The great white out has started in Charlotte, and the latest predictions are calling for 3 or 4 inches in the greater region.
National Weather Service forecasters say the worst it could get is 5 inches in the city.
To the east of Charlotte, amounts may be in the range of 3 to 6 inches. The snow has gotten a little bit of a later start and will likely last into the late afternoon, according to the Observer’s news partner WBTV reports. Snow should begin to taper off into showers later on Wednesday, but with colder air in place much of the snow will be slow to melt in the afternoon.
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On Wednesday night, it may once again be tough sledding for drivers across the region. Highs will only make it into the low 30s with temperatures rapidly dropping after sunset. Lows Thursday morning will once again be in the teens. Anything that melts slightly on Wednesday will refreeze rapidly after darkness falls.
Big, fluffy flakes started falling in Charlotte about 6 a.m., with temperatures still in the upper 30s.
The weather service had earlier expected only up to two inches to fall, but updated models showed as much as 5 inches could fall in Mecklenburg County.
Charlotte was added to a winter storm warning for the region because of the additional expected snow. The warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Road problems are considered likely during the morning commute.
Other parts of the Charlotte region could see even more snow, according to the weather service: Up to 6 inches in Statesville, seven inches in Monroe and eight inches north of Harrisburg in Cabarrus County. Up to five inches is forecast for Lincolnton and Hickory.
The National Weather Service initially issued a winter weather advisory about the fast moving cold front that was approaching from the west Tuesday and moving across the region tonight.
Heavy snow and black ice are expected, so plan on difficult travel conditions, including during Wednesday’s morning commute, the weather service said in its warning.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Tuesday afternoon that all schools will be closed Wednesday because of the expected weather. Charlotte city and Mecklenburg County government offices remain open Wednesday, but all Mecklenburg County court sessions are canceled.
The Charlotte Area Transit System urged riders to check for updates about their routes at http://ridetransit.org before leaving their homes.
Wednesday night is forecast to be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming clear, with a low around 19.
Any melting snow Wednesday afternoon will refreeze Wednesday night as we dip into the teens, so be prepared for icy road conditions Thursday morning.
Thursday should be sunny, with a high near 42. Highs are expected to reach 51 on Friday, 57 on Saturday and 62 Sunday, each day under sunny skies.