FIRST ALERT: Thursday’s storm to bring heavy rain and crippling ice

WBTV Wednesday morning weather forecast

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - We’ll stay dry today, but a Winter Storm Warning is now effect for the mountains and foothills from this evening through Thursday evening, with a Winter Weather Advisory for Mecklenburg County and the southern Piedmont.

A wintry mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet, will unfold across the WBTV viewing area beginning late tonight and will not taper off until early Friday morning. Ice accumulations of up to 1/2 inch is 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.

In addition to dangerous travel, flights in and out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport may be impacted on Thursday.

Backing up, today will feature sunshine fading behind increasing clouds with afternoon readings ranging from the upper 30s in the mountains to the upper 40s in the Piedmont.

We’ll remain dry this evening before the storms head our way from the west with rain, freezing rain and sleet. Overnight lows will fall back below 32° in all neighborhoods north of Charlotte and very near – but perhaps just above – 32°. Temperatures will hold in the cold 30s all day Thursday, so it will be a slow transition from sleet and freezing rain to plain old cold rain!

Temperatures may drop below freezing again for Friday morning, with middle 30s around Charlotte to upper 20s in the mountains, so icy travel will still be a concern for many Friday morning.

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.

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Hope you have a great hump day!

- Meteorologist Al Conklin

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