Christmas 2009 Ice and High Wind Event


Low pressure drifted north into the Mid-Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, strong high pressure was wedged down the east coast with cold air damming. Read more about cold air damming, and its common forecast challenges.

An occluded/warm front northward toward the southern Appalachians.

 Surface Analysis December 25th at 7:00 AM

There was a strong pressure pressure gradient over the region, with computer models showing 850 mb winds of 70 to 80 knots from the southeast. This brought a good transport of moisture into the Blue Ridge, and that combined with temperatures at or below freezing, led to significant icing along and either side of the Blue Ridge, from Boone, NC to Bent Mountain, VA. See graphic below.

These stronger winds also downed trees and caused power outages across the Mountain Empire of Southwest Virginia into southern West Virginia.

High Wind and Specific Ice reports can be found here


Ice Totals Map
ice total from December 25th