Rain-snow mix falls; light snow on tap tonight

Posted February 3, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— A mixture of rain and snow showers fell overnight from the northwest Piedmont to the Triangle and as far east as Goldsboro.

Parts of Orange County, for example, saw measurable snow on the ground early Tuesday while Raleigh saw mostly rain.

"It looks like it's diminishing pretty quickly ... and moving eastward," said WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

Drivers saw few problems Tuesday morning, in part because of Monday's unseasonably warm temperatures, which reached into the 60s.

While a second system will advance on the state Tuesday night, conditions aren't expected to be favorable for significant snowfall despite colder temperatures.

Snow is forecast for western North Carolina through Wednesday, with up to 6 inches possible at higher elevations. By the weekend, highs will climb into the mid-60s.

WRAL Weather team WRAL WeatherCenter Forecast

"This is the kind of stuff that drives people nuts – when it's in the 60s and literally hours later, it's snowing. But this is the kind of thing that happens," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Monday evening, winds shifted to the northwest, temperatures started to drop quickly, and rain began to fall. "The thing is, temperatures will be staying probably above freezing across well over 90 percent of the (WRAL viewing) area all night long," Fishel said.

The rain changed to wet snow in some places around 1 a.m. Forecasters had expected anything from a dusting to 3 inches, with 2 to 3 inches possible in "a few lucky spots" around Warren, Halifax, Nash and Franklin counties.

The R.J. Blackley Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Butner was the first organization to put a winter-weather plan into effect.

If you see snow, be sure to send your photos and video for use on

After a chilly Tuesday with a high around 44 degrees, another another strong upper-level disturbance and a pocket of cold air will arrive in the early evening. Forecasters predict that a light band of snow will fall across the viewing area Tuesday night, and flurries could linger as far south as Fayetteville into Wednesday morning.

And with temperatures dropping into the mid 20s that night, Wednesday's morning commute could be more troubled, Fishel said.

"With temperatures below freezing, that could create some road problems on Wednesday morning," he said.

Cold temperatures will keep their hold on central North Carolina through Thursday. But on Friday, temperatures will shoot up, jumping to near or over 60 degrees for several days.

"We'll have very cold weather, at least by North Carolina standards, Wednesday and Thursday. And then, look, bang! 58, 67, 70 (degrees) – just like that," Fishel said.

"What's likely to happen over the next seven days is just bizarre, just nothing short of bizarre."


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  • charlesboyer Feb 3, 2009

    Unsettled weather in February? Welcome to NC!

    It's just how it is here. February can bring anything -- and warm snaps are common this month in this part of the state. Won't be too long before the winds of March come howling, then the ups-and-downs of April, followed by the inevitability of summer heat.

    In other words, if you don't like the weather, just wait a day, or even a few hours, it'll be different then.

  • Fuquay Resident Feb 3, 2009

    I remember back in 1994 when I was a student at UNC-Charlotte, we had a warm early spring day. Everybody was out playing football and the girls were laying out in the sun. The next night it began to snow and we ended up with about 6 inches of snow 48 hours after a 70 something degree day.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Feb 3, 2009

    Let it snow!!!!!!!

  • housemanagercary Feb 3, 2009

    When will they learn to give "Central" NC aka "the main viewing area" a county by county break down? I'm sorry but Cumberland, Johnston, Chatham, and Franklin are all in the "main viewing area" and "central" area of the county but they get completely different forecasts. How about telling us which county can expect snow before its an hour away??

  • kimmimom Feb 3, 2009

    In N Chatham Co, we had a nice layering of snow on the grass and deck at 2:30 am. By 6:30, most of it was done. Hope we get some tonight!

  • mt1190 Feb 3, 2009

    Does anyone think tomorrow will be an issue getting to work?

  • jackadoo Feb 3, 2009

    what snow?