January 19, 2005 Winter Storm
...Snow developed in a Northwest Flow aloft, a pattern that typically produces little if any
measurable snow across central and eastern North Carolina...
...Only a trace to around 1 inch of snow fell across much of central North Carolina, while a
few counties north and east of Raleigh received 2 inches...
...High snow to liquid equivalent water ratios, averaging around 16 – 22 to 1 were observed...
...The snowfall of an inch or less in Raleigh resulted in 8 hours of traffic gridlock...
...Unusually cold road surface temperatures, air temperatures in the lower 20’s, and a mass exit
of traffic from early afternoon closures all resulted in very slick driving conditions, numerous
accidents, and traffic jams...
A disturbance in the upper atmosphere moved southeastward across the Appalachians into North
Carolina and Virginia on Wednesday, January 19, 2005. Typically, weather disturbances in a
northwest flow aloft weaken and lose their limited moisture as they cross the mountains,
resulting in little or no accumulating snow east of the mountains. Indeed in the Triad area,
only a trace to a dusting of snow was reported. As the system neared the Triangle area, the
area of snow briefly expanded in aerial coverage as well as intensified. Nearly an inch of
snow accumulated in the city of Raleigh, while a few counties north and east of the city
received two inches.