Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Storm Could Impact NC Late Friday and Saturday

Weather ingredients are coming together for a winter storm to impact North Carolina beginning late Friday into Saturday. Cold air from the north will arrive Friday. That will combine with ample moisture associated with low pressure moving toward the Carolinas from near the Gulf coast late Friday.

Based on the latest data available today, wintry precipitation should begin around the Triangle and parts of the Sandhills by late Friday afternoon and evening. Locations near the Virginia border will likely see that precipitation as all snow and snow should continue in that area throughout Friday night into Saturday morning. Around the Triangle, the snow will mix with sleet and change to all sleet and freezing rain at times.

It is still a little early to speculate on accumulation amounts, but snow accumulations along the Virginia border and snow and sleet accumulations around the Triangle will be high enough to create travel problems Friday night and Saturday. Power outages will be possible. The graphic below from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) shows a high likelihood for 4" or higher snowfall along the Virginia border. A moderate to high chance is given across the Triangle.

Locations just south of the Triangle may deal with more freezing rain than sleet and snow. This area includes most of the Sandhills and Fayetteville area. Ice accumulations may be high enough to impact travel in this area and create power outages. The graphic below from the HPC shows the high likelihood for freezing rain accumulations greater than a 0.25" across the southern Piedmont and Sandhills of North Carolina.
The Crystal Coast and southeast coast of North Carolina can expect mainly just a cold rain with this winter storm system.

We are still a couple days away from the start of any winter precipitation in our area, and there is still some uncertainty with the forecast. A chance in the track of the low pressure system could cause big changes in the above forecast. News 14 Carolina will continue to provide the latest information with Weather on the Ones updates through the week. Stay tuned...

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