What a week it has been.... starting very early Monday morning with tornado warnings in the Sandhills and eastern North Carolina. Now, we may wrap up the week with a brief round of wintry weather. However, when it comes to icy events in North Carolina, this one should be very minor. By Friday morning, this should be mostly just a cold rain event for most people in our viewing area.
Cold and dry air has moved into North Carolina today. In fact, the dewpoint at 11am this morning is sitting at 11 degrees at RDU. That is very dry and one key factor in the forecast for late tonight and early tomorrow morning. The air is currently drier than most model predictions. As warm, moist air from the storm system developing along the Gulf coast overruns the cold, dry air in place more evaporative cooling will take place that what is forecast by the latest computer models.
Late this afternoon, you may begin to see what appears to be precipitation on radar over North Carolina. Most of that will not be reaching the ground because of how dry the air is. That precipitation aloft well be evaporating before it hits that ground. Through the evening, that evaporation process will help to cool the temperature even further. That should eventually bring the temperature to near freezing around Raleigh and points to the north and west by late tonight.
As of this posting, it appears the precipitation will begin across the Triangle between 9pm and 11pm tonight. Look for a wintry mix around Raleigh and to the north and west. Some snow and sleet are possible before changing over to freezing rain. South and east of Raleigh should see all rain. The freezing rain should change over to just a cold rain across the Triangle through the overnight and early mornings hours. By the morning rush hour on Friday, most of the Triangle should just see a cold rain with temperatures between 33 and 35. Some locations from Hillsborough to Oxford and points toward Greensboro may still have freezing rain into the rush hour.
According to information from the Raleigh National Weather Service Office from earlier today, ground temperatures across our area are running around 40-45 degrees. Any light glazing from the brief round of freezing rain will be confined to elevated surfaces. A few slick spots may form on bridges and overpasses. Slighty higher ice accumulations to a tenth of an inch are possible around the Triad (Greensboro-Winston-Salem).
With all that said, if you have followed winter weather in North Carolina for any length of time, you know there can be surprises. We'll be closely watching for any changes through the afternoon and evening. Stay with News 14 Carolina for the most up to date information every 10 minutes with Weather on the Ones. Our forecast center will be staffed around the clock to provide you with the latest information.