Large winter storm on its way to N.C.

Posted January 29, 2010

— Northwesterly winds have chilled down North Carolina ahead of a large winter storm. From late Friday, snow, sleet and freezing rain could fall for as long as 24 hours across most of the state.

"Everybody's going to get part of this, and it's going to be significant wherever you go," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

WRAL Weather team Video: WeatherCenter forecast

A winter storm warning is in effect for most of the state from 6 p.m. Friday until midnight Saturday.

Echoes of snow aloft were appearing on radar early Friday evening, but flakes were evaporating before hitting the ground. The snow will most likely going to start to falling between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., moving from west to east.

"It'll pick up after that and should last until midnight Saturday," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "That's why we're anticipating so much snow."

Warm air aloft will cause snow to turn over to sleet sometime Saturday morning. That will happen earliest in Fayetteville and the Sandhills, leading to greater ice accumulations there.

"Exactly where and when that transition occurs is going to go a long way to determining what you get on the ground tomorrow morning," he said.

Fishel outlined the most likely scenario: the most snow – 10 to 15 inches – falling around Roxboro and the Virginia border area.

The Triangle and areas just east and west of it will see a smaller but still significant snowfall accumulation. Between 6 and 9 inches is possible. "It might change over to sleet for a time, so the accumulations might not be as great," Gardner said.

A stretch of North Carolina, stretching from Southern Pines through Fayetteville to Goldsboro, could see 2 to 5 inches of snow – but also between a half-inch and three-quarters an inch of ice.

"(That) would really knock out power for most folks," Gardner said. "You tend to start to see power outages, trees falling at a quarter of an inch of ice. ... That is not a good situation at all."

"Not to say that we won't have some freezing rain and power outages in the Triangle, but the situation may be worse the farther south you go," she added.

The precipitation will taper off by early afternoon, but linger as a light freezing drizzle in the afternoon. It will turn back into light snow Saturday night before finally ending around midnight.

Whatever falls is likely to stick around for some time: Temperatures will stay in the high 20s Saturday, crash into the teens overnight and won't rise above freezing Sunday. Monday will see a high in the low 40s.


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  • lkanzig Jan 29, 2010


    just waiting for wral to announce this one lol!

  • MojoGal Jan 29, 2010

    Yea! I went outside and there's like tiny specks of dust blowing around. Husband making fun of me saying "take cover, it's a nuclear fallout!" Gotta find the nerf bat now. Guess board is closing too. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend. If it doesn't snow here I'm going to find Nancy and steal some from her yard.

  • MojoGal Jan 29, 2010

    * show = shoe. So much for spell check.

  • MojoGal Jan 29, 2010

    Well it's still dead calm here and now my spousal unit is mocking me for making him shop yesterday for batteries & stuff. I'm going to stay positive. Got a glimpse of "entertainment tonight" (never watch the show) while staring out the back door. Raunchy stuff on that show. Hillary lost a show and bunches of gossip on John Edwards. I turned it off.

    Nandud - I've been wondering the same for months.

  • nandud Jan 29, 2010

    Where's Steve Crisp?

  • Nancy Jan 29, 2010

    Ok, we're going to wake up to a winter wonderland tomorrow morning and I'm happy about that :) Makes me feel like a kid again.

    Mojogal - enjoy the scenery of white tomorrow!!

  • MojoGal Jan 29, 2010

    Nancy - I should have driven your way. 3 minutes up James Slaughter and I could see it. Still nothing over here. Even the dog has calmed down. I didn't realize how worked up I was about this until people started reporting their snow. Now I'm sad, lol. It's still early; I'm sure it will eventually get here.

  • freebiegoddess03 Jan 29, 2010

    Snowing in louisburg now!!

  • Nancy Jan 29, 2010

    Mojogal - hang on, it's in the air, I'm off Sunset Lake Rd, about a half mile from Bass Lake intersection - you'll be seeing some soon I'm sure :)

  • Nancy Jan 29, 2010

    Snow flakes in Fuquay Varina - bit fat ones :)