is not a forecast but a discussion of what we see in the models.

A weak upper level low pressure system travels out of the Gulf near the Florida panhandle and moves off our coast and strengthens. It’s passage, brings in cooler Arctic air. This is one of our famous NC Timing Issues at it’s finest! Cold will be chasing rain. This is why we refer to these as “Winter Weather Opportunities”. The one certainty we have is the cold. The 29th through New Year’s Day will be cold and very similar to the Arctic outbreak we had in November. This morning, the Euro is suggesting a light snow over the Piedmont. NC Weather Happens is suggesting we wait before making that call!

At this time, the other long range models are not seeing this system the same way the Euro does but no doubt you will see the pretty pictures circulating around soon. Just remember, we mentioned this “opportunity” a month ago!!!


  • Again, this looks like a timing issue and the Euro has done a pretty poor job outside of 3 days so far.
  • The new GFS model has been having some issues and needs a few more runs after being down, to get reoriented.
  • The Canadian is virtually useless this season but still we try to account for it’s errors.
  • The Euro shows a pretty decent Cold Air Dam setting up but this far out, it is too early to see how strong it will be.
  • The low pressure shown in the image above, really isn’t that strong and would have a big problem dealing with a 1020 mb high pressure over the Great Lakes. In other words, we have a weak High Pressure and a weak Low Pressure coming together and their impact for us is yet to be seen.

Best Chances:

  • Following this Low Pressure will be the arrival of substantial Cold Arctic air.
  • The Euro is more progressive with this system on precipitation but all models indicate cold air in the Piedmont.
  • How Cold? Highs New Year’s Eve will likely not get out of the 30’s.
  • It may or may not snow. With Zero (0) model agreement, it would be foolish to even forecast it this far out.
  • With complete model agreement on Arctic Air, this can be reliably forecast.

Bottom Line:

NC Weather Happens put the last few days in December on your RADAR a month ago and we are now a week away. We also mentioned that about every 6 days, we will have other such “opportunities” for winter weather going into January. It is still a snow “Opportunity” and a timing issue, so we will be watching this very closely. What you can prepare for is another Arctic Cold Outbreak. 


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As Always,

NC Weather Happens. Enjoy it!

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