Carolina Panthers

Playoff Snow in Charlotte?

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No. At least not right now.

We’ve been tracking a potential disturbance in model forecasts over the last several days, with the GFS (Global Forecast System) hinting at winter weather while the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) was saying something completely different.

America tends to get many things right when compared to Europe. Including, but not limited to, a refusal to incorrectly arrange and/or add extra letters to words (centre, really?). However, in weather models, America is far behind.

The GFS is the Creed to the ECMWF’s Drago.


So for several days now, the GFS has been pretty consistently showing a weak low pressure system developing off the NC coast after cold air funnels in behind a preceding system. That system, by the way, will lead to a rainy Friday night and Saturday morning.

Late yesterday, things began to shift towards a drier solution with limited impacts. Watch the differences as we move from yesterday’s 12Z (7AM) run through last night’s 00Z (7PM) run:


The green and blue colors indicate the amount of accumulated precipitation and the blue lines represent temperatures at 850mb (elevated) that are at or below freezing. Just use that as a proxy for IT’S GON’ SNOW. Notice the blue line creeping westward in subsequent runs while the strength of the low pressure system and modeled rainfall decrease.

The 06Z run this morning (1AM)?



**UPDATE** And now the most recently released GFS at 12Z…


Ain’t that a kick in the nuts for you snow lovers? And if the Europeans didn’t charge money for the use of their model output (really, guys?), I could show that those solutions are even worse for snow.

So right now, based on the info at hand, I’m comfortable saying it’ll be a nice, chilly day in Charlotte on Sunday as the Panthers kickoff against the Seahawks. Temperatures will be in the mid 40s with partly to mostly cloudy skies.

Snowless. Damned ECMWF wins again.