MAJOR WINTER STORM: ICE AND SNOW
A major winter storm is now approaching NC, for days we have been talking about this storm unless you have been in captivity you will know by now. Tonight given we are about 60 hours from the event I am releasing our official first call snow map. This is a best-educated guess on accumulations using a large verity of models, this still far from perfect and will change.
FORECAST: First of all, many are going to ask why some of these numbers for accumulation are not nearly as high as some are reporting and computer models. The short answer is I have gone lower because I think we will see more sleet and freezing rain mixing, many signs are suggesting that. This is very common for NC snow storms..
Starting West to East: 14-20" Pink Area (Ashe Watauga Wilkes Surry Avery Mitchell Upper Caldwell) 1 foot or more is expected here, a major snowfall. Great news for the Ski resorts! Major travel impacts are expected.
9-14" Purple Area- Foothills and Southern Mountains, Mostly snow will fall over these areas, major impacts due to snowfall expected prepare. There still may be some sleet or even freezing rain mix in. But due to mostly snowfall expected and given 1.5-2.0 inches of liquid at 10:1 ratio (1inch of rain/ equal 10inches of snow) would equal 15-20 inches of snow. However once compaction is factored in and non- frozen ground should help limit snowfall to around 9-14" locally higher where banding sets up!
4-8" Blue Area- Triad, North of Charlotte, North of Durham, and South and West of Asheville. Snowfall amounts will be cut even more here due to sleet and some freezing rain. Generally 4-8" with highest amounts north and west here.
1-4" Light Blue: Triangle, Charlotte red outline area. This area is where the rain/ snow line is going to set up, inside the red outline. A forecasting nightmare basically all types of winter weather is expected: Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain, and just plain rain even. Where the line sets up determines your actual amount of snowfall, models remain all over the place here. Major icing cannot be ruled out here.
Bottom Line: A classic and potentially historic Winter Storm is now a few days away from hitting NC. Now is the time to start preparing for power outages and to be stuck in your house for a few days, if you are from Durham and points west. A long duration event lasting from late Saturday through Monday afternoon very uncommon for NC more a Midwest storm! Due to this type of situation more impacts and higher totals than usual looks likely. The potential for icing is also looking more likely as models continue to run.
Now is a great time to start preparing. Worse weather will move in overnight Saturday. Stay tuned for more updates, a Facebook live will likely occur tonight around 9PM with more information. Stay with North Carolina's Weather Authority throughout the week trust in me I got you covered, Don't hesitate to message with questions on our Facebook page.