Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update on the Threat for Winter Weather

Some details on the threat for winter winter in central North Carolina are coming together, but uncertainty still remains in the forecast. We're watching low pressure developing this morning in the Gulf of Mexico that is expected to track up the North Carolina coast late Friday into Saturday. We now anticipate the precipitation to begin as early as midday Friday or Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday. This storm will have a sharp snow to rain line, and just 15 miles could be the difference between a cold rain and significant snowfall accumulation. And the track of the low could easily swing that snow/rain line just to the east or just to the west making a big difference in the weather you will see in your neighborhood.

I'll break down my latest thoughts on the forecast by region...

Precipitation should start Friday afternoon as a wintry mix or perhaps as all snow, but we anticipate that to change to mainly rain Friday evening. It may change back to a mix or snow as the precipitation ends Saturday. The rain/snow line may be located over the Triangle during the entire storm. That could mean areas Raleigh to the east see very little snow while Durham and Chapel Hill experience accumulation. At this point, a couple of inches is possible across the Triangle with higher accumulations across northern Durham and Orange Counties. Warmer ground temperatures may limit accumulations in some cases unless the precipitation falls at heavy rate.

Granville and Vance Counties (near the VA border)
Significant snowfall accumulation is possible in this area including around Oxford and Henderson as mainly all snow is expected Friday evening, Friday night, and Saturday morning. Travel will likely be impacted in this area.

Wilson, Wayne, and Johnston Counties
The precipitation should mainly fall as just a cold rain in these areas unless the track of the low shifts.

The precipitation should mainly be a cold rain around Fayetteville and Lumberton, but some snow is possible northwest of Fayetteville around Southern Pines and Pinehurst. Some accumulating snow is possible in Moore County.

Coastal areas
Precipitation will fall as all rain Friday afternoon into Saturday. Over an inch of rain is likely.

Again, all of this forecast is subject to change depending on how this low develops and exactly where it tracks. A temperature change just by one to two degrees could drastically change conditions.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and Weather on the Ones for the updates through the storm. We'll be staff around the clock to provide you with the latest information.

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