Our winter storm is taking shape to the south while cold dry air at the surface moves in from the northeast. The set-up is there for some areas of ice, especially north of Charlotte along I-40 where we could see a prolong period of freezing rain later tonight.
Here’s a look at the storm developing to our south while the Arctic high builds down from New England.
There are still many variables in this set-up and the biggest being the temperatures at the ground. The difference between a very cold rain and tons of ice is literally just 0.1°.
Even around Charlotte the temperatures will be very close to 32° for a few hours leading to some mixing in of both sleet and freezing rain at times. Temperatures will be cold but likely just warm enough to keep things wet around Charlotte but elevated surfaces have to be watched for icing overnight into Friday.
Chance of Ice:
Notice that our Futurecast really keeps it cold and wintry along I-40 into the Triad. The potential there is for more significant issues with ice. Anything above 0.25” will cause issues with trees and power lines.
The areas around Burke, Catawba, Iredell, Alexander and Rowan counties will be impacted by the most by ice.
There is a lot of moisture coming in tonight into Friday. I always worry about these high moisture marginal temperatures set-ups. You can really be off by just tenths of a degree and go from a cold rain to an epic ice storm if things set-up just right. I don’t see that happening around I-85 south and Charlotte at all just mainly rain with some brief mixing.
Further north along I-40 and even slightly south of there it maybe a different story. From Morganton-Hickory-Troutman-Statesville-Salisbury areas is right there on the line for significant ice. I do see some isolated spots getting .25” of ice or more. The real question is how widespread it will be? It all comes down to watching the thermometer tomorrow night.
Oh and don’t discount some very wet heavy snow in spots in the mountains. Could see a quick burst of 2-4”.
As always be prepared, especially along I-40 and get some supplies for a power outages just in case.