Our first Winter Storm of the 2018 season is now on the way, while this system will not affect all of the state with Winter Weather everyone will have some sorta of impacts.
Winter Storm Warnings and Watches are now posted for the Western Foothills and a large part of the mountains see image below.
WHAT: An icy mix, freezing rain and maybe some sleet is possible. Starting early Thursday morning the current areas that are going to see Freezing Rain will be: Northern Mountains, Western Piedmont (West of Winston Salem) Foothills, and Yadkin Valley. Shallow, cold air will be trapped at the surface, with warmer air aloft. This sets the stage for a nasty ice storm across these areas through much of the morning on Thursday. It is possible that it will be cold enough for sleet to being in all areas first before quickly changing over to Freezing Rain.
Below is the forecast map, currently forecasting up to a haft of an inch of freezing rain for areas north and west of Hickory, Yadkin Valley, Boone, Mount Airy, and the High Country. Current forecast elsewhere is up to quarter of an inch of ice for areas in Light pink.
On thing to note, due to the time of a year, this is a perfect set up of a storm for mid winter. However, due to it being November ground temperatures are still warm and above freezing so accumulation is very tricky. If you are in Ashe, Avery, Alleghany, Alexander, Yancey, Mitchell, Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, Caldwell, Burke, McDowell, Rutherford, Polk, Surry, Watauga, and Wilkes County go ahead and buy your bread and milk and prepare for some power outages especially if you are in the northern high country.
WHEN: Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Generally 11pm-11am. WHERE: Mountains and Foothills mostly, but still watching in the Triad for some ice still too soon to nail that down. Any major ice will occur north of I40!
WHAT: Freezing rain and sleet, potential for ice accumulation IMPACTS: Any icing could weigh down trees, especially those with leaves on them. Downed branches / trees / power lines can be expected if enough ice accumulates. Some slick spots are possible on bridges and overpasses, but most roadways should be fine given our ground temperatures.
Although ground and road temperatures are relatively warm, the amount and rate of the precipitation will help to cool the ground, and I think we will start seeing accumulations even on main highways, but bridges, overpasses, and secondary roads will be the worst or any exposed above ground objects walkway ect..
Flash Flooding, Another storm system will bring heavy rain to the state tonight and Thursday. The ground is saturated, creeks and streams are running high, and some rivers are in flood. The expected 1.5- 2.5 inches of rain will bring more flooding especially due to the extremely wet year we have had and the soaking rain on Monday. Another 2-3'" of rain will to make matters worse so expecting more renewed minor river flooding and localized flooding on roadways on Thursday.
More updates on everything later this afternoon and evening stay tuned!