BLOG: Snow likely for some in WBTV area - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Snow likely for some in WBTV area

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The first major winter storm for the eastern states is slowly coming together and it's shaping up to be a major snow maker for the Mid-Atlantic region Friday and Saturday.

There are still several key questions that remain unresolved by the suite of models we use in the First Alert Weather Center, but one thing is for certain: the biggest impact will be north of the WBTV viewing area…except perhaps for the mountains.

More to come on that in a bit.

But first things first.  At this writing, we’re tracking an upper-level disturbance that’s putting down snow across the Midwest Tuesday afternoon.  As it drifts east, there’s a decent chance for a couple of inches of snow across the highest elevations of the mountains Wednesday, before the system pulls out Wednesday night. 

It’s not out of the question a little light snow or flurries could bust out to the east beyond the mountains Wednesday afternoon and evening, but accumulating snow outside of the mountains is unlikely.  The sad truth is for snow-lovers, systems moving in from the northwest rarely produce much of anything – other than clouds and spotty light precipitation – for most of North and South Carolina.

We’re likely dry for most of Thursday, but as the next system – the real McCoy – approaches late in the day, things will get more interesting.  Many of you want specifics, and we get that, but we’re talking about a storm that has just now crashed ashore from the Pacific, bringing much needed rain and snow out West.

From this point forward, we’ll have the benefit of better data coming into play via land observations that will be ingested into the computer models.

That said, as of this writing, the models – in general – promote the most significant snowfall from the North Carolina and Tennessee mountains all the way through the Mid-Atlantic region and into New England by the weekend.

By taking a blend of the models, late week snow in our mountain counties could range from 6 to 12 inches, but amounts could be more or less based on where and when any sleet, freezing rain or even plain cold rain mixes in.  That’s still very much a debatable discussion.  Any way we look at it, Friday and Friday night look to be very messy for mountain travel.

Farther south, it seems that while the precipitation may start out of snow or sleet late Thursday night, a changeover to rain appears likely Friday – again, based on the available data we have on Tuesday.  A change in the temperature profile over the foothills / I-40 corridor could make a world of difference, so we’re watching!

As for the Charlotte metro area / Piedmont, again, there could be a late night start of snow or sleet Thursday, but a changeover to rain seems very likely on Friday with temperatures surely above freezing by afternoon.

As for Piedmont snow-lovers, there’s always a chance, albeit very small, that ample moisture is still hanging around as the cold air comes in behind the deepening storm late Friday night or Saturday morning that could bring a brief changeover to snow, but that rarely happens here. 

Typically, the dry air wins out and the moisture is long gone before its cold enough for anything.

Stay tuned, more to come.  Models change and forecasts do too!

- Al Conklin

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