Southeast Resorts to Get Substantial Cold and Snow for awhile – says Meteorologist, Brad Panovich

Well today was Groundhog Day and the little rodent predicted more winter.  No matter what he had said, the Southeast is in for some real winter weather. After a very warm January the pattern shift it seems I have been talking about for weeks is finally coming to reality.

Things get kicked off tonight and into Friday with a warm spring like storm. Which will bring wind and the possibility of severe weather overnight and into Friday. Once that storm moves through the line of storms keep coming. Unlike in recent week there is some cold air coming down from Canada that will work with these storms and bring the chance of snow to the Carolinas. There is some serious cold air up in Canada right now and a piece of the polar vortex will break off and set up shop over the Northeast U.S. and southern Ontario by the weekend. Once it’s counterclockwise flow will bring down wave and wave of progressively colder air. While this is going on areas of low pressure will form near the gulf coast along the zone where the cold air and the warm moist air over the gulf meet up. These lows will track along this cold/warm zone into Northern Florida and then up the Carolina coast. Anyone of these storms could bring some light snow to the southeast. The thing we need to watch for is some energy spinning down from the polar vortex meeting up with one of these gulf lows and we could have a major southeast snowstorm that would then move up the east coast as a nor’easter.

If that all wasn’t enough the cold air will continue to be pumped south and east by the polar vortex. The first wave comes this weekend but looking into next week even colder air will be coming down by mid week. There will be very good snow chances Saturday night into Sunday with accumulation 2-4”. The more significant snow could come Monday night into Tuesday with a major low forming in the Gulf of Mexico and heading for the Carolinas. By Monday and Tuesday the cold air will be established across the region so any moisture will fall as snow, the questions are will the storm track too far from the mountains. Could be snow across the piedmont of the Carolinas and Virginia and not so much for the mountains.

Even if the storm track keeps the major snowstorms away from the higher terrain there’s this one saving grace. With the polar vortex set up ad send waves of cold air down. Each will have an upper air disturbance with it called a vort max. These will be coming down in Northwest flow so each one could flare up the Northwest snow showers. I actually think with these cold northwest flows the mountains might not see a huge dump of snow all at once but just a persistent light snow showers pattern that could last for days. So while the snow won’t pile up all at once, by the end of next week the mountains may have gotten 12-15” spread out over the whole week.

So either way we are getting snow and cold so with the natural stuff and the snow guns blowing 24/7 starting Saturday night February promises to be better than December across the resorts of the Southeast.


Stay tuned….. and good skiing!

Until Next Time!

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.