There is increasing certainty our area will see wintry weather with accumulating snow. The amount and duration of the precipitation is still uncertain. Forecasters say a small change in the track of a surface low expected to pass to our south and southeast or the depth of the cold air could result in a significant change in the forecast.
Precipitation is expected to begin falling Friday evening as rain or snow, then transition to a snow/sleet mix before changing to all snow overnight. Precipitation is expected to end Saturday afternoon from west to east.
The heaviest snow is expected to fall in our area between 2am Saturday and 2pm Saturday. Snow should end locally by 6:00pm Saturday. Currently, 4 to 6 inches of snow is possible in the areas, with heavier amounts just to our northeast from Wilson to Nashville to Tarboro.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Friday evening through Saturday evening for a large section of Central and Eastern NC. A band of moderate snow will expect from the Southern Piedmont northeast into the Triad and Triangles areas as well as the Northern Coastal Plain. Areas farther south and east will see a mixture of snow and sleet before transitioning to mostly snow Saturday morning. Snow packed roads will lead to hazardous driving conditions overnight Friday through Saturday.
Forecasters said Thursday that confidence is below normal with respect to snowfall amounts, however confidence is strong that wintry precipitation will occur over the area. Some of the late model runs Thursday indicate slightly warmer temperatures south and east of Raleigh which could reduce total snowfall accumulation amounts. However it will remain bitterly cold this weekend.
Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s or low 30s late-Friday night and struggle to reach freezing Saturday. Lingering moisture on roadways will result in icing issues through the weekend.