Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Weekend Snow Forecast -- Friday AM Update

We are finally gaining some confidence in the forecast for this holiday weekend! Earlier in the week we began tracking the potential for a Christmas winter storm in the Carolinas. One computer model suggested we would see a chilly light rain while another model predicted a major snowstorm for the east coast. Through midweek, it began clear that we would see some snow, but as of yesterday morning, it was very uncertain if central and eastern North Carolina would see light accumulations or a significant snowfall.

Finally late Thursday into this Christmas Eve morning, computer models are coming to a consensus toward lighter accumulations. Based on that latest data, I developed the above accumulation map for the Triangle, Sandhills, and coastal viewing areas.

Snowfall could begin as early as Christmas afternoon in the Triangle and Sandhills. It could be mixed with rain at that time. Temperatures should be warm enough that there will be little to no accumulation in the afternoon. Any afternoon precipitation near the coast will fall as light rain.

Through Christmas evening into Sunday morning, light snow will accumulate across the Triangle and Sandhills from a dusting to 2 inches. A narrow band of 1-3" with isolated spots of up to 4" is possible from near Fayetteville to around Goldsboro, Wilson, and Greenville. That narrow band of heavier snow may shift a little east or west depending on the exact track of the low.

Locations in our coastal viewing area will see light rain mix with and change to snow late Christmas night into early Sunday morning. Accumulations of a dusting to 2" are possible here with the heavier totals inland and light accumulations toward the southeast coast.

Keep in mind, while we are more certain about the forecast this morning, our forecast may still change based on the exact track and strength of low pressure off our coast. We'll be working through the Christmas weekend to keep you informed. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest!

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

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