The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area as Old Man Winter prepares to bring a one two punch of snow and then extreme cold over the next few days. A developing storm near the North Carolina coast on Thursday will move northeastward and bring significant snowfall and numerous other impacts to the area Thursday and Friday.
After a tranquil New Years Day the action slowly begins later tonight. The first flakes begin to fall close to midnight. By the morning commute there could be an inch or so accumulation. Snow is expected to be on the light side through a good part of the day and may be intermittent at times. By Thursday evening a general 2 to 3 inches of snow should be on the ground. The intensity in snowfall and gusty winds begin to pick up early Thursday night and the worst of the conditions carryover into Friday morning. Accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are likely, a few spot 12 inch totals are possible, before this long duration event winds down and ends later Friday.
Gusty winds will make for blowing and drifting snow. With very cold temperatures we can expect a powdery snow which is much easier to blow and drift from the winds. This will impact visibility and driving as well.
Much below normal temperatures and gusty winds lead to bitter cold and low wind chills. The National Weather Service has already commented that Wind Chill Advisories are likely for wind chill values of 15 to 20 degrees below zero, especially late Thursday night through to early on Saturday. Some of the coldest air we have seen in years will follow on the heels of this storm making it very uncomfortable for snow removal later Friday and Saturday.
Breezy and cold conditions follow Saturday and then another storm system could impact the region late Sunday into Monday. Temperatures will moderate on Sunday.
Wednesday night: Cloudy, chance of snow developing around midnight or the early morning hours. Cold, low temperatures in the mid teens. North to northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday: Light snow and cold. Accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible by evening. Highs only in the upper teens, falling in the afternoon. Northeast winds increasing and gusting to around 25 mph later in the day.
Thursday night: Snow, becoming heavier at times. Several inches additional accumulation likely. Blowing and drifting snow. Windy and very cold. Lows near 5 degrees. North to northeast winds gusting to near 35 mph.
Friday: Snow through the morning, diminishing in the afternoon. Windy and bitterly cold. Near steady temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees. North winds 15 to 25 mph.
Friday night: Partial clearing, windy early and dangerously cold. Lows 5 below to possibly near 10 below zero, with wind chills to near 20 below zero possible. Winds diminish overnight.