Rain-snow mix falls; light snow on tap tonight

Posted February 3, 2009 4:17 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A mixture of rain and snow showers fell overnight from the northwest Piedmont to the Triangle and as far east as Goldsboro.

Parts of Orange County, for example, saw measurable snow on the ground early Tuesday while Raleigh saw mostly rain.

"It looks like it's diminishing pretty quickly ... and moving eastward," said WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

Drivers saw few problems Tuesday morning, in part because of Monday's unseasonably warm temperatures, which reached into the 60s.

While a second system will advance on the state Tuesday night, conditions aren't expected to be favorable for significant snowfall despite colder temperatures.

Snow is forecast for western North Carolina through Wednesday, with up to 6 inches possible at higher elevations. By the weekend, highs will climb into the mid-60s.

"This is the kind of stuff that drives people nuts – when it's in the 60s and literally hours later, it's snowing. But this is the kind of thing that happens," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Monday evening, winds shifted to the northwest, temperatures started to drop quickly, and rain began to fall. "The thing is, temperatures will be staying probably above freezing across well over 90 percent of the (WRAL viewing) area all night long," Fishel said.

The rain changed to wet snow in some places around 1 a.m. Forecasters had expected anything from a dusting to 3 inches, with 2 to 3 inches possible in "a few lucky spots" around Warren, Halifax, Nash and Franklin counties.

The R.J. Blackley Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Butner was the first organization to put a winter-weather plan into effect.

If you see snow, be sure to send your photos and for use on

After a chilly Tuesday with a high around 44 degrees, another another strong upper-level disturbance and a pocket of cold air will arrive in the early evening. Forecasters predict that a light band of snow will fall across the viewing area Tuesday night, and flurries could linger as far south as Fayetteville into Wednesday morning.

And with temperatures dropping into the mid 20s that night, Wednesday's morning commute could be more troubled, Fishel said.

"With temperatures below freezing, that could create some road problems on Wednesday morning," he said.

Cold temperatures will keep their hold on central North Carolina through Thursday. But on Friday, temperatures will shoot up, jumping to near or over 60 degrees for several days.

"We'll have very cold weather, at least by North Carolina standards, Wednesday and Thursday. And then, look, bang! 58, 67, 70 (degrees) – just like that," Fishel said.

"What's likely to happen over the next seven days is just bizarre, just nothing short of bizarre."