Snow this weekend?! Big Weather's take on the forecast

Don Schwenneker Image
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Welcome to North Carolina sign with snow

UPDATE: ABC11 Meteorologist Don "Big Weather" Schwenneker says we will see snow this weekend. As for how much, tap here to read his updated forecast.

MY PHONE SAYS IT'S GOING TO SNOW!!! And so it begins again ...

If you've checked your phone Tuesday, you may have a snowflake showing up in your forecast for the weekend. And depending on what app you use, it may even be showing amounts.

This one (that shall remain nameless) is even showing 5-9" of snow on Sunday. That would make it one of the biggest snowfalls in March in our history. Don't believe me, here's a pic.

Let me start by saying (for the umpteenth time), it's WAY TOO EARLY to make a snowfall forecast for the weekend.

And I wouldn't plan on breaking out my sled just yet. But there is now a possibility of some snowflakes flying Saturday night into Sunday.

Let's talk about where this forecast is coming from.

We'll begin with the GFS (American) Model. Remember the last time we had snow?

A week out it was saying we could see over a foot of snow. It's not very good at all at predicting amounts 6 days in advance (no model is).

Today, it's pushing up the numbers again. The latest run gives us a total of 3-9" across Wake County, with a bullseye of 10" in Person County.

That's probably why the above app showed so much snow. It took it straight from one model. Let's head to the European model and see what it says.

It shows a more conservative total of 3-4" across Wake County, with highest amounts North and West. But just looking at one or two models is no way to forecast. We look at lots of factors.

Here's a big one this time of year in determining if you should break out the sleds - Soil Temperature.

Thanks to the NC Climate office for the map. With soil temps running in the 50s today, and more warmth expected over the next couple of days, any snowflakes falling will melt on contact.

Raised surfaces like your car, or roof, may see some stick. That's if it even snows at all ...

This time of year, models can change quickly, especially the further out you go.

With the change in seasons, and big temperature differences in the air masses that affect us, models tend to just see part of the picture.

Here's another reason why you just can't look at one model. The GFS from Monday? At the exact same time, this is what it showed for weekend snow.

Look at all the snow!!! Oh wait, there wasn't any.

So what does it all boil down too? For now, we'll watch and wait.

I do think things will get colder around here Saturday and Sunday, and I do think there will be precipitation, mainly rain.

When we cool Saturday night into Sunday morning, we may see some snowflakes fly. As to how much snow and how long it will snow, stay tuned ...