Friday Winter Weather Timeline and Impacts
Confidence is higher that most of the WCCB viewing area will at least see a brief period of snow Friday. However, the big question remains on how quickly the colder air makes it into the region. Here’s Thursday 10am projections:
I-40 and North
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the mountains and foothills beginning 7pm Thursday. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for higher elevation areas north of I-40. Snow will begin after midnight for the mountains with a rain to snow transition for the foothills early Friday morning. By mid-morning with cold air settling into the region, snow will transition down to the I-40 corridor. This is where the highest confidence lies for at least a few inches of snowfall with 1-2″ across the I-40 corridor and 2-4″ for the northern foothills and mountains. Snow totals may reach a half-foot plus in some spots over 4500′.
I-40 to I-85
The area of transition where we could see a rain to snow change will be near the I-40 corridor. There will likely be a rain-and-snow mix for areas south of I-40 and north of I-85 beginning early Friday morning. The key thing to watch for this area is exactly how far south the cold air will advance. If it moves far enough south, large, wet flakes and even a few bursts of heavy snowfall will occur. And the earlier this happens the higher snowfall totals could become. Snow accumulations of 1-3″ will be likely, with higher totals closer to I-40.
I-85 and South
It will be a mainly rain event is likely for areas south of I-85 with a rain/snow mix closer to the I-85 corridor late in the afternoon to early evening. It will make for slushy roads and walkways that could be slippery. WORST CASE SCENARIO: IF snow falls earlier in the morning before sunrise across the Piedmont, it will likely melt as surface temps will be in the mid 30s. However, it could cool surface temps enough that a higher accumulation could be possible around I-85 later in the day.
The best chance for accumulating snow will be in the Mountains, Foothills, and northwest Piedmont. Some wet snowflakes are possible across the Charlotte area. All precip will move out of the region by late Friday night with freezing temps settling in. Even in areas that see only rain on Friday, black ice and refreezing will be an issue across the board for our Saturday morning.