Observer weather reporter Steve Lyttle and WCNC meteorologist Brad Panovich took reader questions at noon on the approaching winter storm. Here are some of the highlights.
When will the rain change over into snow?
Right now, the estimate is between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Temperatures are expected to stay in the 40s through the afternoon and won't dip down toward freezing until then.
How much will it snow?
In most places, snow will accumulate up to 1 to 2 inches on grass everywhere from Charlotte to Matthews, Shelby, Concord and Kannapolis. But it will vary widely -- anywhere from none to several inches in isolated areas. Most of South Carolina should expect only a trace.
I have dinner reservations with a friend at 6:30 p.m. Should I cancel?
No, you'll likely be fine. Conditions should be OK until around 9 p.m.
What will tomorrow's commute look like?
Roads could get "sloppy" overnight, as Panovich put it, but the bigger risk could be from heavy snow accumulating on tree branches and power lines. Ice or slush is a possibility, but Friday's weather should be in the mid-40s and sunny -- meaning it won't stick around long.
No snowmobiles required.
Will school get called off?
We most likely won't know that until tomorrow, but Lyttle gave it a 30 percent chance.
Can I drive through the mountains tonight? How about this weekend?
Snow will accumulate more in the higher elevations, so driving through the mountains tonight is not a good idea.
Sun on Friday should help clear out the roads, but driving in the dark through the mountains isn't recommended because of the risk of roads re-freezing into black ice. Wait until after sunrise Saturday.
Will we be able to build a snowman?
The type of snow will be perfect for snow sculpting -- heavy and wet. But most areas just won't get enough snow sticking to build with. Sorry.