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Storm Team 9 Explains: Cold Air Damming - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Storm Team 9 Explains: Cold Air Damming

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A common set up across Eastern North Carolina for the fall and winter months is "Cold Air Damming" or the "Wedge" set up. This is when a high pressure system is anchored to the north and east to spill in cool air off the waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean and a low pressure system is anchored either to the south or to the west to help create a funneling effect.


Cold air is much more dense than warm air that is more buoyant. The cold air has a tendency to pool up in the lower levels of the atmosphere with the inability to rise above the mountains. The funneling effect makes the cold air to ooze towards the southwest along the spine of the mountains. During the late winter months, when snow possibilities come into play, this can be the dividing line of who sees snow, rain or ice.

What will also happen is an inverted trough will work back inland through the day, bringing warmer temperatures to areas, usually east of US 17 while gradually clearing the skies as well.

Today's event actually brought the coastal front closer to the I-95 corridor, which is not uncommon as this area is the usually the dividing line between the North Carolina Coastal Plain and the Piedmont.

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