A band of snow showers, mixed at times with rain, crossed the Charlotte region Saturday morning, creating plenty of conversation but no accumulation.
Now forecasters are watching a second band that is approaching Charlotte, and they say a few locations could see snow on the ground later this afternoon.
Meanwhile, meteorologists say the low pressure system responsible for the wintry weather will strengthen off the Carolinas coast later Saturday, and that could lead to a significant snowfall from Raleigh eastward. Accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are forecast for Raleigh-Durham and other areas along and east of U.S. 1.
Here in Charlotte, forecasters have continued a winter weather advisory for Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, but they say 1 inch or less is the most likely total for the southern Piedmont.
Temperatures are hovering in the middle to upper 30s, and that has prevented snow from accumulating so far Saturday.
Neil Dixon, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said temperatures could drop a few degrees this afternoon, but they're not expected to fall to the freezing mark.
Some of the snow showers moving across the foothills at 1:30 p.m. Saturday are rather strong, and Dixon said the cells could intensify enough to creat thunder snow.
"That would provide high enough (snowfall) rates to outpace the melting," Dixon said.
Thunder snow was reported by several observers around Greenville, S.C., shortly before 1 p.m. About 1 inch of snow accumulated there in a half-hour. Thunder snow also was reported in Henderson County, with accumulations of up to 2 inches there.
To this point, however, the Saturday wintry precipitation has been nothing more than a photo opportunity in Charlotte. Large flakes fell for more than two hours after daybreak, but the snow melted on contact.
It was a different story to the east. Observers reported the snow fell hard enough to coat grassy surfaces and even some roadways in places like Hartsville, S.C.; Fayetteville; and the Raleigh area.
The winter weather advisory issued by the Weather Service's office in Greer originally did not include counties to the north and northwest of Charlotte, but those counties were included early Saturday afternoon.
Snowfall is expected to end by early evening in Charlotte and by late Saturday night in Raleigh-Durham and Fayetteville. Clearing is forecast for the overnight hours, and temperatures are expected to tumble into the lower 20s. Meteorologists say black ice formation is a real threat for Sunday morning.
Sunshine is forecast to return Sunday, but it will remain cold, with highs only in the low to mid 40s.
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