Thursday, January 28, 2010
Are You Ready for a Winter Storm?
The latest weather data this morning still suggests a high chance for a winter storm to impact much of North Carolina late Friday night through the day Saturday. It may not seem that way as today's highs reach near 60, but it does look like the ingredients will come together for a significant storm. Today is a good day to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages and travel problems over the weekend.
Much colder air is still set to move into the Carolinas Friday. A storm system producing snow and ice this morning over the Texas panhandle will eventually meet up with the cold air and produce a mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain across the state.
It is possible to see light wintry precipitation late Friday afternoon, but it now appears much of the precipitation may hold off until late Friday night and continue through much of Saturday.
The best chance to see all snow will be in the mountains and near the Virginia border. This morning's update from HPC (see image below) shows areas just north of the Triangle with a high chance of receiving over 4 inches of snow.
Based on the latest model data this morning, I expect to see 6" to 10" of snow north of the Triangle to near the Virginia border. This includes areas around Oxford and Henderson.
In the Triangle, snow will mix with sleet and change to all sleet at times. This should lead to 2" to 6" of snow and sleet accumulation with the higher accumulations on the northern end of the Triangle. Some freezing rain is possible in parts of the Triangle especially from Raleigh to the south. This could lead to about 0.25" of ice accumulation.
Freezing rain will be the dominate precipitation type south of the Triangle around the Sandhills. This includes an area from Southern Pines to Fayetteville to Smithfield to Goldsboro. Around 0.5" of ice accumulation is possible in this area. There could be a narrow band of even higher ice accumulation. We typically see downed trees and power outages with ice accumulations over 0.25"
Locations along the North Carolina coast from the Cape Fear region to the Crystal Coast will see just a cold rain from this system.
Weather weather forecasting is very tricky and these accumulation amounts could certainly be higher or lower. Either way, it does appear a significant winter storm will impact the area. Expect dangerous travel conditions and the possibility for extended power outages beginning Friday night through Saturday.
Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the most up to date forecast.
News 14 Carolina