Winter storm watch on tap for Triangle

Posted December 24, 2010

— A white Christmas is all but certain for most of North Carolina, but just how much snow we'll see was still up in the air late Friday.

"There are still a lot of questions about how intense this storm will be and how close it will track to the Carolina coast. Both play a pivotal role in how much snow we'll see around the Triangle," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said Friday.

WRAL Weather team WRAL WeatherCenter Forecast

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for the eastern half of the state from late afternoon Saturday through Dec. 26 at 5 p.m. Counties further to the west and around Charlotte were under a winter weather advisory.

Maze said he expected the weather service would upgrade the Triangle's watch to a warning at some point Saturday afternoon.

Weather Alerts

A mixture of snow and rain will develop late Saturday afternoon and quickly change to all snow by evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Two to four inches is possible for the Triangle and up to six inches of snow for areas to the east of Interstate 95 is possible by Sunday evening, Maze said. 

Some forecast models showed a heavier band of snow dumping four to six inches in central North Carolina, but the development and output of the coming storm are still very much up in the air, Maze said.

The total will be based on how two weather systems combine off the Carolina coast. An upper-level disturbance from the west will cross the mountains early Saturday and gradually spread over the state.

As that system moves out of the state, it will be followed Saturday night by a low-pressure system passing along the coast of North Carolina. 

Temperatures will dip into the upper 20s Saturday night and won't get above freezing Sunday.

If the low stays close to the coast, the Triangle and areas to the east could more snow. If the low moves south and east, so does the chance for accumulation.

Raleigh has not seen snow accumulation on Christmas Day since 1947.


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  • elfgir1 Dec 27, 2010

    This was a hilarious read, now that the event has passed. We got eight inches at my house.

    I am also amused by the people who don't understand the difference between weather and climate. At the very least, you could read the wikipedia articles that differentiate the two concepts before you start bashing someone's profession. ;)

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Dec 24, 2010

    Can't wait for the snow! How ever much we get, it will be really nice. Amazed at all the people who spend so much time criticizing the forecasting. Just enjoy it people, it's Christmas!! :^D

  • ranquick Dec 24, 2010

    Weather guessers!!!!!

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 24, 2010

    "This is almost laughable. They can't even give us a definitive forecast for 24 - 48 hours in the future"

    No they sure can't. They're inept as they come.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 24, 2010

    This should tell you all you need to know, the coast is under a winter storm watch, we/you are not.
    End of story. No snow for the triangle and you can blame Mike Maze for stewing the forecast up solid all week.

    Enjoy your snow beaches, we'll watch it on tv. As we write up the class action lawsuit against wral.

    We were lied to all week, now they will have to pay. There's at least a 2 million dollar bill yet to come from the DOT. Get your checkbook out wral.

  • RB-1 Dec 24, 2010

    I now something's going to happen.

    We just got back from the store and there's no bread or milk left which is always a certain sign something's going to happen, even if it never does.


    We'll see what we will see, I predict.

  • 6079 SMITH W Dec 24, 2010

    Breaking News: Snowfall totals for the viewing area will be between 0" and CENSORED deep to a giraffe. Film at 11:00! ;)

  • illegals--GO HOME Dec 24, 2010

    Hoping, hoping, hoping for more!!! I live in that corner where Robeson, Bladen, and Columbus come together and the 2-4" accumulation is creeping ever closer!

  • unitedsoccer4 Dec 24, 2010

    snowfreak: why does wral, the weather channel, etc. still say 1-2 or 3 inches if the NAM and GFS models are showing a lot more accumulation?

  • wine_girl Dec 24, 2010

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if it did snow?! I live in Wayne County and have a 7 year old son... he would be delighted.