Snow begins after midnight, lingers through Tuesday
Posted January 18, 2009 10:25 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A snowstorm will move across North Carolina after midnight and leave a winter wonderland for morning commuters.
"A good part of our viewing area is likely to see at least 1-3 inches of snow," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "The (computer) model thinks there is going to be 1 to 3 inches of snow, with local amounts of 3 to 6."
The heaviest band of snow is forecast along the U.S. Highway 1 corridor, from Southern Pines to Raleigh and east to Rocky Mount and Nashville.
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A winter-storm warning takes effect Monday at 9 p.m. and extends through Tuesday at 6 p.m.
More than 150 businesses and schools have planned to open late or close Tuesday.
A low-pressure system diving southeast from Iowa will end up bringing us the snow.
"Anything we see for the next several hours will be ... primarily in the form of rain. We really won't get down to business with snow until after midnight," Fishel said. "That's also the time the temperatures really begin to drop."
After the rain turns to snow, it is expected to continue to fall through Tuesday morning. "We think the snow will be peaking during the morning rush hour," Fishel said.
Get tips for driving on slick roads.
The snow will turn to flurries by afternoon. Whatever wintry precipitation falls is likely to stick around for a while – particularly on roads – because the state won't see a significant warm-up until the latter part of the week.
Tuesday's predicted high is precisely the freezing mark, and temperatures will fall into the teens that night. Temperatures won't break out of the 30s until Thursday.
The winter storm predicted for Jan. 19-20 comes during an auspicious – or infamous – time for snow in the Triangle.
Four years ago to the day, between 0.5 and 2 inches fell on central North Carolina, catching everyone by surprise. Roads clogged up with workers and students going home early, clogging roads at the same time they turned icy and making some commutes last more than eight hours. About 3,000 Wake County students were stranded at schools overnight.
Five years earlier, on Jan. 25, 2000, the region got its heaviest snowfall ever, 4 inches shy of 2 feet.