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Snow hum – slushy morning belies Charlotte blizzard forecasts

Sisters Elizabeth Kern 5, and Kathryn Kern 7, along with residents in the Midwood community of Charlotte slide down the snow covered slips at Midwood Park Thursday afternoon February 26, 2015.
Sisters Elizabeth Kern 5, and Kathryn Kern 7, along with residents in the Midwood community of Charlotte slide down the snow covered slips at Midwood Park Thursday afternoon February 26, 2015. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotteans who went to bed dreaming of epic snow adventures awoke Thursday to a slushy gray letdown.

For a few hours, native Southerners could empathize with Buffalo transplants as they looked out at snow and said, “Is that all? Meh.”

The usual flurry of excitement over even a few flakes was squelched by inflated expectations. While Monday night’s dusting came as a surprise, Wednesday night’s snowfall came with days of ever-escalating predictions of several inches piling up by morning.

Three to 4 inches of wet snow accumulated north of Charlotte, but from the city south there was only 1 or 2 inches that started melting fast.

With most schools closed in advance, kids and adults still scurried out to seize the opportunity to build a snowman or slide down rapidly muddying slopes.

As long as the temperature stays above 32, “roads will see more melting” later Thursday, said Patrick Moore, a meteorologist with National Weather Service.

Areas northwest of Charlotte, including Lincoln, Cleveland and Iredell counties, will have to watch out for black ice later Thursday, Moore said.

The big question is why so little snow fell when so much more was expected, as much as 8 or more inches in the Charlotte area.

Meteorologists don’t have the full answer yet, but the simple one is: “It wasn’t cold enough, long enough,” Chris Horne of the National Weather Service said.

On the plus side, life was much less stressful for those who had to get out.

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