February 18: Active Weather Pattern This Week

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After a generally gross weekend, we’ll get a brief reprieve from the rain and cold air today. This morning’s showers are dissipating, and we’re even seeing some sunshine peeking through the clouds! That partial sunshine won’t be the major factor behind the warmup, though — the shifting winds will help us out there. As those winds turn to the west/northwest, they’ll be able to displace the chilly air mass that was stuck here over the weekend. We’ll climb to around 60° in the Triangle this afternoon:

With partly cloudy skies overhead tonight, temperatures will drop off quickly. We’ll end up around freezing by early Tuesday morning:

Clouds will increase quickly again on Tuesday, and northeasterly winds will trap the cool air once again. I think the low to mid 40s is the best we’ll be able to do by late afternoon:

Showers will move in again Tuesday night, and with the chilly air in place we’re looking at a chance of frozen precipitation. The best chance of sleet or freezing rain will shape up just north and west of the Triangle, but it will have a hard time sticking because the ground is relatively warm. The North American Model’s radar simulation from 7:00pm Tuesday through 1:00pm Wednesday shows mostly cold rain, with some ice (the purple-shaded areas) farther northwest:If the sleet or snow manages to stick, it shouldn’t have any major impacts — the National Weather Service office in Raleigh is forecasting less than a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation in the Triangle, less than a quarter-inch west of I-85:That’s enough to cause some clicks spots on bridges and overpasses, but not enough to bring travel to a halt. And the Weather Prediction Center isn’t convinced we’ll see that much, estimating less than a 50-50 chance of a tenth of an inch of ice, even west of I-85:It’s obviously something we’ll keep a close eye on the latest data as it comes in over the next 36 hours, but for right now I’m not too concerned about any major or long-lasting effects.

The 7-day forecast doesn’t show much of a break from the wet weather pattern:There will be more changes to the day-by-day rain chances, since tomorrow night’s and Wednesday rain will affect how things shape up later this week. Just keep the umbrella handy, and we’ll keep you updated!


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