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Dusting of snow possible for Friday, as region plunges into ‘cold wave’

WBTV First Alert Weather forecast for 02.12.16

WBTV meteorologist Chris Larson with The Charlotte Observer weather forecast for Feb. 12, 2016.
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WBTV meteorologist Chris Larson with The Charlotte Observer weather forecast for Feb. 12, 2016.

The week’s cold weather is expected to extend into next week, as a fast-moving system called a “clipper” will move west to east in North Carolina, potentially bringing a light dusting of snow Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The system is expected to be gone by late afternoon, but the cold temperatures won’t be, said Neil Dixon, a weather service meteorologist in Greer, S.C.

The highs Friday are expected to be in the low 40s, but “this weekend it’s going to be cold,” Dixon said. “These clippers do tend to bring a lot of cold air out of the Canadian plains. Instead of a heat wave, we’re going to feel a cold wave.”

The low Saturday morning will be in the mid-20s but not rise past the mid-30s Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s low is expected to dive into the upper teens and won’t get past the freezing mark, 32 degrees, that afternoon.

Then Monday morning, when the lows are expected to dip back into the mid-20s, another system will bring widespread moisture, Dixon said. “That should spread a shield of light snow across the Charlotte metro area during the predawn hours,” he said.

He said the snow likely will turn to sleet about sunrise and rain by lunchtime. “It should be very light precipitation that won’t have a large impact on the day,” Dixon said.

It’s the type of system, he said, “where the forecast confidence is not that high. There will be a lot of variables at play.”

The big question is how that precipitation will match up with the cold temperatures. Dixon said the Charlotte area could see snow, sleet, freezing rain or just plain rain, depending on what plays out as the storm system passes through the region.

If the system passes farther north, then Charlotte would see mostly rain. Frozen precipitation in some form is possible as far south as Interstate 85.

Rainfall Monday night could be heavy, Dixon said.

The precipitation – it’s uncertain in what form – will continue into Tuesday, and by that afternoon the region should see some sunshine and progressively rising temperatures to the upper 50s by late next week.

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