Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wintry Mix for Thursday Morning

It has been a while since we've heard those words in the forecast for central North Carolina -- "wintry mix." Those two words are in the forecast for Thursday morning though. It's kind of hard to believe too when you consider many locations saw temperatures in the 70s this weekend and Monday. However, the cold air has arrived with temperatures struggling to reach the 40s today.

The other ingredient we need for winter precipitation is, of course, moisture. That ingredient will be supplied by a disturbance expected to develop late tonight off our coast. That will spread precipitation into North Carolina just before daybreak Thursday morning. With temperatures in the upper 20s to near 30, that precipitation will start as a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and some snow.

In the Sandhills around Fayetteville, the wintry mix should quickly change to all rain by mid-morning. As we move to the east toward Goldsboro, this will be mostly a rain event.

It will take a little longer to see the change over to rain in the Triangle. Around Raleigh-Durham, the mix should change to all rain around midday or the early afternoon. Ground temperatures are warm in the region thanks to the warm winter we have experienced so far. Because of that and the light precipitation in the forecast, we do not expect any significant accumulation. We'll have to watch elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses for a few slick spots. For the most part, this should be a minor event for the Triangle.

In the Triad, around Greensboro and Winston-Salem, the wintry mix will likely last a little longer as temperatures may not warm above freezing until the early afternoon. Again, the ground temperatures are relatively warm here too, but we may see some small accumulations on grassy surfaces and those bridges and overpasses.

With all of that said, if you've lived in North Carolina for a few winters, you know winter weather forecasting is tricky around here. We're watching the latest data and we'll fine tune our forecast as needed. Remember you don't have to wait until 6pm or 11pm for your forecast. We'll have the latest for you every 10 minutes on News 14 Carolina.

All of the precipitation should be out of the state by Thursday evening. The cool weather will remain through the weekend, but our weather could become "interesting" again late Sunday into Monday. Stay tuned...

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