Winter Storm now starting for some in western NC, and arriving for the rest of NC in the coming hours. This will be a major early season snowfall, many areas will see all their average snowfall in one storm. Preparations should be finalized now. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of NC Raleigh west, and a Winter Weather Advisory from east of Raleigh to i95 for some minor accumulations early before changing to rain.
Today the agreement among models still show a major snow-event, I have adjusted some of snow and sleet totals on our new forecast map. I think we will see more sleet and freezing rain mixing, many signs are suggesting that. This is very common for NC snow storms. There is a renewed threat of significant icing over the central part of the state see image two, Freezing rain in a corridor of the Southern and Eastern Piedmont region say from south Greensboro Guilford County- Troy and Albemarle to Raleigh to Roanoke Rapids.
Starting West to East: 16-22" 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, Southern Mountains, and Triad, Mostly snow will fall over these areas, major impacts due to snowfall expected prepare. There will 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!
6-9" Blue Area- North of Charlotte, Durham and north and west, and South and West of Asheville. Snowfall amounts will be cut even more here due to sleet and some freezing rain. Generally 6-9" with highest amounts north and west here.
2-5" 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.
The freezing rain threat has been slowly increasing overnight for the central part of the state say from Greensboro to South and west of Raleigh. Freezing rain in a corridor of the Southern and Eastern Piedmont region say from south Greensboro Guilford County- Troy and Albemarle. Models are having a hard time with CAD (Cold air damming) For Sunday afternoon 1-2 degrees can make the difference of a major ice storm or just rain. On top of freezing 2-4" of snow will also fall making the potential for widespread power outages possible. Below is the my freezing rain map, will be updating every few hours to adjust to new models!
Bottom Line: A major winter storm is now hours away from starting, now is the time to move off the roads for the evening and tomorrow. A long duration event lasting from late tonight 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, for major impacts to your daily life. Stay tuned for more updates. Stay with North Carolina's Weather Authority throughout the weekend trust in me I got you covered, Don't hesitate to message with questions on our Facebook page. This will be our final snowfall map, could be updated is major changes happen, now onto nowcasting current conditions and trends. Stay Safe and don't forget to send in your reports and pictures to our Facebook page!