Enjoy the relatively nice weather today, because it appears as if Friday will be a meteorological loser -- except if youre hoping for rain.
Low pressure will dominate Charlotte-area weather from early Friday into the midday hours Saturday, and more than an inch of rain is likely to fall across the region.
The mountains are forecast to receive snow, sleet and freezing rain for the first half of that period, and some parts of the Charlotte region could find hazardous driving conditions Friday morning. That is most likely in areas above 2,500 feet in Henderson, Rutherford, McDowell, Burke, Caldwell, Avery, Watauga and Ashe counties.
Some sleet and freezing rain probably will fall in lower elevations of those counties, along with parts of Catawba and Wilkes counties, but no accumulations are expected.
All of this inclement weather is part of a big storm system that is bringing heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain to a big part of the country, from Oklahoma and Kansas eastward into the Great Lakes.
The good news is that the Carolinas will salvage one nice day from the weekend -- Sunday -- before more rain arrives early next week.
Thursdays conditions will be nice, meteorologists say. With high pressure in control, well have mostly sunny skies and high temperatures in the low to middle 50s. Thats a bit below the seasonal average, but its a lot better than what well get Friday.
Rain is expected to overspread the region early Friday, reaching Charlotte around 3 a.m. The rain will continue throughout the day Friday, and though it will be light, conditions will be nasty, with temperatures holding in the mid to upper 30s throughout the day.
The precipitation is forecast to begin as snow and sleet early Friday in the mountain areas, where winter weather and freezing rain advisories are posted. Only light ice accumulations are predicted for Henderson and Rutherford counties, but up to an inch of snow and sleet and 1/10 of an inch of ice are expected in higher terrain of McDowell, Burke, Caldwell, Avery, Watauga and Ashe counties.
The snow and sleet will create slick spots on roads and sidewalks this evening, said Justin Lane, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C. Ice accumulations on top of the sleet and snow may create very hazardous conditions near the Blue Ridge after midnight and Friday morning.
Mountain precipitation is expected to change to rain by early Friday afternoon, as temperatures inch above freezing.
A steadier and heavier rain is predicted to arrive Friday night across the region, and meteorologists say Charlotte could get an inch of precipitation late Friday and into Saturday morning. Rain is expected to end around midday, with skies staying cloudy and highs reaching 50 degrees.
Much nicer conditions are on tap Sunday, with sunshine and highs near 60.
Another low pressure system is expected to arrive later Monday, but the latest computer models indicate precipitation will be light.
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