Snow on Saturday? Iffy

Posted December 17, 2010 12:03 p.m. EST
Updated December 17, 2010 11:00 p.m. EST

— Triangle residents can expect to see rain and wet snowflakes Saturday evening, clearing up in time for a precipitation-free Sunday.

A rain storm from the south will move north and east Saturday afternoon, while a snow storm from the west mingles Will the Triangle and surrounding areas see snow Saturday night? It's iffy, according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner, who said the latest weather models show the storm missing the area.

"It doesn’t mean we won’t see any snow. It just means our confidence is low," she said.

On Thursday, WeatherScope predicted that all the precipitation would stay off the North Carolina coast. Then, Friday morning, it showed a little burst of snow over the Triangle. By Friday afternoon, however, WeatherScope said the storm should stay east of the Triangle.

"This is one of those really tricky situations. It’s a coastal storm, which can always be difficult to predict," Gardner said. "(Coastal storms) typically develop rapidly, so this storm hasn’t even fully developed yet. That’s one problem. Then, there’s always the question of how far inland does it come?"

WRAL has other computer models, which are still showing that the Triangle will receive snow. Gardner said it's tough to predict until the storm develops further.

"It’ll be at the last minute that this (storm) develops, and then we’ll have to see where it is in relationship to our coast," she said.

As for Friday, "it's actually going to be a pretty nice day today – partly cloudy, 45 degrees," said Gardner. "That's about as warm as we've seen it for a while."

Saturday, though, will be a different story. The skies will cloud over completely, and the day's high will retreat into the upper 30s or low 40s.

The daylight hours of Sunday and all of Monday appear as if they will be precipitation-free. Highs will stay in the upper 30s and low 40s.

Then, on Tuesday, another weather system again raises the possibility of snow or rain.

"We're expecting rain, but the way things have gone lately, we've got a close eye on Tuesday," Gardner said. "We're not ruling out the chance of something frozen on Tuesday."