With cold and dry air in place over the Carolinas and a strong storm system developing to our southwest. The potential is there that late tonight and early Friday we will see the first batch of moisture start out as sleet or freezing rain. This likely will not last long as warm air aloft will overcome this cold dry air mass at the surface. This will change things back to rain during the day Friday for the piedmont and the Charlotte area. In the mountains and foothills it’s a different story, let me show you why.
The cold air is in place thanks to the mid west blizzard, it left behind this huge area of arctic air. This arctic air is center over Oklahoma but with the clockwise flow around the high we have seen this arctic air ooze into the Carolinas. North and northeast winds today have been advecting or transporting this cold dry air mass into the region since late last night.
While all this cold air had been moving in a low pressure system and a strong subtropical jetstream have been throwing moisture north and east over this cold air mass. There are already winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for pats of coastal Texas and deep into southern Louisiana today.
Overall I don’t expect this to be a major problem in and around Charlotte unless the moisture starts to make it to the ground early tonight. That would give us several hours of below freezing temperatures and a cold ground to cause some problems. I do worry about areas here along the Blue Ridge which might seen a prolonged period of freezing rain and I bet we see a Freezing Rain advisory issued later tonight.