Colder temps, rain on the way with a chance of snow

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - A cold snap is on its way to central North Carolina later this week, and for the first time this season, snow is part of the conversation, but it's not time to break out the sleds and snow shovels?

"I don't think the snow-lovers should get too excited just yet," cautioned Storm Team Meteorologist Paul Heggen. "We know it's going to get a lot colder later this week, and we know there's a decent chance of light showers on Friday. What we don't know yet is whether the showers will happen while the atmosphere is cold enough to allow snow to reach the ground."

After getting close to 70 on Tuesday, a strong cold front will move through Wednesday morning bringing a good chance of rain for everyone.  This batch of precipitation will for sure be rain only.

Temperatures will begin to cool down starting Wednesday afternoon and highs are forecast to reach the 40s on Friday, which is much too warm for any chance of accumulating snow. But temperatures could be close to freezing Friday morning or Friday night, which means that any lingering showers in that time frame could be a mixture of rain and snow.

"The more impactful events this week will definitely be the cold and the much needed rain, if you are hoping to have school called off or doing some sledding Friday, this will not be your storm," said chief meteorologist Wes Hohenstein. "Most of our snow each winter comes in January and February, so there's plenty of more time this winter to get that kind of snow."

The most likely scenerio as of early this week is that a cold rain arrives Friday and either as it begins or ends a few wet snowflakes mix in without any accumulation.  "The ground is still very warm, so it's going to be tough for that snow to accumulate," said Heggen.

Winter officially begins December 21st.

Stay with the CBS North Carolina Storm team for the most up to date information on the drastic change in weather later this week.

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