The cold air is here, and snow is on the way.
This storm system will bring snow to parts of North Carolina around midday as temperatures today hover in the 20s. Some areas could see some light scattered light snow showers before noon Tuesday, but the heavier precipitation will arrive Tuesday afternoon.
Here’s the latest from Van Denton (4:25 p.m.):
Snow will fall this evening and early tonight and then it will all shift to the eastern part of the state as a coastal storm cranks up. Our initial area of snow is being created by what is call jet streaks. Within the jet stream 35,000 feet above the ground, there are areas where the wind speed is higher. As this faster air moves over, it created more lift from below and this helped to generate the first area of snow. The coastal precipitation will come from a surface low pressure off the coast. The main impact from this will be felt over eastern NC where the biggest snowfall totals are expected.
Here in the Piedmont-Triad, expect a general 1 to 2 inches from the jet streak. Since the wind speed vary aloft, amounts will vary more within this area and some could get a little more and a few could get less.
To the east and south of the Triad, there is a better chance that some of the coastal moisture could reach those areas. Therefore amounts should be a little higher in these places. So Alamance, Randolph and Montgomery counties should see more than the Triad counties as they are a little closer to the ocean.
Still, the biggest numbers will come from eastern NC where some areas could reach double digit snowfall totals. Most in eastern NC will see between 4 and 8 inches. A few could see near a foot.
An arctic cold front is sliding through the state and will bring very cold air back just as we finally enjoyed a pleasant day.
Winter weather advisories have been expanded to the west and now include the Triad.
A Winter Storm Warning applies to Montgomery and Chatham counties. Both advisories begin at noon today and expire at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
There are two sources of snow that will affect North Carolina. The first is a band of snow showers in the mountains that will slowly move eastward through the morning hours. Snowfall totals will be between half an inch to one inch along the Blue Ridge.
The second and more potent source will be a coastal low that travels parallel to the North Carolina beaches. This storm will produce substantially higher amounts of snow in the eastern end of the state.
Snow showers will gradually increase across the radar after lunch today, and the evening commute is likely to be quite snowy.
This wintry weather continues overnight and ends before midnight for the Triad.
Total snow amounts will be lightest to the west. Expect around one inch from Hickory to Danbury.
Higher amounts will be found east, two inches from Salisbury to Greensboro and three inches from Asheboro to Burlington. Troy and Siler City may see 3-5 inches of total snowfall.
Some parts of eastern North Carolina could see a foot of snow.
“Our best chance for seeing snow in the Triad will come late tomorrow evening and before daybreak Wednesday. Temperatures will be plenty cold, however the track of the storm is the question. If it tracks farther west, we get more snow. If it is to the east, we get less or very little,” Meteorologist Van Denton said.
Skies will clear out on Wednesday and we remain cold.
By the end of the week we are back to near 50 and over the weekend we head into the 50s. Rain shower chances return Sunday into Monday.