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Could NC see a lot of snow?

October 14, 2009 9:21:59 PM PDT
While North Carolina is dealing with chilly temperatures right now, forecasters are looking ahead to winter.Weather patterns are changing and some forecasters think the state could get a lot of snow in the coming months.

"The question is, is this going to extend in and through the winter months," said Jeff Orrock with National Weather Service.

An AccuWeather long range forecast predicts this winter could be a rough one for areas over the mid-Atlantic -from Maryland to the Carolinas. Which could mean colder and snowier weather, more travel delays, extended school closures and snow removal efforts.

The Town of Cary even prepped Wednesday during a winter weather training and snow rodeo.

"It's hard to say, is this year going to be another year where we get the two feet of snow," Orrock said.

He says the forecast is more than likely based on El Ni?o -a warm current in the pacific affecting the jet stream.

"What we experience is the subtropical jet which is the southern branch of our jet stream which is typically stronger and more active," Orrock said.

The last time the Triangle saw a snow storm was in 2000, about two feet during what was not an El Ni?o year.

"There are years that things don't play out the way we expect," Orrock said.

He says this hurricane season El Ni?o's winds have kept most tropical storms in the Atlantic at bay. And it will definitely usher in more precipitation this winter.

"Now how much of that freezes into snow for us and maybe gives us a couple of decent snow events really has to do with timing of coastal storms and the cold air that comes out of Canada," Orrock said.

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