Cat-and-mouse game keeps snowflakes from N.C.

Posted December 5, 2008 7:50 p.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2008 7:48 a.m. EST

— Rain fell as a cold front passed through late Saturday, but a cat-and-mouse game with freezing temperatures kept snowflakes away from the Triangle.

Saturday dawned clear and cold, in the upper 20s. Clouds, though, thickened in the early afternoon as the front arrived and brought rain throughout the evening.

However, temperatures stayed above freezing – not cold enough to turn that rain into snow.

“The air is extremely dry, and a lot of this is evaporating before it is hitting the surface,” WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Late Saturday afternoon a mixture of snow and rain appeared to be passing over Winston-Salem and headed to Greensboro.

But freezing temperatures and precipitation didn't hook up at the right time to produce snow for the Triangle.

While moisture moved in during the afternoon, the freezing line stayed north through midnight, "so anything that occurs late in the day or the evening will definitely be in the form of rain," Fishel said.

"But then as we head ... into the wee hours of the morning, that freezing line gets to the RDU airport about the time the moisture is leaving, so we probably won't see many flakes around the Triangle," he continued. "But north of the Triangle, it could definitely end as a few flakes of snow."

Fishel said showers are expected in the Triangle until just after midnight.

Late Saturday there were no official reports of snowflakes in the state.

The system will "pivot out into the Atlantic," drawing the moisture with it, yielding to a "cold, blustery" Sunday, Moss said.

The weekend will end with a high around 42 degrees and low around 22 degrees. Winds could gust up to 20 or 30 miles per hour and make it feel like it's in the 20s and 30s.