Weather Update: Light snow expected later today in eastern ‘Carolina

Published 9:52 am Friday, January 8, 2021

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Snow showers continue this morning across portions of the mountains, with a wintry mix falling across the western Piedmont, according to an 8 a.m. report today (Friday) from North Carolina Emergency Management.

The eastern Piedmont is generally seeing rain, with some sleet and snow mixed in, especially near the VA border.

Across western NC, there have been reports of 1-3” of snow in the mountains and an additional 1-4” of snow is possible as snow showers are expected to increase again later this morning and afternoon, with the greatest activity likely across northern areas. Hazardous travel conditions are likely for much of the day and also overnight, as temperatures will fall into the low to mid 20s. Additional areas of black ice could develop Saturday night where snowpack remains as temperatures will likely fall into the upper teens to lower 20s.

Across central NC, precipitation will continue to rotate between rain and a rain/snow/sleet mix early this morning, with a lull in activity likely during the late morning hours. The best chance of accumulating snow across central NC, will be across the northwestern Piedmont this afternoon and evening as 1-2”, with isolated 3” totals possible along and northwest of the I-85 corridor. Areas south and east of I-85 will still likely see rain change back to snow late this afternoon and into the evening hours as a band of snow pushes eastward. There remains uncertainty in where exactly this band of snow will develop but a quick dusting-1” of snow is possible across the eastern Piedmont and portions of the Coastal Plain. Hazardous travel could develop in areas along and north of the I-85 corridor this afternoon, and spread eastward this evening and overnight as temperatures will be falling into the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Eastern NC, will see scattered rain showers through the day, with brief change to snow possible late this evening and overnight (generally in areas along and west of US-17). Widespread travel impacts are not expected as any accumulation will mainly be on grassy surfaces, but isolated slick spots cannot be completely ruled out late tonight and early Saturday morning. Minor coastal flooding is also possible this evening and overnight with up to 1’ of inundation possible for soundside portions of the southern Outer Banks and along the southern Pamlico Sound and Neuse Rivers.

Dry conditions will return for Saturday and Sunday, before another storm system approaches the state Monday night – Tuesday. Forecast confidence will increase over the weekend, but it currently appears a wintry mix will be possible in western portions of the state, with all rain across the eastern half. As of now, it appears any accumulating snow will likely be limited to the higher elevations.

The next NCEM Winter Weather Update will be sent by 5 pm today.