Please remember that even though I am going to get technical about where the heaviest icing and heaviest snow will be on this blog remember that EVERYONE will be impacted by this storm with most of the metro area seeing freezing rain, some parts will see significant icing with the potential for .5-1″ inch of solid ice covering the trees and roadways… Here is what I am thinking for the timeline, then I will get into details on the track of this thing and how I think it will affect us tomorrow.
At the same time this is happening the cold air damming, also known as “the wedge” is coming in from the NE. Just look at the cold air coming down, and it will only get colder. As of right now temps by tomorrow morning will be in the upper 20’s and will fall into the mid 20’s by the early afternoon.
The rain should then start to transition to freezing rain and some sleet by around 3am across the entire region starting from the NE and working its way down to the entire area by around 5am. Here is the latest NAM and it shows that entire area in the pink as freezing rain.
The freezing rain will continue to build into the area and will encompass all of N Georgia in some form all day. This will be a major event that could put over 300k people out of power according to the National Weather Service and there will be major tree damage across the entire area…. So this will then start to change to a snow event from the Mountains southward towards Atlanta around 6-7pm… So that means that we will essentially see 12-14 hours of constant freezing rain… Once that starts to come to an end, the snow will begin to fall. This is the latest NAM for 7pm tomorrow night and you can see the wrap around snow.
This is the biggie in terms of forecasting this thing. I think it is going to take more of a northerly track than other people are thinking. Take a look at both images below and they are both for the forecasted area of where the surface low will be tomorrow at 1pm. The NAM that was initialized at 1pm today has the surface low weaker and further to the south. This forecast here is for 1pm tomorrow afternoon as well as the one below for comparative purposes.
That little tiny area down there hugging Panama City is a 1012 low. Now if you look at tonight’s 7pm NAM run you can clearly see that the low is not only stronger, but also just a bit further to the north than the earlier run.Also in tonight’s run if you look at the differences in the wedge high to the NE from both runs…. the one from tonight’s run is much stronger and much colder. The reason why this is important because as the low tracks NE, where it sets up and moves determines 2 big things!!
#1 If this is the case, and this tracks more towards the north, then the bullseye of ice will move right into the Atlanta area… Just 20 miles will adjust what the NWS is saying… I think that if you shift their ice accumulations north by 10-20 miles, there you have your bullseye for ice..
#2 This could also shift the snow line northward tomorrow night as well, that is going to be the trickiest part of this forecast. Here is what I am thinking, from Carrolton to Canton to N Pickens county we could see 4-6″ of snow. South of that we could see 3-4″ across all of the metro area. In the N GA mountains starting from around Blue Ridge eastward there is a good chance of seeing potentially a foot of snow!!!
More updates throughout the night!
Again let me reemphasize that everyone in N Georgia will be heavily impacted by this winter storm so don’t let the exact track let your guard down.
I will have another blog out soon to try to nail the exact path of the heaviest ice and snow!
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