It’s not every day that you forecast severe weather and snow in the viewing area within six hours of each other, but here we are! Let me start out by being abundantly clear:
***OUTSIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS, THIS WILL BE RAIN FOR 90%+ OF THE EVENT***
That said, it looks like some of us in the Piedmont and Foothills will see our first snowfall event of 2022. Let’s break it down from northwest to southeast.
MOUNTAINS: Most of your forecast pertains to the Blue Zone. Scattered showers will continue to fall past midnight before steadily transitioning into snow from higher elevations down to lower ones. Most High Country communities will see all snow by 4 AM. Totals will vary widely depending on location and elevation, but most spots should see at least three inches of snow before dry air takes over by the late morning. Localized totals could reach over six inches. Keep in mind that warm surface temperatures will likely cut into totals.
FOOTHILLS: Most of your forecast pertains to the Hashed Zone. This includes Morganton, Lenoir, and northwest Hickory. Off-and-on showers will continue through the overnight hours, totalling up to roughly an inch of rain. Expect some sleet/wet snow to start mixing in around 4-5 AM. A very soggy wintry mix should take over by sunrise before tapering off west-to-east by noon. While close to an inch of wintry precipitation could fall, warm surface temperatures will prohibit much more than a trace of accumulation.
NORTHERN NC PIEDMONT: Most of your forecast also pertains to the Hashed Zone. This includes the I-40 corridor (central-east Hickory, Taylorsville, Statesville, northern Rowan). Scattered rain continues well into the overnight hours. Some sleet and wet snow may mix in shortly before sunrise between 6-7 AM. A soggy wintry mix could last into the 8 o’clock hour before transitioning back to rain. A few bursts of wet snow are possible before dry air shuts out the moisture by noon. Little to no accumulation is in the forecast outside of localized areas.
SOUTHERN NC PIEDMONT: Most of your forecast pertains to the Green Zone. This includes Shelby, Lincolnton, Gastonia, Charlotte, Concord, and Albemarle. A low-end severe threat arrives overnight, which could bring heavy rain and gusty winds. While the tornado threat is minimal, a quick spin-up cannot be ruled out. The window of highest concern is between midnight and 4 AM. As cold air begins to arrive at sunrise, a quick wet mix could fall well north of I-85 before transitioning back to rain. Lincolnton, Shelby, and southern Iredell & Rowan could see a few wet flakes. No lasting accumulations are in the forecast.
UPSTATE/PEE DEE SC/NC: Most of your forecast pertains to the Yellow Zone. This includes Rock Hill, Chester, Lancaster, Monroe, Rockingham, and Chesterfield. A low-end severe threat sweeps in shortly before midnight and lasts until 5 AM. The main threats are gusty winds and heavy rain, but an isolated tornado or two is also possible. Rain totals will be close to one inch before dry air arrives by the early afternoon.
BOTTOMLINE: I can’t emphasize this enough: THIS WILL BE MAINLY RAIN FOR ALL OF US OUTSIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. Set-ups with cold air chasing moisture end up leading to snow about 10% of the time in the NC Piedmont. Having said that, I think some snow/sleet could mix in with rain at times early Monday morning, mainly along I-40 and northward. Your Monday morning commute is not going to go well. Please drive safe and stay home if you can.
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