FIRST ALERT: Accumulating snowfall, heavy rain to hit late Wednesday, early Thursday

First Alert Weather

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Brace for another round of wet and wintry weather. Starting this evening, an upper-level disturbance will bring precipitation to WBTV viewing area lasting through early Thursday morning.

Scattered rain showers will become widespread during the late afternoon and early evening hours as this system moves in from the west.

An accompanying cold front will permit temperatures to plummet across the region tonight, with the precipitation changing over quickly from rain to snow at the higher elevations of the North Carolina mountains this evening before transitioning to snow in the valleys through the night.

A Winter Storm Warning is currently in effect for Avery, Ashe, and Watauga counties as 3 to 6 inches of snow is possible above 3,500 feet with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation likely in the lower elevations. Add to that, winds could gust as high as 40 to 50 mph at times along the higher ridges.

Winter Storm Warning
Winter Storm Warning (Source: WBTV)

The transition from rain to snow will occur more slowly out along the Interstate 40 corridor, but a few early morning snow showers will produce some light accumulations across the northwestern Piedmont as well, mainly east of I-77.

We’ll wake up to near freezing temperatures in Charlotte Thursday morning before the mercury climbs to the upper 40s during the afternoon when all the precipitation and clouds has rolled east.

Meanwhile, temperatures in the mountains will linger in the teens and 20s tonight through Friday morning.

The cooler air and sunshine will stick around through the weekend until another system arrives Sunday bringing another round of wet and wintry weather to the region.

012721 7 Day Forecast
012721 7 Day Forecast (Source: WBTV)

We are seeing better consensus in our data indicating an early arrival of rain on Sunday.

It’s possible some brief wet snow could accompany the rain at the outset of the rain in the predawn hours or around daybreak.

It should be brief before changing to all rain. The snow may persist a bit longer north of Charlotte with the best chance of any light accumulations closer to the I-40 corridor.

As usual, more significant snow accumulations should be expected in the mountains.

Details aside, this is definitely shaping up to be a disruptive day, especially for those with outdoor plans.

- Chief Meteorologist Eric Thomas

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