Forecasters: Carolinas snow possible Tuesday

Meteorologists say chances are growing that a storm system could bring heavy wet snow to the Charlotte region Tuesday.

In fact, one forecaster compared the developing situation to a March 1983 storm that dumped about 10 inches of snow on Charlotte.

“The best snow accumulations should be along and north of Interstate 40, but some accumulation remains possible down to the southern North Carolina border,” said Jake Wimberley, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C.

Frank Strait, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather, went even further.

“There is a chance we see a similar outcome in terms of snow compared to 1983,” said Strait, a Rock Hill native who is Accu-Weather’s Southern weather expert.

A storm on March 24 and 25 in 1983 brought heavy snow to parts of the Carolinas. Because precipitation fell during daylight hours in early spring, much of the snow melted on roads but accumulated on grassy areas.

Strait said conditions will be similar next week. Cold high pressure is expected to build southward from the Northeast, and a low pressure system is forecast to develop in the Gulf of Mexico and move up the East Coast.

Forecasters said they expect the storm to intensify, bringing heavy snow, high winds and potentially damaging surf along the East Coast.

It will seem anything but winter-like Saturday in Charlotte, with temperatures forecast to climb into the upper 70s. But a cold front is predicted to move through the Carolinas on Saturday night, then stall to the south.

A low pressure system along the front is expected to bring rain and temperatures in the 50s to Charlotte on Sunday, followed by partial sunshine and lower 50s Monday.

The Gulf storm system then is predicted to move into the area early Tuesday, with snow, rain or a mixture of snow and rain arriving before daybreak.

The Weather Service’s Wimberley said computer guidance indicates temperatures will be warm enough for snow to change to rain in much of the Piedmont on Tuesday, but it will be a close call.

Another problem could come early Wednesday morning, with temperatures predicted to fall below freezing. That could create icy roads in the region.

A warming trend is forecast to begin late next week. Forecasters aren’t sure whether that warm-up will last a while or will be short-lived like recent warming trends in the Carolinas.