Warmth will yield to cold rain, maybe snow this weekend

Posted February 27, 2009
Updated February 28, 2009

— Friday slipped away with a springlike high 15 degrees above normal and a light rain drizzling down.

By Monday, residents of central North Carolina could be waking up to snow covering the ground.

"How in the heck can we be talking about snow when we got up to 72 (degrees) today?" WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel asked. But, he added, "There's plenty of chilly air not too far away."

Temperatures will take their first plunge Saturday. After a mild start in the 50s, a cold front will arrive in the early morning, start dumping rain and drive temperatures into the low 30s overnight.

"That's going to be the beginning of a good soaking," Fishel said. The "steady, all-day rain" could drop totals of 1 to 2 inches, he said.

After a drier spell Saturday night, a blast of cold air will arrive Sunday morning, bringing thicker clouds and more rain. Then, when temperatures drop in the evening, it's possible snowflakes will start falling.

"It is a definite possibility. All the models show snow," WRAL Meteorologist Mike Maze said. "The big question is really how much we are going to see. It could be as little as a couple inches or as much as 10 inches."

The Triangle's snowfall chances rest on the behavior of an upper-level low-pressure system.

Sunday morning, the low will be strong and above Mississippi and Alabama. From that point, though, computer models differ on what it will do.

If it stays strong and moves southeast of the Triangle, "There will be a prolonged snow event. This could turn out to be a really, really big event," Fishel said.

If the low weakens, that'll open up a trough, and the low will go to the west of central North Carolina. In that scenario, "We might pick up an inch or two, but it wouldn't be a big event," Fishel said.

Any snowfall that develops will last overnight and into Monday morning.

As the forecast for snow accumulation firms up this weekend, Fishel had some advice for school children looking for a day off:

"Do your homework."


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  • Citizen7265 Feb 27, 2009

    March 25, 1972, snow and schools were closed. (My nephew was born!) March 23/24, 1987, snow and ice.
    April 11th, 1983 enough snow to sled.

  • IzzMad2016 Feb 27, 2009

    RB : I was thinking that very thing this morning when I heard a chance of snow. Thunder in the winter means snow 10 days (or thereabouts) later. This is twice it's happened in the past month.

  • ringlets21 Feb 27, 2009

    Hey everyone, give Greg a break, he calls it as he sees it. It's better to be safe then sorry. Yes, maybe it's wishful thinking on his part it may snow because he likes it. But, so do I and it gives me something to MAYBE look forward to. Thanks Greg for the great job you do!!!

  • time4real Feb 27, 2009

    i just happen to be trolling the channels looking for any bread and milk discounts and low and behold, Greg Fishel, "as is always the case, we don't know anything about anything and will be able to tell you more around next Thursday."
    Here's the gofers prediction, snow in the mtns. and snow in the outer banks, triangle, 58 and sunny!
    0 for 2 since a real snow!

  • Sue Feb 27, 2009

    March- "In like a lion, out like a lamb."
    Maybe it will snow, or worse ice.

  • Adelinthe Feb 27, 2009

    We had thunder and lightning on the 18th.

    So we'll see.

    God bless.


  • eaglesphanatic Feb 27, 2009


    If it snows enough to be measurable, I'll eat my shorts. AND the meteorological reason I have that it won't snow that much is simple and in two parts. It'll be March, and it's North Carolina. Wanna bet my/your mortgage on it????? Paid for two months for whomever is correct.

  • 050462 Feb 27, 2009


  • Weetie Feb 27, 2009

    I hope it SNOWS!

  • oldfirehorse Feb 27, 2009

    I just popped in because the headline sounded kinda....well, never mind. Why is everybody coming down on Greg and the gang? Unpredictability is the only predictable thing about NC weather. Anyway, I appreciate the work they do. They keep it entertaining when it's dull, and get serious when the threat is real. Kudos, weather gang!