MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A colder than normal weather pattern will once again develop this weekend and again late next week, but will there be moisture around to provide a chance of wintry weather?
As expected, an overall colder than normal weather pattern will remain in place through next week and likely beyond. Brief warm ups will occur at times, but the general weather pattern across the eastern United States will continue to support shots of very cold air from time to time.
Another round of Arctic air is possible by the middle and end of next week and may be accompanied by a more active storm track. The weather pattern is one to watch for the possibility of wintry weather in the Carolinas, but the forecast is far from certain.
Getting snow and ice to fall in the coastal Carolinas is no easy task and all comes down to the perfect storm track. While it’s fairly east to get the cold air in place, getting the right storm track is like threading a needle...in a haystack...while rowing up stream.
During times of very cold weather in the Carolinas, developing storm systems in the Gulf of Mexico often times move northeast and up the coast or just off the coast of the Carolinas. A difference of a few hundred miles can make the difference between cold and dry, mild and wet, or the elusive ice and snow.
A storm system tracking from the Gulf of Mexico and northeast near or just off shore of the Carolina coast will transport warm air into the coastal areas and result in just rain. While western portions of the Carolinas can see snow or ice from this type of storm track, it’s extremely rare for this track to bring wintry weather to the coast.
If a storm system tracks too far offshore, there is no interaction between the cold air in place and the moisture associated with the storm system. This leads to cold and dry weather across the Coastal Carolinas.
The perfect storm track is a blend between the two. Just far enough off shore to prevent warm ocean air from overspreading the region, yet just close enough to spread moisture inland and into the cold air. This is the most common storm track associated with snow or ice across coastal South Carolina.
Forecast models have been hinting at a weather pattern that features cold air moving into the Carolinas next week along with increased storminess in the Gulf of Mexico and off the east coast. These models have been shifting dramatically between storm tracks varying from warm and wet to cold and dry to potentially very wintry. These wild shifts in forecast models will likely continue for several days, but it’s something to keep an eye on for now.