First Alert for Thursday: Winter Storm’s track, timing and impact

Jonathan Stacey Wednesday afternoon forecast

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Winter Storm warnings and advisories are in effect through Thursday as a robust system brings sleet, ice, and rain to the WBTV viewing area.

The remainder of today will be calm and mild as highs reach towards the low 50s under increasing clouds. By contrast, Thursday will be gloomy and messy for most. It will also be quite cold as temperatures will linger in the 20s in the higher elevations and in the 30s in and around the Charlotte metro through the entire day.

Here’s what you need to know about Thursday’s First Alert and its expected impact on your region:

  • Mountains & Northern Foothills: Dusting of snow, mostly freezing rain, and sleet through from midnight through Thursday afternoon
  • Southern Foothills: Mostly a wintry mix consisting of both sleet and freezing rain, ice will develop on surfaces overnight into the Thursday morning; rain will be more common than not Thursday afternoon
  • Northern Piedmont: Light showers will transition to wintry mix consisting of both sleet and freezing rain, ice will develop on some roadways and on bridges and overpasses during the early and mid-morning hours, expect a changeover to mostly rain Thursday afternoon
  • Charlotte & Southern Piedmont: Scattered showers develop around midnight with mainly sleet mixing in during the morning rush hour, ice may develop on some surfaces like bridges and overpasses shortly before or after daybreak, scattered showers will move through during the afternoon followed by a few isolated thunderstorms Thursday evening

Now to the nitty-gritty details, ice accumulations of up to 1/2 inch are possible in the mountains and northern foothills with up to 1/4 inch between I-40 and I-85 with no more than 1/10 of an inch of ice expected in areas south/east of I-85.

On top of the ice concern, heavy rainfall of one to two inches is forecast, so localized flooding on top of power outages and hazardous travel is also a concern.

The wet and wintry weather should taper off early Friday morning, but slick roads be a concern for morning commuters.

Friday will be the transition day from rain and ice to sun and even better, the weekend will feature plenty of sunshine both days with high temperatures near 50° on Saturday and seasonable middle 50s forecast for Sunday.

Another, less-robust frontal system looks to arrive on Monday with scattered shower and highs in the middle 50s.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

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