RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The biggest winter storm of the season is still on the way for Sunday, but ice and rain remain the most dominant precipitation types.
A small amount of snow will start for many in the morning, but freezing rain, sleet, rain, cold temperatures and wind are all in the forecast and will make Sunday a miserable day to be outside and dangerous to travel.
The winter storm will drop down to the Gulf Coast this evening, pick up more moisture and turn up the East Coast for a Sunday morning arrival.
The moisture from the south will meet up with colder air set to arrive in North Carolina Saturday.
Before the storm gets here Sunday, there could be a few snow flurries that fall this afternoon. No accumulation or major impact is expected, but that’s not the case Sunday.
While there will be some snow Sunday morning, it likely won’t be around long before a change over to freezing rain and sleet later Sunday morning and then finally changing to all rain later in the afternoon.
Our biggest concern will be possible icing on roads, power lines and trees. This ice accumulation along with wind gusts over 20 mph could lead to dangerous travel and power outages.
Morning temperatures Sunday with start in the mid-20s, which will allow the event to start as snow when it arrives from the south in the Sandhills about 4 a.m. Sunday.
The rest of the moisture will spread over all of central North Carolina the rest of Sunday morning, starting as snow for most before turning to a freezing rain/sleet mix. Accumulation of snow, sleet and freezing rain will be minor, but it could still cause travel problems Sunday morning.
Later Sunday afternoon as warmer low pressure nears central NC, most of the precipitation changes over to all rain and could amount to 1 to 2 inches of rain.
The system will move out late Sunday night and while it will be dry Monday morning, temperatures will be cold enough to refreeze some of the moisture on area roads.
BIGGEST QUESTIONS & CONCERNS
Many of the computer models continue to be in good agreement about our forecast and position of the low pressure. Will this trend continue and actually become reality? Most of the forecast is based on the position of the low pressure. If the position of the low changes, the forecast will change too.
Where will the rain-snow line set up over central North Carolina? This will ultimately determine what ends up on the ground Sunday.
This will likely not be a fun winter storm with lots of snow to go out and play. Ice and freezing rain are looking like the dominant precipitation type and that could cause many problems Sunday morning before changing to rain Sunday afternoon.
Will it be cold enough Monday morning after the storm moves out to refreeze water on area roads and cause problems?
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This forecast was prepared by the CBS 17 Storm Team and is based on the latest information available and years of weather forecasting in North Carolina. It was not produced by a computer like many forecasts you find on the web, social media and smart phone apps.