Maze: Fat flakes, ice pellets possible mixed with Tuesday's rain

Posted November 11, 2019 5:12 a.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2019 11:08 p.m. EST

— The weather in the Triangle takes a turn on Tuesday. The day will start out pleasant, with a temperature of about 52 degrees at sunrise, then grow colder and wetter over time.

"It will be a wet and cold afternoon," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. "There might be like a 30-minute window of maybe some flakes and ice pellets when the [storm] band moves on by, and then we should just focus really on the cold."

Showers are possible as early as 4 a.m., and the likelihood for rain increases into the afternoon. By 2 p.m., there is a 90 percent chance for precipitation in Raleigh, and temperatures will have dropped by about 15 degrees.

"It's just going to be miserable later on in the day," Maze said.

Temperatures will stay just above the freezing mark, but winds will gust up to 30 mph, creating wind chills in the 20s.

"It's possible the rain could come down hard enough to cool down the atmosphere aloft to develop snow aloft. The question is whether it will make it to the ground," Maze said. "This is more likely north and west of Raleigh, in the normally colder zone. If snow forms aloft, it would either come down mixed with rain or transition over to sleet before it reaches the ground."

By the time of the evening commute, the front will have passed through central North Carolina and skies clear out. That is when the cold truly sets in.

"You will want to add layers tomorrow, folks," WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell said.

Wind chills will make it feel like 31 degrees in the Triangle by 4 p.m. and 22 degrees by 9 p.m., Campbell said. In Boone, wind chills will drop below zero by late Tuesday.

The forecast for Wednesday morning calls for near-record low temperatures in the low 20s and a wind chill in the teens.

"We're not concerned about black ice issues because there's so much dry air coming in, it will evaporate the moisture off t he roads before anything can come in and create anything to freeze on the ground," Maze said.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the North Carolina mountains, where 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected, and up to 4 inches at higher elevations, Campbell said.

7-Day Forecast

Temperatures in the Triangle recover a bit – to the high 40s on Thursday and the low 50s Friday, with the chance for another shower that morning.

Maze said long-range forecasts point to warmer temperatures next week.

The deep freeze will affect a big swath of the country.

Air from Siberia — yes, Siberia — is heading toward a huge chunk of the United States and it could set record-low temperatures from Texas to New England.

According to the National Weather, some 200 records might fall between Monday and Wednesday.

For example, the Tuesday expected high of 23 degrees (-5 Celsius) at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport would be a full 5 degrees lower than the record-low set in 1995, he said.

The cold front is expected to move through the Upper Midwest and the northern Plains on Sunday and then continue southward and eastward on Monday and Tuesday, sending temperatures plunging below freezing all the way south to the Gulf Coast.

It will bring January-like temperatures to some locations that are as much as 30 degrees colder than normal for this time of year.

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